What Is Spirituality?
Spirituality is a broad concept that encompasses a belief in something larger than oneself and the search for meaning, purpose and higher power. It can be related to religious traditions that center around a specific deity but it also includes non-religious beliefs and practices like meditation, yoga or mindfulness. It is a way of life that helps people feel connected to a bigger worldview and often includes a sense of transcendent emotions.
Transcendent emotions are positive experiences such as hope, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, humility, love and awe that can bring us to a state of greater understanding of the universe and of our place in it. Practicing spiritual activities has been linked to the experience of these emotions and it is thought that being a more spiritual person can help us cope during difficult times in life as well as foster health and wellbeing.
There is debate about what spirituality actually is and this complicates research on the topic as many different definitions of “spirituality” exist. There is also confusion about the relationship between religion and spirituality; while some people see their spirituality as a form of their religion, others do not believe in a God or any higher power and still consider themselves to be spiritual.
More and more people are finding that they have a spiritual side to them and this is having a large impact on the way they live their lives. It can help them find meaning in their daily struggles, provide a source of comfort during times of hardship and be a foundation for their relationships with other people and the community. It is also seen as a very important aspect of mental health, with research showing that it can help people find hope during times of depression and reduce symptoms of anxiety.