Religious music a high note for older ChristiansReduced anxiety, other mental health benefits noted in survey.
(HealthDay News) -- Religious music may improve the mental health of older Christians, a new study finds.
Researchers examined survey data gathered from more than 1,000 English-speaking black and white adults across the United States who were at least 65 years old. They were either currently practicing Christians, had been Christians but no longer followed any religion, or had never been part of any faith group.
Among Christians, listening to religious music reduced their anxiety about death, and increased their life satisfaction, self-esteem and sense of control over their lives. Gospel music, in particular, was associated with less anxiety about death and a greater sense of control.
The findings were similar for blacks and whites, women and men, and poor and wealthier people, according to the study published online in the April issue of The Gerontologist.
"Religion is an important socioemotional resource that has been linked with desirable mental health outcomes among older U.S. adults. This study shows that listening to religious music may promote psychological well-being in later life," wrote Matt Bradshaw, of Baylor University in Waco, Tex., and colleagues.
"Given that religious music is available to most individuals -- even those with health problems or physical limitations that might preclude participating in more formal aspects of religious life -- it might be a valuable resource for promoting mental health later in the life course," they concluded.
More from Healthy Living:
- How to be happy: Tips for cultivating contentment
- Music therapy may help teens with cancer cope
- 9 new ways to thrive after 40
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about spirituality and health.
SOURCE: The Gerontologist, news release, April 18, 2014
live longer and age well
Drink from the fountain of youth: These beverages can help hold back the visible effects of getting older.
Halt the aging process by avoiding these pitfalls.
The fountain of youth has yet to be discovered, but there are still ways to delay the aging process. Make these lifestyle changes if you want to start feeling and looking younger now.
Find out which eats can take years off your look
Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer.
Your body is a masterpiece, so you need to take care of it. With proper restoration, it can be an ageless classic.
Boost your mental and physical well-being, and age gracefully.
You know the health rules: floss daily, get enough sleep, eat lots of fruits and veggies, etc.