A researcher who studies young people has discovered something amazing: those who pray and have a connection to God are more likely to thrive in happiness and mental health.
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Dr. Josh Packard, executive director of the Springtide Research Institute, spoke to CBN’s Faithwire about his extensive research on 13- to 25-year-olds, noting that studies have long shown that “religion is good for you.”
“Faith and spirituality are good for you,” Packard said. “If you are a person who believes in some kind of higher power and has a connection to that higher power, you generally thrive more than your peers.”
He continued, “Those who pray more tend to thrive more in all areas, including their mental health.”
Packard’s comments are particularly astonishing as America faces a “mental health epidemic [crises] among young people.” Meanwhile, there is also a massive increase in the proportion of ‘no’s who no longer affiliate with a specific faith or religion.
Data indicating increased well-being among worshipers is particularly relevant amid these dynamics, pointing to a potential solution to cultural puzzles.
Packard said there are lessons in the Springtide Research Institute’s findings that can inform culture and churches, especially in a time when faith is minimized or diminished.
“Young people would… be better off if more of them had a connection to something bigger than themselves,” he said. “But also, I think a lot of religious institutions and leaders would do well to consider mental health, so that faith and belief can be part of someone’s overall health approach.”
While young people may not be aligning with Christianity at the pace they once were, Packard said many still see themselves as spiritual and more than half pray.
While the separation from biblical truth is undoubtedly troubling for Christians, these realities at least show an openness to a higher power. And that plot could lead to responsive introductions to the gospel.
“We see a lot of desire from Gen Z to engage in these conversations and explorations of meaning and purpose and, ‘Why am I here on this Earth?'” he said. “So the desire hasn’t gone away. Exploration has not gone away.
Watch Packard discuss these issues here.
As Faithwire has it widely reportedcountless surveys and studies show the benefits of faith.
Recent research has shown that Christians are exceptional to give, do better in relationships, followers are happier and more satisfied, and followers have better mental health. Lily After on these discoveries.