Spirituality is an internal process of finding meaning in life and connecting to a greater purpose beyond the individual self. This can result in better personal relationships, less stress reactivity and a deeper sense of peace. It can also translate into a desire to help others and a more connected lifestyle.
A basic definition is that there is more to the universe than just purposeless mechanics and electrical impulses in the brain, more to human existence than the physical body, and a higher form of inteligence or Consciousness that runs the universe and life after death. Spirituality may include the practice of a religion or can exist in the absence of any particular belief. It satisfies the human thirst for meaning, mystery, and truth.
The first axis of spirituality (upper white section) is beliefs, practices and experiences that promote connection to something larger than the individual self, including religiosity, meditation, prayer, yoga, nature, ecstasy and altered states of consciousness. These aspects can be assessed by some validated measures such as the Spiritual Involvement and Beliefs Scale (SIBS; Hyman and Handal, 2006) or the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS; Moberg, 1984).
The second axis of spirituality includes human connection to others and nature through compassion, forgiveness, empathy, peace, pacifism, balance, mysticism, values and culture. This can be assessed through a variety of instruments such as the Multidimensional Self-Report Inventory (MSRI; Beck, 1998). The third axis is a person’s relationship to God or a higher power that leads to feelings of meaning, purpose in life, support and inner peace.