Having a spiritual understanding of the divine can enhance wellbeing. It can help you to cope with major life stressors, and it can give you a sense of purpose.
Religions are deeply rooted in doctrine, creed, and rituals. In addition, they can serve as a social support system. Religious groups and institutions often have specific criteria for membership, and they are conservative in guarding their practices.
Religious practices can also be endowed with sacred status. For example, religious institutions will often hold to the original interpretations of the founders’ teachings. This can lead to a rigid religion that becomes a self-serving institution.
Religion also has a strong impact on culture. For instance, traditional religions remain important for many Africans. These beliefs can create an exclusive worldview, and can justify exclusion of individuals who are deemed unworthy of God’s favor.
Religion also informs economics, politics, and society. A growing body of research has linked spiritual struggles with distress and declines in health.
Religions often have centuries-old histories. These histories have been passed down through oral traditions and written scriptures. They also contain details of the lives of historical figures. These details are transmitted through literature, rituals, and art. Regardless of the particular details, religions share a common focus on the domain of the sacred.
Religious practices can also be beneficial in helping to facilitate spirituality. For instance, meditation, spiritual forgiveness, and rituals to help facilitate transitions in life are positive coping strategies.