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Religion ‘helps you to relax’

17 January 2014

SHUTTERSTOCK

THOSE who are actively religious are less stressed, and think that their lives have more meaning, a new study has found. The research by Dr Roxane Davies, a psychologist with the Government's Health and Safety Laboratory, suggests that people who regularly attend religious services are more likely to report low levels of anxiety and fatigue.

Dr Davies studied 34 full-time workers from the Caribbean and measured their job satisfaction and well-being, as well as their "religiosity". Those who were more religious than the others reported less stress, and also had a "higher presence of meaning in life". Dr Davies said: "As the pace of work and life accelerates, people long for meaning, and the younger generation in particular is looking for more than just a big pay cheque at the end of the month. My research shows that religiosity in the workplace may act as a resource, making people more resilient to cope with the many challenges of working life."

Dr Davies suggested: "We should hence encourage employers to accommodate, where possible, employees' religious beliefs while at work, and not shy away from the issue," she argued. "Such personal beliefs could be very helpful not only for employees, but also for employers."

The study was presented to the British Psychological Society's annual conference last week.

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