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Archive for December 5th, 2007

No wonder religion plays a major part in the satisfaction and happiness of so many lives. It has it all.

Research, for example, has consistently shown the relaxation benefits of quiet contemplation, and a person in a relaxed state is more likely to report being happy or satisfied.

But there’s more to religion than just prayer. In fact, the social aspects of organized religion may hold greater influence on well-being than just about anything else. Take a typical Sunday service. Families and friends come together, share pleasantries, and join in bringing meaning to their lives. All of those elements contribute to a person’s level of happiness. But even the service itself has satisfying elements, like the sound of music wafting through the facility or the heart-pumping intonation of a highly skillful preacher. The breakfast at the nearby restaurant after the service also adds to one’s satisfaction and happiness, as does the volunteer work on behalf of the church.

While certainly not the only source, the many faces of religious participation make it a powerful potential resource for improving one’s happiness.

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