Have you ever wandered why those shouting “Alleluia!” at church on Sunday morning seem happier and more energetic than the average person.
A study conducted on people who reported religion or spirituality as very important revealed that 76% were less likely to develop major depression.
Conclusions made from the benefit of religion or spirituality on depression include;
• Individuals with no religious affiliation are at greater risk for depressive symptoms and disorders
• People involved in their faith communities may be at reduced risk for depression
• Private religious activities and beliefs are not strongly related to risk for depression
• Religious experiences contribute to emotional resilience
• Higher levels of religious involvement result in positive psychological well being like happiness, satisfaction with life, higher morale, reduced drug/alcohol abuse.
• Religion provides hope and assigns meaning to suffering. This is linked to stories of redemption of martyrs and faith heroes who have persevered in their trials. These stories offer great consolation that there is a bigger purpose to the hardship we are enduring now and don’t understand. Congregations of every religious bodies sing inspirational music that appeal to our senses while offering us insight and wisdom. Most religious groups also provide a support system and a community to lean on, both of which are important for good health.
Whatever the reason, the proof is in: religious experience changes our brains.