Archive for the ‘health’ Category

Demonic influences: Beware the devil you know

Belief in the existence of powerful supernatural evil beings was one of the strongest predictors of poor mental health in young adults, according to a new study. Yet having poor mental health did not lead to greater belief in demonic forces.

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Mere humanity: Clergy who are humble, accessible may boost their own health as well as the congregation's

Many clergy worry that being honest about their own limitations may be seen as a sign of weakness. Yet new research suggests that not only do congregation members value pastors who are approachable, and share their humanity, but that feeling compelled to live up to unrealistic standards of spiritual perfection can take a debilitating toll on the mental health of pastors.

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The gift of life, helping the stranger and a 'honeymoon effect?' for pastors

Who is more likely to be nice this holiday season? New research sheds light on the relation between religion and blood donation, how one’s image of God influences an individual’s sense of moral obligation and likelihood to volunteer and whether being new to a congregation can lower or heighten stress levels for clergy.

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As politicians go low, faith can combat body shaming, new research finds. Do you consider yourself 'fearfully and wonderfully made'?

Faith may play a powerful role in relation to the continuing widespread acceptance of body shaming in America, according to new research. People who consider their body, in the words of Psalm 139, “fearfully and wonderfully made,” were significantly more likely to report feeling good about their bodies, one study found. However, believers who consider the body to be basically sinful were more likely to be ashamed of their body.

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When believing in miracles may be harmful to your health

Are there times when too much control can be ceded to God? When it comes to health, the answer in many cases may be yes. Placing too much control in divine hands may lessen efforts to seek treatment or take preventive measures such as quitting smoking or following a healthy diet, a new study indicates.

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The weekend activity that can help you feel happier throughout the week

People who attend Sunday worship not only feel better during the time they are in church, but they are happier throughout the week than non-churchgoers, according to two new studies. The explanation for the happiness gap goes beyond the finding that non-churchgoers spend more time in passive activities such as watching TV and less time with family and friends in social situations. Spending time in social rituals that reinforce their faith also seems to provide individuals with meaning and positive coping skills that contribute to better mental health.

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Are clergy underpaid? New study reveals rising wages, shorter hours and a diminishing wage gap

The price of a clerical calling is declining along with the wage gap that separates them from other college-educated Americans, according to a new study analyzing Current Population Survey data from 1976 to 2013. Just how much? The study found clergy are gaining ground financially faster than more than nine in 10 Americans with college degrees.

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How to foster kindness and gratitude? Positive attitudes, faith and humility all play a role

Can we become kinder, more grateful individuals in a me-first age where increasing racial, ethnic and religious tensions undermine our capacity for compassion and divide the body politic? The answer appears to be yes, according to new studies that add to evidence suggesting virtues can be nurtured.

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Worshipping alone: Studies find divorce retains its sting in faith communities

The religious stigma surrounding divorce remains a powerful source of anguish for believers, but few congregations have ministries for people recovering from failed marriages, new studies find. Believers are finding solace in a personal relationship with the divine, but many report feeling alone and judged at communal services across faith traditions, the research indicates.

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Balancing sin and forgiveness on the path to a healthy life

How can believers buffer the negative effects of an unhealthy preoccupation with transgressions while benefiting from sin’s appeal to humility in being able to accurately assess one’s own strengths and weaknesses? Forgiveness may be one good place to start, according to a new study. Americans who reported experiencing being frequently forgiven by God were far less likely to show symptoms of depression and other mental health ills associated with strong beliefs in the fallen nature of humankind.

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