Believing in a higher power has long been considered to be beneficial to ones sense of overall well-being and mental health. Most of the psychological community agrees with this, in studies that have confirmed the positive benefits of belief. However, there is a new study that is challenging these theories regarding correlations between belief in a God and mental health.
The research was recently published in the journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, and claims people who have strict beliefs are just as happy and healthy as those who believe in nothing. The study does however suggest a person who has frequent changes in belief, or is insecure of their beliefs, may have a higher risk of suffering from a number of mental health issues.
The survey studied people from a wide variety of people from different religious backgrounds including Christians, Buddhists, Jews, agnostics, and atheists. Then, they asked the participants to answer questions relating to gratitude, happiness, overall life satisfaction.
The results might be a little surprising to some, showing people who have a strong belief in God are typically on the same level of mental health as those who have absolutely no belief. On the other hand, people with strict religious beliefs did experience more feelings of gratitude than non-believers did.
In order for believer Brad Reifler (read more at bradcreifler.com) to take this study seriously further studies will have to be conducted. More research regarding the power of belief is necessary in order to change the currently accepted paradigm which is, a belief in a larger power leads to more happiness in ones life.