Skip to site content

Study: Religion Helps Workers Cope with Stress

New psychological research suggests that employees who are more actively religious are better able to cope with stress and are more likely to report that their lives have meaning.
These are the key findings of a study presented on Jan. 9 at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology in Brighton in England.

Roxane Gervais undertook her research with full-time employees in the Caribbean, who were young, largely female and more likely to be single than married.

She used a number of measures including job satisfaction, religiosity and well-being.

The study concluded that employees who are more actively religious are more likely to report low levels of anxiety, depression and fatigue and also a “higher presence of meaning in life.”

In other words, they feel that their lives have meaning.

The workers responded that attending religious services connects them to a higher being as well as makes them feel better about themselves.

“As the pace of work and life accelerates, people long for meaning, and the younger generation in particular is looking for more than just a big paycheck at the end of the month,” Gervais said.

“My research shows that religiosity in the workplace may act as a resource, making people more resilient to cope with the many challenges of working life,” she said. “Such personal beliefs could be very helpful not only for employees, but also for employers providing people with a buffer zone.”

“We should hence encourage employers to accommodate, where possible, employees’ religious beliefs while at work, and not shy away from the issue,” Gervais said.

A version of this article first appeared in The Baptist Times of Great Britain and is used with permission.