The God Of Big And Small Things. According to new research, religious people experience satisfaction when they believe there is a deeper purpose to ordinary events.
Dr. Jonathan Ramsay is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at James Cook University’s Singapore campus, where he specializes in religious psychology.
Dr. Ramsay stated that all world religions believe in an underlying order and structure to the universe that provides events and circumstances with greater meaning or importance.
“What we wanted to know is if a believer’s interpretation of events had an effect on their emotional response to those occurrences, and ultimately on their overall sense of well-being?”
Dr. Ramsay explained that the findings demonstrate that all people, but particularly religious people, often attribute meaning to mundane events such as discussing hobbies with a coworker, receiving a little, but unexpected present, or spending time with a family member.
“We discovered that the more meaning, purpose, and significance people attached to such situations, the more pleasant emotions such as appreciation and contentment they experienced,” he explained.
Dr. Ramsay noted that previous research had established a link between meaningfulness, religion, and well-being, but this was the first study to examine the emotional consequences of insignificant events being given meaning, as well as the first to examine this process in real-time, moment-to-moment experience.
“The connection between religion and well-being is well-established. Our findings imply that the beneficial effect of religious belief on well-being via the ascribed meaning to events and the subsequent good feelings is a widespread phenomena that transcends religious and ethnic boundaries “‘He stated.