What is Spirituality?

Spirituality is the belief that there’s more to life than meets the eye, more to the universe than purposeless mechanics and electrical impulses in the brain, and more to us than just a body and its needs. It addresses the deeper human thirst for meaning, peace, mystery and truth. Spirituality is often associated with religion, but you can be spiritual without being religious. Many people find their own spiritual truth by picking and choosing from the teachings of different religions to formulate a unique set of beliefs.

Spirituality includes practices and experiences that promote connection, hope, compassion, inner peace and support. It encompasses a variety of beliefs, behaviors and feelings, and it can be measured by some validated instruments like the Spiritual Involvement and Beliefs Scale (SIBS) and Spiritual Well-being Scale (SWBS).

The cognitive or philosophic aspects of spirituality include our search for meaning, purpose and truth in life; our core values, beliefs and attitudes; and our perceptions of God, nature, self and others. It also includes our understanding of a higher power or force that runs the universe and the concept of immortality, transcendence or infinity.

Karma is another important element of spirituality, which refers to the principle that our actions and intentions impact our future happiness or suffering. It’s common to believe that if we live with good intentions and do our best, we will be rewarded in the future and vice versa. Spiritual teachings also stress the importance of living in the moment and focusing on love.