What Is Spirituality?

Spirituality involves a person’s search for meaning and purpose in life, for beliefs and values that provide a sense of identity and belonging, and for feelings of hope, love, inner peace, connection and support. It can include beliefs about the universe, God, life after death, and a higher power. It may also include personal growth, meditation, yoga, and other practices that help people connect with the world beyond the physical one.

There is no single, agreed-upon definition of “spirituality.” Different people use the word in different ways. For some, spirituality means their religion. For others, it’s about being non-religious and conducting a spiritual “inner search.” Yet for many, there is often a great deal of overlap between what they consider to be religious and their spiritual beliefs and practices.

The following framework was developed to help researchers better characterize what is meant by the term spirituality. It outlines dimensions of the concept that are often neglected or misinterpreted in research, and provides an opportunity for more consistent terminology across studies and for a common ground of knowledge.

It’s important to recognize that spirituality is not about a particular faith or religious tradition, but is more of a process in which you find the deeper meaning and purpose in life that your religion teaches you. It’s about bringing your mental, emotional and physical world together so that you can feel more connected with the world around you.