Spirituality is the way people seek inspiration, meaning, connection and value in life. It includes religious and nonreligious belief systems.
Often, spirituality involves finding peace and comfort in life’s most difficult times – physical illness and death, loss of loved ones, and emotional stress. Research shows that being spiritual is associated with positive health outcomes. For example, some studies show that patients with advanced cancer report a higher quality of life when they believe their spiritual beliefs offer them hope and help to cope.
Spirituality also reflects the ways we connect to the bigger world and universe around us. This could include nature, family and community, a higher power or transcendent (e.g., God, cosmic consciousness).
Some people mistakenly think that being spiritual means joining a particular religion. But, you can be spiritual without ever stepping foot in a church or mosque. In fact, many people become more spiritual after leaving organized religion.
The way you practice your spirituality is personal. It may involve meditation, prayer or other rituals that bring you a sense of inner connection and purpose. It can even be as simple as taking a walk in nature. It’s all about what helps you feel a deeper connection to the world around you, and to yourself.