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April 20, 2022

The Key to a Longer, Healthier Life?

It turns out that quiet time every morning, dinner time prayers, and corporate singing are more than religious practices—they are scientifically proven to make you happier, healthier, and live longer. 


David DeSteno, a psychology professor Northeastern University, is not religious but has poured years of research into the psychological and physiological effects of religious rituals. Setting aside the actual question of “Does God exist?” DeSteno noticed that science has already proven that those who believe in God and put their beliefs into practice—meaning they regularly attend worship services and live active faith lives—live longer, have a lower risk for certain diseases, are happier, less anxious, and generally healthier. Taking these facts, he began his work to determine how rituals affect our psychology and our health.

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DeSteno found that dozens of rituals directly change our emotional well-being and psychological health. For example, the Jewish tradition of sitting Shiva after someone has passed away has many rituals that directly aid the mourning process. Whether these rituals were divinely inspired or if believers slowly found activities that were spiritually charged as well as physically beneficial, he cannot say. Nevertheless, it is clear that belief in God and spiritual practices drastically change our emotional state, our outlook on the world, and the way we navigate life as a whole.


Christian Union loves to see the engagment of faith and science, knowing that the two are not at odds with one another but rather can work together to reveal more about our God. Listen to the full podcast here.

RELATED: Want to go deeper in your faith? Click here to receive a free download of Christian Union’s "Seeking God Lifestyle” Bible Course Manual.
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