If attending religious services is part of your regular routine, you may be getting more out of your ritual than you think. A new study from Yeshiva University in New York has found that women who attend religious services – regardless of ethnicity, affiliation of faith, and financial means – are less depressed and have a more positive outlook on life than those who don’t.
The researchers surveyed more than 92,000 women over the age of 50 to gather information on their subjects’ emotional health and lifestyle practices. They found that the women who attended services frequently were 56 percent more likely to have a positive outlook on life and 27 percent less likely to be depressed than those who didn’t.
The investigators have previously reported other findings from the study, which showed that attending services was linked to a 20 percent reduction in death rates among the women when compared to those who never attended. Because the study included only women over 50, the findings may not apply to men or younger people.