Understanding Spirituality


Lulu Shaban

There are many misconceptions when it comes to religion and spirituality. These two may have similar teachings but are indeed very contrasting. 

To start, let’s talk about why people tend to believe that they are the same thing and why they really aren’t. Religion is oftentimes something that is passed on through generations and habitually taught to new members of families. It is a cultural system of different beliefs, practices and morals. It is common to see large groups of people in the same area practicing the same religion. 

The Main Difference Spirituality is something all over the world that is consistent throughout many and most religions. However, one can be spiritual and not religious, or both of course, as it is an individual practice that ties into personal beliefs. It’s an opportunity to connect yourself with practices that ground you and get a sense of peace and purpose.

The main pillars of spirituality one should start with when hoping to become more in touch with their mind, body and soul are relationships, values, and life purpose. These three are the foundation of having an alignment with your ‘higher self’. Relationships are very significant for spiritual growth and it is not exactly relations with others, but more of how you relate to yourself and the world around you. Personal values are what matter to you at your core and without these values you don’t have much ability to say yes to things you prioritize or no to things you don’t. Life purpose answers the biggest question in life, “Why am I here?” or “What is the meaning of life?” This is another difference from religion, where the questions often asked are “What is right or wrong?” and “What is true or false?”

How does Practicing Spirituality Impact One’s Mental Health? If you are part of a spiritual community, you have support from people who share similar beliefs as you. After practicing spirituality you may feel a sense of purpose and encounter better confidence and self-control. It gives people something to believe in which provides a sense of structure and belonging which could take away from some of their stresses.