What Is Spirituality?


Spirituality refers to the human quest for meaning and purpose in life. While some people believe this quest is directed by God or spirit, others think it’s a journey that takes place inside of them. Regardless of what the individual believes, most people who are spiritual have some beliefs in common, including a shift in focus from outward activities and a desire to honor the immaterial dimensions of life.

Spiritual practices often include ritual, which is any set of activities that are performed regularly and with a sense of reverence or seriousness. The goal of these practices may be to develop certain emotions or states of mind, or they may be designed to help a person become one with the universe. This is called enlightenment or union with God. Other examples of spiritual practices include a heart meditation, mindfulness practice, prayer, yoga, and journaling.

A core belief in spirituality is that everyone has a soul or spirit and that humans are not just bodies. This belief encourages individuals to treat all of humanity as a small god and can inspire them to act with love toward their fellow man. In fact, research shows that individuals who are spiritual tend to be more empathetic and less likely to judge other people.

As more and more people are choosing to describe themselves as spiritual rather than religious, there is a need to better understand what spirituality is. As a researcher, I am particularly interested in understanding “lived spirituality,” which refers to how an individual’s spiritual beliefs and inner spiritual state influences their daily behaviors.