Health and Wellness – What is Spirituality?
Spirituality is the sense of having a greater purpose in life or a connection with something that is larger than ourselves. For some, this is God, Spirit or the universe. Others believe that it’s inside of them. This is an important aspect of health and wellness, because those who are more spiritual have stronger relationships, feel less stress, have more energy and generally are healthier.
Spirituality can be defined as a sense of transcendence, awe and inspiration and is often brought into focus in times of emotional stress, physical illness and loss. It may involve beliefs and practices that are not religious and can incorporate elements from many different religions. It can also be a way of connecting with nature and the environment.
The breadth of the term “spirituality” and the lack of clarity and agreement on definitions make it difficult to define and measure. Spirituality includes a number of domains, including the cognitive or philosophic, the experiential and emotional, and the behavioral.
For example, in Christianity, spirituality is often characterized by a relationship with God and the experience of love and forgiveness. For others, it is a practice of meditation, yoga, mindfulness or prayer. In Hinduism, it is a process of purification and awakening of the soul. In Buddhism, it is a path to enlightenment and nirvana. In the New Age movement, spirituality is often associated with healing, psychic powers and astrology. Other people associate it with nature, the arts or other aspects of life that are imbued with divine-like qualities such as transcendence, indiscriminateness and boundlessness.