Spirituality is an increasingly important part of human life, shaping our societies in important and enduring ways. It is sometimes confused with religiosity, but there are key distinctions that can help distinguish the two.
It is a search for meaning and purpose, for a sense of transcendence, of something bigger than ourselves and for connections with others and nature. It encompasses religious and non-religious beliefs, practices, and experiences that promote a sense of connection with the world. It also includes feelings of hope, love, and inner peace and a sense of meaning and purpose in life. It is a dimension of human life that often comes to the fore in times of emotional stress, illness, loss, or death, and provides comfort during difficult times.
Unlike religion, spirituality is not a dogma, and it can be practiced by people who are atheist or agnostic as well as believers. It can be influenced by many different cultures and traditions, but it does not have to be organized in any particular way.
Being spiritual can mean any number of things – it could be following your heart, engaging in a mindfulness practice or meditation, praying or journaling, or spending time outdoors. For some it may be a daily walk in nature, for others it might be connecting with a group of friends who share similar values or focusing on serving humanity. Whatever your personal path, it is a healthy and positive thing to do.