Being a member of an organized religion offers several benefits. Some are intangible, while others have been proven by the medical community and scientists to be favorable to physical, emotional, and mental health. The most obvious is the social benefits derived from membership in organized religion. Most religions encourage members to fellowship or to meet regularly in and out of religious services. Members can make connections resulting in long-lasting relationships and friendships. Social contacts made lead to business referrals or assistance in finding new employment. The financial aspects of being part of a religion cannot be underemphasized.
A study by Harvard Business School concluded religious affiliation resulted in benefits to improving health and an increase in longevity as compared with non-religious people. Religious affiliation seemed to improve the overall mental attitude of members resulting in a more positive feeling about the future as well as improved self-esteem. These findings were substantiated by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), who also reported lower levels of stress and an increase in feelings of self-empowerment.
Here is an offbeat benefit you wouldn’t expect reported by Live Science. Apparently, being affiliated with a religion helps you resist junk food and is tied to lowering your blood pressure! Live Science compiled their list from research done by other health institutes. These findings are pretty consistent across several platforms and several research studies.
Finally, and probably the best reason to affiliate with religion, is most religions engage in a significant amount of charitable work. There is no higher calling than to serve others. The benefit derived from helping someone less fortunate provides purpose and meaning to life. These are just a few of the positive benefits of religion or spirituality.