A study has found that children who are more spiritual are happier compared to those who are less in touch with their spiritual self.
The study was published in the Journal of Religion and Health and was led by Lisa Miller, Director of Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University.
The competitive nature of today’s culture and its tendency to attribute worth to achievement and success is leaving more and more kids to suffer depression and anxiety.
“Children come to believe they are no better than their last success and suffer a sense of worthlessness when there is loss or even moderate failure. Where love is conditional on performance, children suffer,” wrote Miller in a time.com article.
Miller’s research spans more than 20 years. Her study has found that putting priority on performance hinders the development of a child’s inner life, causing depression and suffering.
The antidote to this, she said, is the spiritual self.
This personal spirituality entails a direct personal relationship with nature or perhaps to a universal presence or higher power, pertaining to the many religions and beliefs of the world.
“Spiritually plays a significant role in a child's social, emotional and cognitive development. Kids with a strong spirituality overall have greater grit, higher grades, more optimism and persistence than kids without a strong sense of spirituality,” said Miller.
The spiritual self is a source of health and gives children a sense of belonging, especially during times when they feel the overwhelming pressures of society’s obsession for achievement. “Spiritual children have a sense of inner worth, a sense of the lasting, higher sacred self, much bigger than the day’s win or defeat,” said Miller.
“And when they achieve their goals – that better job, or that higher income – the studies show that well-grounded, spiritually engaged young people can actually feel fulfilled by their life choices,” she added.
Source: April 17, 2015. "Why Kids Who Believe in Something Are Happier and Healthier" time.com