It seems impossible to zero down on ways that can induce happiness but there may be a way to do that – and the answer lies in your religious beliefs.
According to recently conducted studies, people who subscribe to a religious sect or identify with a spiritual inclination of any sort tend to be happier and content in comparison to others. Hence, there is a good reason for you to get in touch with your spiritual corner, if you want to remain happier in life.
Pew Research conducted a study in more than 24 countries and compared the lifestyle of people who followed a religious cult or group and those who did not identify with anyone.The study focused on people in three broad categories- actively religious, inactively religious and religiously unaffiliated.
The study found out that while there was no difference in actual health statistics (obesity, BMI and heart risk), religious people were happier and more positive in life, which serves as an indication of better and sound mental health. Interestingly, 75% of religious minded people termed themselves happy and content in life.
Though no such direct link was found between the effect of religion and people’s happiness in science, the results are startling to say the least.
There was no country on the graph where the latter two groups responded positively than the actively religious ones.
Why is that?
Religion, like any objective or aim has been found to have a positive influence on people’s mind which motivates them to work towards a goal and seek happiness.
It also makes them feel a sense of belonging, cutting down the risk of loneliness and depression. According to the study, feeling a spiritual connection to a deity helps people compensate the lack of human companionship in their lives. All these moral values, in abundance contribute to happiness.
Another reason why religion is given such great importance is because of its ‘feel-good’ effects. 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, which in turn boosts dopamine production and makes us feel good and repeat the same actions for us to feel mentally satisfied.
According to the study’s findings, religious minded people were also found to make healthier life choices.
It is also a way for people, especially those undergoing stress or anxiety, to deal with triggers and uncertainty of any kind. Many psychologists and therapists prescribe this to their patients to feel secure and comfortable. This in turn, has been found to elevate heart levels and reduce anxiety.