Many people are religious because they learned it from their parents, but some people choose their beliefs. Whether you’ve been religious forever or you’re just starting to consider your beliefs, you might want to know the benefits of being religious, including some you might have never known. Here are five ways religion is great for your health.
You’re Encouraged to Take Care of Your Body
Many religions have an emphasis on taking care of the body. You might be familiar with fasting, which is common in many religions. Fasting in many religions is the time when you reflect on your life and your world. You might spend your fast praying or reconnect with God. Depriving the body of food (and sometimes drink) might seem like you’re neglecting your body, but it’s actually a great way to recharge and reset.
Typically after a fast, you enjoy a large meal with family. When not fasting, many religions encourage practitioners to treat their bodies well and be conscious of what they’re putting into it. This means the best doctors will hopefully never have to remind you to eat your fruits and veggies.
You Experience an Increase in Optimism and Compassion
Religious people usually experience an increase in optimism and compassion. Those who read the NRSV Bibles trust that their lives are in God’s hands. They are optimistic that good things will come to them, and they believe they will spend the afterlife in Heaven.
When bad things happen, they can maintain their hope for the future. Religious people are also often more compassionate. They want to help others and be a good example of God’s love.
You Experience a Decrease in Anxiety and Stress
Believing in a higher power can also result in lowered anxiety and stress. Trusting that good thing will come to you and your family allows you to worry less. You believe that there is an order to the world and that everything happens for a reason. You have nothing to fear when God is on yourself, so you don’t feel anxious or stressed. This can be a huge benefit to your mental and emotional health.
You Gain a Community and a Support System
When you attend a church or religious service regularly, you gain a community. You spend an hour or more with other believers every week, and you might even go to a bible study or weekly group. This gives you a support system of people in your community who want to help you and listen to you when things are going wrong. Having this community will help you feel a sense of belonging, and you’ll know that there are people out there who will help you if you need them.
You Have a Greater Sense of Satisfaction
Finally, because you have great mental health, a healthy body, and a wonderful support system, you feel a great sense of satisfaction with your life. You’re able to recognize that you have a purpose and you can be there for others the same way they can be there for you. You aren’t feeling anger or worry about your life. You can trust your choices and beliefs. Being religious and attending regular services will help you feel at peace.
If you’re struggling to find a purpose or a place in your community, consider attending a local service. You can try a few places (even a few religions!) before you land on the one that’s right for you. Look for a place that feels welcoming and shares your values. When you find the right place and the right religion, you’ll feel happier, healthier, and satisfied.