According to new research, Individuals who follow a religion through active participation in congregations will, in general, be happier.
The investigation by Pew Research Center, a neutral reality tank, compared the lives of religious individuals and non-religious individuals. They did this by analyzing the study information from more than two dozen countries including the United States, Mexico, and Australia.
As per the outcomes, religiously active individuals are ordinarily happier and more “civically engaged.” It means they are bound to do things, for example, vote in elections or join community groups – than adults who either don’t practice a religion or don’t effectively take an interest in one.
Moreover, the investigation also found that association in religious congregations corresponds with some more advantageous lifestyle choices. Religious individuals purportedly smoking and drinking less than those without faith.
Nonetheless, the medical advantages don’t stretch out to other areas of life. As the examination found that religious individuals are not healthier “as far as exercise recurrence and rates of obesity.” They were not in better self-reported generally wellbeing.
To comprehend the connection between religion and happiness, specialists classified individuals into three classifications.
- “actively religious”, or the individuals who attend at least religious services at any rate once per month,
- “inactively religious”, individuals who identify as a religion yet go to less regularly, and
- “religiously unaffiliated”, individuals who don’t identify with a religion.
What Does the Research Say?
The study generally depended on survey data from Christian-dominant countries. As religion prompts the most involvement in religious services. However, information from some African and Asian countries and territories was additionally analyzed.
Analysts found that more than 33% of actively religious adults in the US depict themselves as happy. And in 12 of the nations examined, those active in religious congregations were observed to be happier by “a statistically significant margin” than the individuals who are unaffiliated with a religion.
In approximately nine countries analyzed, included religious individuals reported happiness than inactively religious adults.
In none of the countries did the individuals who actively participate in religion report altogether less happiness than non-religious individuals. However, there were a few countries where the religious contribution connected with little contrast in happiness.
While “striking”, the connection between happiness and religion requires further examination. According to the researchers, “the numbers do not prove that going to religious services is directly responsible for improving people’s lives.”
Or maybe, the opposite could be true – that more happy individuals take part in religious interest. They, in general, participate more in exercises compared to unhappy individuals. As the surveys demonstrated that numerous active religious individuals likewise reported voluntary involvement in different associations.
Or on the other hand, those associated with religious congregations may basically be happier. They benefit from the social associations they’ve built.
The examination, which concentrated on reviews conducted since 2010 by Pew Research Center. The World Values Survey Association and the International Social Survey Program is the most recent to research the connection between happiness and religion. A past report from the Office for National Statistics prosperity program finding a similar link.
Why Religion is given such great importance?
Because of its ‘feel-good’ effects, religion is important. Just like medication and tranquilizers, religion has a soothing effect on the human mind, experts have observed. When we indulge in religious or social activities, it activates the cognitive part of our brain. This, in turn, boosts dopamine production and makes us feel good and repeat the same actions for us to feel mentally satisfied.