Whether you are a practicing Christian or an atheist, religion plays an important role in your wellbeing. It provides social support and incentives to lead a healthy lifestyle. While some forms of religious coping are problematic, other approaches can be effective.
Religious participation involves a person’s belief, moral conduct, and participation in religious institutions. These activities can be positive or negative. They can be structured, routine, or shallow in their understanding of the core tenets of the faith.
Religions often focus on historical figures or archetypal figures. They are also often based on a creed or teachings from the founder. These teachings are transmitted through written scriptures or oral tradition.
Religions can be rigid and self-serving institutions, or they can serve the purpose of facilitating spirituality. Some of these institutions have become potent ideologies of oppression, while others have helped give people a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives.
Some psychologists believe that religion is an effective method of helping people cope with major life stressors. The benefits of religion are found in the sense of purpose, coherent belief system, and moral code. However, these benefits can be undermined by the rise of “New Age” beliefs, which often focus on individualism and consumerism.
Despite these disadvantages, religion can still be a valuable social institution. Many people have ambivalent views of religion. A “spiritual but not religious” person, for example, might view Jesus as loving and accepting, yet choose not to acknowledge his death.