What Is Spirituality?

Spirituality is a worldview and way of life that focuses on the belief that there is more to existence than what meets the senses, more to the universe than purposeless mechanics, more to our consciousness than electrical impulses in the brain. People may express their spirituality in a variety of ways, including through religion, meditation, yoga, and self-development. Spirituality can help people to cope with stress, pain, and loss.

Spiritual practices can be as simple as saying grace before a meal or as complex as memorizing the texts of a specific faith tradition. People can practice both religious and nonreligious practices as part of their spirituality, and some research defines the terms religion and spirituality interchangeably. However, there are differences between them, particularly when it comes to practices that focus on the cognitive or philosophic, rather than the experiential and emotional.

The definition of spirituality is still evolving, with much debate on what it should include and exclude. A common thread is that it should be inclusive, allowing individuals of all faiths and no faiths to identify themselves as spiritual.

Moreover, it is important to consider that spirituality is an aspect of culture. As our dominant culture changes, it is likely that spirituality will come to shape it in new and exciting ways. To get a better understanding of what spirituality is, it might be helpful to reflect on your own dominant cultural experiences and how they have shaped you.