The long darkness of the winter solstice can help people sink into the depths of a smothering Depression that seems to never end.

Researchers at Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute have been finding that people who tend to be more spiritual have a ticker cortex, the outer layer of the brain, which protects the brain from depression and anxiety. 

“The idea that religiosity can enhance the brain’s resilience against depression is not new,” Bishop Mike Reinhart, Bishop, Gulf Coast Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, tells KTRH News, “Mark said that religion is the opiate of the people.  And although he didn’t mean it in a kind way, there is a comfort that comes with it.”

The new study is suggesting a link between brain thickness and the spirituality.

“There’s an interesting passage in the Bible, in Philippians, where Paul says, ‘Have no anxiety about anything.  But through pair and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.’  I mean it’s interesting that the Bible addresses anxiety with prayer.”

Researchers found the importance religion has in ones like is tied to having a thicker cortex.