Saturday, February 4, 2012


USA (RNS) - A new study in the Journal of Religion and Health suggests that - at least for some women of a certain age - there's a link between optimism and attendance at religious services. "We looked at the religious practices of nearly 100,000 women and - like it or not - found a strong connection between going to church or synagogue or any other house of worship and a positive outlook on life," said Eliezer Schnall, clinical associate professor of psychology at Yeshiva University. Those who attended services frequently were 56 percent more likely to have an optimistic outlook than those who did not, and were 27 percent less likely to be depressed, according to the study. Schnall's research, which focused on post-menopausal women, is far from the first to associate church attendance and happiness. But it cements previous work that seems to show that those who engage in communal religious services are better able to cope in life.

Past research has shown that older women tend to take more of a social role in religious activities and may gain the most from it. As a follow-up to a 2008 report from the Women’s Health Initiative that showed regular attendance of religious services increased life expectancy and reduced their risk of death by 20 percent, the researchers wanted to see what factors may contribute to that risk reduction and believe they could be related to psychological factors. Schnall cautions that these results and their study apply only to women, and older women at that. The benefit of regular religious service attendance by younger women or men has not been looked at in this study.  Past studies have noted, however, that it seems friendships formed at services, rather than the worship itself, are more strongly correlated with happiness.

A new study showed regular attendance of religious services increased life expectancy and make happier post-menopausal women over the age of 50. Despite the diverse religious affiliations of all the participants, all the women who regularly attended services have increased their level of optimism and were less likely to be depressed. Although the study has not considered the benefit to younger women or men, participating in the service of God and take refuge in Him brings happiness to everyone.
“... As you are my most beloved, I am speaking this topmost secret of all secrets, My supreme commandment for your eternal welfare.” (Bg 18.64) This is Sri Krishna’s highest instruction that He gave to all conditioned souls of the world for their eternal welfare through Arjuna: “Devote your mind to Me. If it is difficult to devote your mind to Me, serve Me; engage your senses in My service. If this is also not possible, worship Me. If that even were not possible, take absolute shelter of Me. I promise you, surely, you will get Me.” (Bg 18.65) “Relinquish all My previous spiritual instructions about dharma (relative duties of varna and asrama as enjoined by the Vedas). Take absolute shelter of Me. I shall rescue you from all sins. Do not be overwhelmed with grief.” (Bg 18.66).

Śrīla Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Mahārāja :
Lecture: “The Message of the Bhagavad-gita”
“The Most Confidential Supreme Commandment”
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math -

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