Spirituality refers to a worldview that suggests there is more to life than what people experience on a sensory and physical level. It encompasses religious traditions centering on the belief in a higher power as well as practices such as mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. Unlike religion, which typically has specific rules and beliefs that must be adhered to, spirituality often allows individuals to arrive at their own truths.
People who are spiritual often experience a sense of awe, gratitude, and deep connection to the universe. They may feel like they have an inner voice that guides them, or they may believe they are part of a larger community of beings that share similar values. These feelings often make people feel more at peace and less stressed, anxious and depressed. In addition, when people follow their spiritual path, they often engage in acts of kindness and compassion towards themselves and others.
Research shows that spiritual experiences have many health benefits, including reduced stress reactivity and a better immune response. Studies also suggest that individuals who are spiritual tend to have more hope, optimism and a sense of meaning in their lives. This is likely because the act of connecting to something bigger than ourselves can increase positive emotions such as hope, love, self-compassion and gratitude, all of which have been linked to spirituality (Saroglou et al, 2008).
While it can be difficult for some individuals to understand how daily life can be considered a spiritual practice, there are many ways that anyone can become more spiritual in their daily life. Practicing mindfulness, engaging in social activism and embracing the importance of compassion are all simple ways that people can begin to cultivate spirituality in their everyday lives.