Gallup Research Finds Strong Association between Religion/Spirituality and Wellbeing
The global mental health crisis is relentless and yet the relationship between mental wellbeing and spirituality and religion has been largely underexplored. New Gallup research (based on poll data in 152 countries and interviews with 1.5 million people) sought to shine some new light. It revealed a strong association between the importance of religiosity/spirituality in people’s lives and their overall wellbeing.
Religious/spiritual people have more positive emotions and optimism: Gallup estimates that 160 million more adults worldwide have positive experiences than would be the case if they were not religious. Religious/spiritual people reported being more satisfied with their social lives: having opportunities to meet with people and friends or relatives they could count on. They reported greater “civic engagement” scores: a likelihood to volunteer their time to others. The report explores the paradox of declining religious identification in a time of mental unwellness, and argues we must reconsider the role of faith and spirituality in combatting the mental health crisis.