A man's silhouette against the sunset (Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash)

NEW YORK — Life is full of highs and lows that often seem out of control. While some ride the wave, many people today believe they have power over their own bliss. How so? People who are spiritually fulfilled are nearly twice as likely to believe in the “law of attraction” and that they have control over their own happiness. 

That’s according to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans, 74 percent of whom subscribe to the popular new age theory that positive thinking will yield positive experiences.

People who identified as spiritually fulfilled were nearly twice as likely to believe in the law of attraction as those who weren’t (86% vs 45%). Similarly, these same respondents, who made up 69 percent of those polled, were more likely to claim that they have control over their own happiness (86% vs. 44%).

The power of manifestation

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Behold Retreats, the survey also found plenty of support for other spiritual concepts like karma (69%), fate (75%) and the existence of a higher power (85%). Regardless of their level of fulfillment, a whopping 90 percent even believe “that each of us have the ability to choose what kind of person we become.”

Although most respondents were raised in a specific organized religion (63%) that they still culturally identify with (60%), according to the survey, surprisingly just one in five (21%) still actively follow that same religion today. And while 44 percent self-identified as being religious, almost twice as many (79%) consider themselves spiritual – and of those, half (50%) feel more spiritual than they do religious. 

Woman meditating outside
(Photo by Benjamin Child on Unsplash)

Overall, 76 percent believe it’s possible to be spiritually fulfilled without following a specific religion, including 86 percent of those who already feel fulfilled themselves.

“No matter how much one succeeds in life, fulfillment and happiness are states of being that can only originate from within,” says founder of Behold Retreats, Jonathan de Potter, in a statement. “The reality is, we all face some struggles in times of change, and these findings indicate we can all benefit from a stronger commitment to self-discovery, positive thinking, and spiritual practices.”

More people turning to psychedelics to find spirituality

The survey found that the most common struggles were feeling anxious (40%) and stuck (39%), a sense of overwhelm (39%), and three in 10 (36%) claimed to frequently experience frustration. 

Interestingly, the data showed that those who already feel fulfilled were twice as likely to have tried some sort of psychedelic treatment (23% vs. 10%). Compared to a previous study from 2021, respondents were slightly more interested in the idea of trying psychedelics in 2022, particularly “magic mushrooms,” or psilocybin (44% vs. 37%).

Results also indicated a slight increase in interest with 5-MeO-DMT (19% vs. 14%), also known as the “God Molecule,” broadly considered the most potent psychedelic medicine.   

“Working with 5-MeO-DMT, Ayahuasca, and Psilocybin in a safe and sacred setting, like a retreat, can be a powerful and transformative experience,” says de Potter. “But it’s not for everyone, and a holistic approach is crucial. The key to ongoing improvements to quality of life and fulfillment is healthy daily practices that continue to deepen our self-understanding and an embodied connection to spirit.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Behold Retreats between Nov. 18–19, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds' Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

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Associate Editor