Researchers at the University of Toronto found that believing in God can reduce stress and anxiety. The findings, published in Psychological Science, show distinct brain differences between believers and nonbelievers.
Assistant psychology professor Michael Inzlicht, leader of the study, used a Stroop task, a psychological test that entailed hooking up participants to electrodes that measured their brain activity. The results showed that religious people were less afraid of facing the unknown or making mistakes.
“Many of us suffer from paralysis due to obsession, projection, indecision, fear or anxiety,” says Mr. Beato, author of The Power of Prayer, Endurance and Truth. “I think that’s why there is so much reliance today on coping crutches like prescription drugs and alcohol.”
But there is an alternative to chemical cover-ups or emotional meltdowns, insists Mr. Beato, and in that regard he is very much in accord with the University of Toronto’s findings.
“For me the solution to all anxieties and fears has been my religious belief,” says Mr. Beato, a practicing Catholic. “It makes living life so much simpler and easier. In it I find strength, support, clarity and confidence.”
In his book, Mr. Beato shares his life story, from his wretched upbringing in Italy during World War II to his struggle to make it as a successful businessman in America. Throughout the course of that journey Mr. Beato faced many monumental tests of his religious convictions and faith, including the death of his beloved son, professional setbacks and debilitating family politics.
“My religious belief is my guide and the source of my strength,” he says.
Many researchers agree that believers have a significant impact on the quality of American society because they tend to be:
• Less stressed and depressed
• Healthier (less smoking and drinking)
• More able to build strong, happy marriages
• Better at creating social and family supports
“I believe my life is less stressful because my belief in God,” says Mr. Beato. “God has given me support, hope and peace of mind anytime I’ve needed it.”
David Beato is currently a well-known real estate developer in southwestern Pennsylvania, where he lives with his wife. He has one son and two daughters who are all college educated and married, and his greatest joy is spending time with his children and grandchildren.
The Power of Prayer, Endurance and Truth by David Beato is available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.