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Scientist believes being religious is key to thriving

Sat 09 Sep 2017
By Premier Journalist

A scientist has listed being spiritual as a key ingredient needed for someone to thrive in life.

Dr Daniel Brown, a sport and exercise scientist at the University of Portsmouth, has completed research on what makes people feel good about life and about themselves from studies of babies and teenagers, to studies of artists, sportspeople, employees and the elderly.

The study, published in European Psychologist, provides two "shopping lists" of components which a person needs a combination from each.

The first suggests a person needs to be some of the following: optimistic, spiritual or religious, motivated, proactive, someone who enjoys learning, flexible, adaptable, socially competent and believes in self or has self-esteem.

The second list suggests that a person also needs to have some of the following: opportunity, employer/family/other support, challenges and difficulties are at manageable level, environment is calm, is given a high degree of autonomy and is trusted as competent.

He said: "Thriving is a word most people would be glad to hear themselves described as, but which science hasn't really managed to consistently classify and describe until now.

"It appears to come down to an individual experiencing a sense of development, of getting better at something, and succeeding at mastering something.

"In the simplest terms, what underpins it is feeling good about life and yourself and being good at something.

"Since the end of the 20th century, there has been a quest in science to better understand human fulfilment and thriving. There's been a shift towards wanting to understand how humans can function as highly as possible.”

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