Spirituality – A Dimension of Well-Being and Quality of Life

Spirituality can be an important dimension of well-being and quality of life. People report higher levels of personal growth, meaning in life, and support from others when they feel connected to a spiritual force. This is an emerging area of research and practice, but it is difficult to define and measure because it encompasses cognitive or philosophic aspects, experiential and emotional aspects, and behavioral dimensions.

Some people believe they are spiritual without belonging to a particular religion. They may use practices like prayer, chanting, meditation, breathwork, or yoga to connect with the divine. These people may also be involved in service, which could include feeding the homeless or volunteering with a community organization. Regardless of how they define it, spirituality is a human quest for inspiration, reverence, awe, and meaning. It is often brought into focus during times of stress, illness, loss, or death.

Most religions incorporate some form of spirituality, although they can differ in how they go about it. For example, goddess religions invest the natural world with a sense of divinity. Native Americans look for the spirit in the land they live on and treat it as a sacred space. Judaism encourages seeing the holy in everyday things, such as a person or a cow. And all religious traditions emphasize some type of ritual, which is any activity that is done with a feeling of seriousness or devotion.