Religion Helps Manage Stress, Psychologist Says

Of the many areas that may bring about stress, perhaps none other has been more damaging than that of the workplace. The impact of stress is not only limited to this place but may extend even in the homes and social lives. It has also been shown that the stress experienced in the workplace may have devastating implications when the worker reaches mid-life, most often resulting to disability.

While there may be programs in place designed to address this issue, still, we see a lot of employees suffering great stress. It is indeed heartening to note of a report that one way to deal with this problem was to maintain and encourage a worker’s religiosity.

How Religion Helps

Dr. Roxane Gervais, a psychologist from the United Kingdom, reported that employees who are active religiously are less likely to feel anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Very importantly, they feel their lives have meaning, which helps in maintaining the positive mental attitude and motivation in work and personal endeavors. These findings were based on a research she conducted with the participation of 34 full-time employees. These workers were young, mostly females, and majority unmarried.

Most of the respondents expressed the view that by attending religious services, they are connected to a higher being that allows them to feel better about themselves. Dr. Gervais explains that this may be normal considering how life and work seems to be moving forward, everyone seeks meaning to life and particularly the younger people who may not only be after financial rewards. She likens religiosity in a workplace as a resource that allows workers the strength to cope with all the challenges that go with the job.

Not All Workers are Religious

While these findings may certainly be encouraging, one cannot help but wonder about employees who are not religious. True enough, religion is not one that you can just embrace anytime. It involves much more and in many cases, this religiosity starts as a child and reinforced as one gets older.

Also providing a great insight in this issue is a study which found that religiosity becomes effective as a psychological tool against stress only in countries or areas where religion is highly valued. Nonetheless, this study indicated that those few who were religious enjoyed a better social and mental well-being.

Need for Counseling

These results are very significant since it provides an avenue to help employees maintain a positive attitude within the workplace. Employers can do a lot in this area by encouraging and accommodating workers who are highly religious. If done with real conviction, turning to religion may not be a bad thing for an employee.

Since it cannot be expected that all workers may be religious, employers can still do a lot to address this pressing issue. They should provide facilities where employees can seek counseling or therapy when required. On their own, workers may avail of psychological services since in the end, it will be to their benefit.