So I'm not kidding when I say that church was addictive. By college, I doubled down on getting more church in my life by going to a Baptist school. I found my way to some kind of service at least four times a week, not including school-mandated chapel, Old and New Testament classes, student-led Bible studies, or daily devotionals I did on my own time. My freshman parking lot was empty on Sunday mornings and full on Friday nights. Every day was like another day of church camp, and I FREAKING LOVED CHURCH CAMP.
True story: Outside of family life, I haven't found anything else that fun or important since. I haven't found a spiritual mission or a way to connect with the same people every week. I haven't even found a way to sing with a group, which it turns out was lowering stress levels the whole time. Brain scans of 19 Mormons revealed that their brains' reward centers went flippin' bananas when they were praying and having spiritual experiences. Personally, I wouldn't rely on MRIs from 19 people to assign such a salacious headline, but you do you, CNN.
Like love AND DRUGS?!?
Here's what's really interesting to me: A Buddhist person who repeats a mantra over and over can have the same brain activity as a Catholic person saying the Rosary or an evangelical worshiper singing a ten-word praise song for 20 minutes. As you get deeper into prayer, chanting, or mind-numbing singing, the part of the brain that controls sensory intake decreases. You lose your sense of self and feel like you're blending in with the Universe or feeling God's presence, depending on your cultural background and what you're going for. If that's not getting high, I don't what is.