Spirituality, as described by the University of British Columbia is ” an inner belief system that a person relies on for strength and comfort” and their research has found that it is the key to happiness in children.
By measuring the effects of positive emotions and feelings of joy in children, researchers from the University have discovered that spirituality creates happiness in children.
320 children aged 8-12 were used for the study and were assessed on their relationship with spiritual practices and happiness. The children were taken from a variety of schools and focussed on their own spirituality, not just their religious background.
They found that the children who expressed the most joy and happiness in life were found to have strong spiritual values such as understanding the meaning and value of their lives an the quality of their personal relationships.
“If spirituality enhances happiness by increasing personal meaning, this may suggest strategies to enhance happiness,” said the study. “For example, strategies aimed at enhancing personal meaning in children’s lives may promote happiness. Future studies could have children engage in activities that might promote personal meaning. For example, children might volunteer to help others or record their contributions to the community in a journal. Then changes in happiness and personal meaning before and after these activities could be compared. If personal meaning is critical to happiness, one might see that these activities particularly enhances happiness for those children who showed increases in personal meaning.”
The results of this study were also similar to other studies conducted on adults and their recorded happiness and spiritual levels.