Spirituality is a worldview that encompasses beliefs about supernatural phenomena and a connection to something greater than oneself. It may involve religious traditions that center on belief in a higher power, or it can be more holistic, such as believing in a universal force that connects all things to each other and the universe. A key component of spirituality is a sense of hope that the future can be positive despite challenges.
Spiritual beliefs and practices can include prayer, meditation, volunteering, and other activities that promote feelings of connection with others. They can also involve self-scrutiny, examining life’s meaning and purpose, moral virtues, forgiveness, pacifism, and other values. Spirituality can be based on any religion, culture or philosophy, although some traditions focus more on particular ideas and practices than others.
People’s understanding of spirituality varies widely. Some believe that it means being religious, following the laws and traditions of their faith, or that they are devout followers of God. Others, particularly in younger age groups, see a connection between spirituality and religion but do not consider themselves religious.
The research team searched for articles that outlined definitions of spirituality and included a list of dimensions. These were read in full to assess the article’s overall quality, and a framework was proposed (Figure 2). A second axis of spirituality includes a person’s connection with themselves. This includes a sense of hope, self-scrutiny, personal growth, and a belief in the innate worth of all human beings.