Prayer Helps Individuals Handle Negative Emotions

By Staff Writer

Prayer may help individuals deal with difficult emotions and situations, including illness, trauma, anger and sadness, according to a new study from University of Wisconsin researchers. Their findings suggest that the practice may also benefit individuals who are seeking substance abuse treatment for addiction.

Scientists have long noted an association between prayer and feelings of comfort during tough times. However, the avenue through which those who pray gain this benefit was unclear.

After studying a group of individuals who had been the victim of relationship violence, the research team may have found an answer. The results of their study suggest that prayer acts as a way for people to vent their emotions to someone without worrying about the reaction of the listener. Additionally, this boosted their feelings of self worth.

The findings could have implications for the treatment of addictions. Many rehab facilities use 12 step programs that place a great deal of importance on finding religion. The study suggests that doing so could make addicts more capable of handling the negative emotions that come with drug or alcohol problems.