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Religion: Stress Reducer or Stress Maker?

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I try to go to church every Sunday. I don’t make it every week, but I do try. I’m Catholic and I go because I believe, not because I have to. In my AP Psychology class, we are studying stress. The discussion one day was whether or not religion reduces or increases stress. In reality, it does both.

In general, church reduces my stress level. It’s a way to focus on one thing and not deal with anything else. When I go, I’m in a better mood because my Economics test doesn’t matter anymore. I think this feeling of sudden happiness happens to a lot of people. Reducing stress is one of the major reasons I go to church.

Perhaps the only thing that’s stressful when it comes to religion is that I teach special education Sunday School and I have to wake up early to teach. I believe the weekend is for sleeping, but I get up anyway because being with these special education kids reduces my stress.

I know a lot of teens who struggle with religion. Do I believe in this or is it just hocus-pocus? Certain religious values put major stress on them. I guess the most obvious is premarital sex (and if you believe Freud, who says everything revolves around sex, it’s really hard.)

Peer pressure is tough and religion doesn’t help it. A lot of times, teens disagree with the church on gay marriage, abortion, and other touchy issues. This disagreement puts major stress on teenagers. Am I going to Hell if I believe that a man can marry a man?

I think a lot of teens are forced to believe what their parents believe. If someone is raised Catholic, it’s going to be stressful for him or her to tell his or her parents that he or she is an atheist. Choosing to be Catholic is the easy way out. While secretly inside, he or she is totally stressed that he or she is living a lie.

Obviously, there’s the stress that is put on us because of religious intolerance. There’s so much pain, especially in the Middle East. Some people might be afraid to practice what they believe. I can only imagine the stress that groups like the Jews had to deal with during the Holocaust.

It’s ironic that religion both reduces stress and increases stress, but it’s true. Religion isn’t clean-cut; it’s not black and white. Hopefully, religion can offer more good than bad, but it’s really a total seesaw.

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  • Jimmy

    Religion is a very stressful and blissful thing depending on how you look at it.If you seek to please God then it is like treasure hunt,yet if you need healing and cannot find any then it is hard to like it.

  • Jimmy

    Religion is not the ultimate answer to life’s problems because man wrote it,edited it and compiled it how they wanted it to be,not how we want it to be.

    Ricky Nelson sang “You can’t please everyone,so you gotta please yourself.Religion asks us to try and do what is acceptable,yet not all that is acceptable in society is satisfying in society.

    I am not referring to marriage,yet I am referring to communication,we cannot love everyone of our neighbors ways.We would not be honest with ourselves if we did tell others that we did unless we were a people pleaser and had zero illnesses,zero problems and zero impediments to our dreams,some are that lucky so they seek to please the whole of existence..

    It is easier to tell another to love all and to not do it yourself,yet to do it would end driving one to compete insanity lest they lived like a monk.