Religion offers a prodigious prearrangement for a better afterlife to some, but does it offer benefits to individuals now which exceeds the efforts of practicing their religion? Securing a mansion in the afterlife is highly desirable but how about right now? In a very large study, over 20,000 subjects, life satisfaction, character strengths, and orientation to happiness were stronger in those who actively practiced a religion.1 Furthermore, believing and having religious affiliations offered no benefit without practicing the religion actively.
Practicing a religion does not have to be limited to attending religious services. Daily private prayer has been shown to produce significant health benefits.2 Further, religious activity was shown to provide the most benefit if started before the onset of health problems.3