Spirituality - Definition

Many people describe themselves as religious and spiritual, but spirituality represents a particular operation of religion. Spirituality as related to positive psychology can be defined as “a search for the sacred”. What is defined as sacred can be related to God, life itself, or almost any other facet of life. It simply must be viewed upon by the individual as having spiritual implications, which is derived from personal experiences. Spiritual well-being addresses the human need for transcendence and involves religious as well as existential well-being. Spiritual well-being is associated with various positive outcomes such as better physical and psychological well-being, lower anxiety, less depression, self-actualization, positive relationships with parents, higher rates of positive personality traits and acceptance.turpis. Aliquam a nulla mi, placerat blandit eros.

Reaching the sacred as a personal goal, also called spiritual striving, or sanmarga has been found to correlate highest with well-being compared to other forms or striving. This type of striving can improve a sense of self and relationships and creates a connection to the transcendent. Additionally, multiple studies have shown that self-reported spirituality is related to lower rates of mortality and depression and higher rates of happiness.

Currently, most research examines ways in which spirituality can help in times of crisis. Spirituality has been found to remain constant when experiencing traumatic events and/or life stressors such as accidents, war, sickness, and death of a loved one. When confronted with an obstacle, people might turn to prayer or meditation. Coping mechanisms involving spirituality include meditative meditation, creating boundaries to preserve the sacred, spiritual purification to return to the righteous path, and spiritual reframing which focuses on maintaining belief. These coping mechanisms that aim to preserve the sacred have been found by researchers to increase well-being and return the individual back to the sacred.

Overall, spirituality is a process that occurs over a lifetime and includes searching, conserving, and redefining what is sacred in an extremely individualized manner. It does not always have a positive effect and in fact has been associated with very negative events and life changes. Research is lacking in spirituality but it is necessary because spirituality can assist in enhancing the experiences of the uncontrollable parts of life. One clinical application of spirituality and positive psychology research is “psychospiritual interventions” which represents the potential that spirituality has to increase well-being.

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