Health and Wellness – What Is Spirituality?
Spirituality is a quality that goes beyond religious affiliation, strives for inspiration, reverence, awe and meaning in life. It comes into focus in times of emotional stress, physical (and mental) illness, loss and death.
Many people have spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, chanting, yoga or journalling. These can be useful in connecting to the sacred, or to an inner source of wisdom and guidance. They may also be used as a means to connect with others, with the environment or with a higher power.
People who are spiritual often find themselves drawn to the idea that all human beings are one and connected. This can take the form of compassion, forgiveness, or a belief that we are all here to serve one another. Some spiritual beliefs also teach that the world has no boundaries or cultural or religious partitions.
In the context of health and wellness, there is growing evidence that having a spiritual or religious dimension in life can have significant benefits. These include lower levels of stress and depression, greater feelings of connectedness and well-being and improved immune function. One reason for these positive outcomes is that the beliefs and practices that characterise spirituality – such as devotion to God or a higher power – can promote resilience in response to challenges.