Spirituality is a wide range of beliefs and practices that give people a sense of purpose, meaning, and belonging. It often overlaps with religion and encompasses a broader understanding of life than traditional religious teachings do.
Research has shown that being spiritual leads to positive emotions like hope, kindness, self-compassion, and gratitude. It also leads to a sense of meaning and purpose in one’s life, which can reduce stress and improve health. It has even been linked to a lower risk of chronic illness, such as heart disease and cancer.
Many people seek spirituality through religious practice, but it can also be found in community service, volunteering, helping others, or participating in nature-related activities. It can be achieved through a variety of rituals, such as prayers, chanting, reading scriptures or religious books, singing devotional songs, and taking quiet time for thought.
Practicing spirituality can be helpful for mental health, but it is important to talk with your doctor about how your beliefs and feelings might impact your treatment. It is also a good idea to avoid groups that are looking to increase their membership or try to recruit you. Young or emotionally vulnerable people can be especially susceptible to individuals seeking to take advantage of them.