Religious people more likely to feel their lives have meaning


New research indicates that actively religious people are less likely to experience anxiety or stress at work than those who do not identify with a faith.

Dr Roxane Gervais undertook research with 34 full-time employees in the Caribbean, most of whom were young, female and single.

The findings are being presented at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology in Brighton on Thursday.

Dr Gervais' research concluded that those who are more actively religious were less likely to experience anxiety, depression or fatigue.

Religious workers who took part in the survey were also more likely to feel that their lives had meaning.

They said that attending religious services gave them greater self esteem, while also connecting them to a higher being.

Dr Gervais' research concludes that "religiosity in the workplace may act as a resource, making people more resilient to cope with the many challenges of working life".

"Such personal beliefs could be very helpful not only for employees, but also for employers providing people with a buffer zone," she said.

She also notes that workers are now looking to find more meaning in their work "than just a big pay check at the end of the month".

The increasing pace of life means that many are searching to find value and meaning in something bigger than themselves.

"We should hence encourage employers to accommodate, where possible, employees' religious beliefs while at work," Dr Gervais said.

"[We must] not shy away from the issue."

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