A new study report published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science has revealed that people who are religious may live four extra years when compared to others. The research carried out on 1000 people suggested that religious affiliation has a strong effect on longevity just like gender and age.
Experts believe that being religious and help people to socialize as well as to stay in a community. Several previous studies have hinted that socializing will increase the survival rate of people by 50 percent. However, Laura Wallace, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in psychology at The Ohio State University reveals that this is not the only reason for the boost in longevity among religious people.
"We found that volunteerism and involvement in social organizations only accounted for a little less than one year of the longevity boost that religious affiliation provided. There's still a lot of the benefit of religious affiliation that this can't explain," said Wallace, Marketwatch.com reports.
As per experts, religious benefits could come from regular meditation and other practices which reduce stress. Staying religious will also help people to maintain a positive mindset which is very crucial to keep negative thoughts away.
Previously, a research conducted by Howard Friedman, a health psychologist and professor at the University of California, Riverside has suggested that people who abandon their religious practices are putting themselves at the risk of earlier death. As per Friedman, it is the good health habits often fostered by religious practice, especially social engagement which plays a crucial role in enhancing the longevity of people.
Another research conducted in 2016 had revealed that going to church at least once in a week will lower the chances of earlier death by 26 percent. People who go to church for more than once in a week reduced the chances of early death by 33 percent. Tyler J VanderWeele, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard who led this study said that there is something very powerful about the communal religious experience.
"These are systems of thought and practice shaped over millennia, and they are powerful," added VanderWeele.