Religious belonging best for ‘sustained happiness’: Study

A new study suggests joining a religious group makes for more “sustained happiness” than other forms of social participation.

The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, analysed 9000 Europeans who were older than 50.

Researchers looked at four areas: 1) volunteering or working with a charity; 2) taking educational courses; 3) participating in religious organsations; 4) participating in a political or community organisation.

Of the four, participating in a religious organisation was the only social activity associated with sustained happiness, the researchers found.

The researchers, from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, said it is unclear whether the benefits of participating in a religious organisation are connected to being in the religious community, or to the faith itself.

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