Here, I am not going to argue about Religions, Christianity or the existence of God. Rather, I want to write about what my religion do to me personally in this complex and complicated life. There is no doubt that Faith in a Religion helps some one to have inner peace.
I find that religion gives me guidance in this life to show me things that are right or wrongs. It teaches me the most basic principals or morals of life. It also gives me a purpose of life as we believe in life after death. Prayers make me strong and at the same time they give me support and hope so that I never really feel all alone. Regardless these are real or only act in the same manner as placebo tranquilizers; I personally feel and believe that religion plays important part in my life to make me a more contented and happier person.
In Religion and Happiness written by Michael E. Nielsen, PhD (http://www.psychwww.com/psyrelig/happy.htm), it is said that:
People who are involved in religion report greater levels of happiness than those who are not religious. For example, one study involved over 160,000 people in Europe. Among weekly churchgoers, 85 % reported being “very satisfied” with life………”
Still based on the same writing, how psychologist explain these fact? They tend to focus on three facts:
- Social Support. Religious involvement is a way of gaining social support. People in general are happier when they are around others who are supportive. Religious groups tend to offer this. This explanation is supported by the fact that the overall pattern of religious people being happier is more pronounced among people who are single, elderly, or in poor health. Related to this is the idea that religion helps people feel closer to God, who might also be viewed as personally supportive.
- Firm Beliefs. Happiness and life satisfaction increase when we have a sense of where we are going and what is important in life. Of course, many people find this in religion. This might also be related to the rise of ‘strict’ or conservative churches, which offer more certitude than do more liberal churches.
- Religion Itself. Religious experiences can be very positive. They offer a person a feeling of being in contact with God (also known as “transcendence”) and contact with others. These are usually positive things and, of course, if someone is more involved in positive things, they will tend to feel happier than someone who is less-involved in those things.
In an article “Are Religious People Happier? Scientists Search to Explain Why People Believe in Gods” (http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/03/are-religious-p.html), There was a recent finding that:
Researchers accidentally discovered that people with religious beliefs tend to be more content in life while studying an unrelated topic. While not the original objective, the recent European study found that religious people are better able to cope with shocks such as losing a loved one or getting laid off of a job.
Professor Andrew Clark, from the Paris School of Economics, and co-author Dr Orsolya Lelkes, from the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, analyzed the a variety of factors among Catholic and Protestant Christians and found that life satisfaction seems to be higher among the religious population. The authors concluded that religion in general, might act as a “buffer” that protects people from life’s disappointments.”
Yes, I am pretty sure that religion played a very important role for me to cope with this life and to have inner peace. I’ll be totally lost without it.
One day someone said to me:
To believe in a religion and God is very beneficial. You have nothing to loose….. Even if later after life I find that God doesn’t exit, it will not really matter that much. On the other hand, when HE exists, then I will be rejoiced and blessed.