According to a recent poll conducted by Gallup, people who regularly attend church are much more likely to say that they are ‘very satisfied’ with life than those who don’t.
Christian Headlines reports that the poll found 67% of Americans who regularly attend church said they were very satisfied with life, compared to 6% who don’t attend church at all.
Overall 92% of Americans who attend church once a week, were ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ satisfied with their life and this dropped to 87% for those who attend services less often, but at least once a month.
The survey of 811 adult Americans between Jan 3 – 11, 2022 also revealed that regular church attendance had a more profound impact on life satisfaction than even money, as only 61% of Americans who earned over $100,000 per year reported being ‘very’ satisfied with life.
Speaking on behalf of Gallup, Frank Newport pointed to several reasons that religion provides:
“Belief in religion can give one a sense of purpose, a belief that life itself has purpose, and belief in an afterlife can mitigate worry about inevitable death,” Newport wrote. “Religious individuals may have more perceived control over their life, and the structure and regularity of religious rituals could have positive effects. Research also shows that expressing gratitude reduces anxiety, and expressing gratitude is a core component of many religions.”
This finding is not unusual and has consistently shown up in polling over the past several decades.
During the heart of the COVID pandemic and lockdowns in 2020, polling revealed that only one group, regular church attenders, reported that their mental health had improved over the previous year.
The Gallup poll conducted between Nov. 5-19, 2020 found that 46% of regular churchgoers rated their mental health as excellent, up from 42% in 2019.
In comparison, overall only 34% of Americans reported that their mental health was excellent, down from 43% in 2019.
But as important as church attendance is, of equal value is the message coming from the pulpit.
One of the biggest causes of life dissatisfaction is our mental health, which can be severely impacted by anxiety or fear. Throughout the Bible, we are repeatedly encouraged to trust God during our dark times (Psalm 23:4-8).
In his sermon on the mount, Jesus told Christians not to worry about the future, the dark and gloomy what-ifs, and worst-case scenarios, that we often brood over.
Instead, Jesus said we are to focus on what is happening today, and not to worry about what might happen next week or next month, for “tomorrow will care for itself” (Matthew 6:34).
He gave this advice because most of our worries about future events are over-exaggerated and even completely unwarranted.
In 2019, researchers from Penn State conducted a study of 29 individuals classified with a ‘serious anxiety disorder.’ In other words, their worries and fears controlled their lives.
For a full month, the researchers asked these chronic worriers to daily write down everything they worried about. After completing this process, the researchers then followed up over the next few months to track how these worries played out.
Overall, they found out that 91% of the future worries did not come to pass. In several instances, 100% of the things they worried about failed to find life.
They were fake worries.
They then focussed on the 9% of the worries that seemed to have some legitimacy, and according to the people’s own admission, the vast majority of them were overblown or easier to handle than they were anticipating.
In other words, tomorrow took care of itself.
READ: Weekly Churchgoers Are Far More Likely Than Others to Be ‘Very Satisfied’ in Life: Gallup AND Mental Health Improved For Only One Group During COVID — And Dems Did Everything They Could To Suppress It AND Most Things You Worry About Will Never Actually Happen