Spirituality – A Personal Way to Connect With Something Greater Than You
Spirituality is a personal way to connect with something greater than yourself. It involves habits, places, and rituals that stimulate your outward expression of an inner sense of faith and divinity. It differs from religion, which typically is a specific group of people with a set of beliefs and traditions they follow together.
Spiritual beliefs may help people cope with some of life’s most challenging experiences, including stress, depression and grief. They also can be a source of social support for many people. However, it’s important to be aware of a potential pitfall of spirituality – the tendency to use a belief in a higher power as a means to avoid or sidestep difficult emotions, situations or conflicts.
Some people may be afraid to explore spirituality because they don’t want to leave their religious faith or believe in God. However, spirituality doesn’t have to be an alternative to religion; it can simply be a deepening of existing beliefs.
There are many paths to spirituality, ranging from meditation and yoga to reading books on philosophy or psychology. Those who are more interested in serving others may find comfort and meaning by volunteering or participating in social work programs. Exploring the mystery of nature and other aspects of reality can also be spiritual. Some find a sense of peace in letting go and living in the moment. In fact, studies have shown that spiritual commitment correlates with improved quality of life in patients undergoing heart surgery or those with advanced cancer.