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Did you know out of all the 245 million adults in the U.S., 173 million are Christian and 56 million identify with another religious affiliation?
If you identify with a religious affiliation, you might not always think of the benefits that religion gives to your mental health.
Read on to learn the mental and physical benefits of religion.
1. More Meaningful Relationships
People who immerse themselves in their religion and participate in activities in their places of worship tend to form more meaningful relationships with their communities.
The reason why religious people form stronger bonds with the members of their congregation, it that they share a common belief. Believers tend to stick together over a longer period of time because they enjoy the same activities and beliefs.
When a person has meaningful relationships, they forge a strong support group that can benefit their mental health.
2. Healthier Immune System
When a person believes in the idea that a greater power is looking after them, it can positively impact their immune system. Another study conducted by Duke University showed that out of 1,718 older adults, those who attended a religious service at least once a week had higher levels of interleukin-6.
The interleukin-6 protein helps reduce inflammation, which can prevent autoimmune diseases, fight cancers, and fight off viral infections.
Those with a stronger immune system have the ability to fight off many illnesses, which in turn has a positive impact on their mental health.
3. Lower Blood Pressure
In 1998, a study was conducted on about 4,000 participants that concluded that people who were active in their religious life were 40% less likely to develop high blood pressure.
After looking at the study results, researchers from Duke University couldn’t figure you why these participants had lower blood pressure.
Although there’s no scientific explanation as to why people involved in religious life have lower blood pressure, there’s no doubt that those attached to their faith receive some health benefits.
When your body is in great health, the benefits will also extend to your mental health.
4. Resilience in the Face of Adversity
Those religious individuals who frequently attend a religious service are also more resilient in the face of adversity. In 2009, during an interview with 345-late stage cancer patients, 88 percent of those patients who identified themselves as religious showed more resilience during their treatment.
While this example only looks at cancer patients, it can be inferred that religious individuals are more resilient when facing adversity in their lives.
5. You Can Live a Longer Life
Aside from all of the great benefits to their physical and mental health, religious individuals also tend to live longer lives.
Thanks to all of the support from their communities and their health benefits, religious individuals tend to live a longer life.
There Are Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Religion
Were you surprised to know the positive mental and physical benefits of religion?
Those individuals who enjoy a religious life are more resilient, have lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and they maintain more meaningful relationships.
If you enjoyed these surprising facts and would like to learn more, check out the rest of our blog.