Spirituality is the search for meaning, purpose and connection in life. It involves a deep inner peace and a sense of a higher power. It can include religion but also transcends it. It is a core human desire, particularly in times of stress and loss. It may also manifest as inspiration, reverence and awe of the universe. It can help us deal with life’s challenges, such as physical illness, death and emotional distress.
People who identify as spiritual often report less stress reactivity and greater feelings of well-being than those who don’t. Those who find spirituality often engage in mindfulness meditation, prayer or yoga and other practices that help them connect with their higher self. They can also seek a deeper meaning in their life through volunteer work or community service. They may also believe that their spirituality comes from a higher power or force, whether they call it God, the universe or nature.
Many people are confused about what spirituality actually is. Some think that it’s only about joining a particular religious faith. In fact, you can be a religious person and still have a strong spirituality. You can even be an atheist and still be very spiritual, as long as you’re able to feel a sense of connection with something bigger than yourself.
Some Perennial Wisdom traditions describe spirit as the God-Self, or Absolute Awareness, or a boundless Divine Reality called Atman-Brahman, Buddhata (Buddha-nature), Shunyata (Openness-Emptiness) or Dao (Source/Way). Others see it in terms of the Divine Love or the Sacred, a God-force or the infinite Cosmos.