Spirituality is the search for meaning and purpose in life. It encompasses a wide range of beliefs and practices including religion, prayer, meditation, community service or volunteering, yoga, hiking, playing music, reading inspirational books, or just taking time to think.
It also includes the idea that we are all connected to one another and to nature. It is about living a meaningful, fulfilling and ethical life. Spirituality can help us to cope with illness and stress, and promotes the feeling of wellbeing and inner peace.
Many people use the term to describe their religion or faith, but in actual fact, it is a broad and inclusive concept that transcends any religion. Evangelical Protestants and members of historically Black Protestant churches are more likely to say that being spiritual is an essential part of their lives than other groups.
What is the most important aspect of being spiritual?
Being able to connect with a higher power is the most important aspect of spirituality for most people. For some, that higher power is God, or the universe, or a sense of oneness with all things. For others, it is a practice such as mindfulness, or learning how to meditate. It can also be something as simple as believing that everything in the world is alive, or as complex as the belief that we are all a part of a larger consciousness.