Can you get the well-being benefits of religion without being religious?
Meaning in life is the important part, wherever it comes from:
Meaning in life has been identified as a potential mediator of the link between religiousness and psychological health. The authors tested this hypothesis in 2 studies, using multiple methods and measures of religiousness and well-being. In the studies, meaning in life mediated the relation between religiousness and life satisfaction (Study 1A), as well as self-esteem and optimism (Study 1B). In addition, using an experience sampling method, the authors found that meaning in life also mediated the relation between daily religious behaviors and well-being (Study 2). The authors discuss these findings and suggest that meaning in life may be an effective conduit through which counselors and clients can discuss “ultimate” matters, even when they do not share similar perspectives on religion.
Source: “Meaning in Life: One Link in the Chain From Religiousness to Well-Being.” from Journal of Counseling Psychology