I’ve never considered myself religious, albeit the fact that I went to church with my great aunt until age 12. I think I was more excited to discover a brand new pack of pink bubble gum in the glove box of her car each week than actually attending and participating in church activities.

Until recently, I wouldn’t have considered myself to be a spiritual person either. Mainly because I had no idea what it consisted of. Just a word that sounded synonymous with religion to my ears.

When in actuality the dictionary defines spirituality as:

                The quality of being concerned with the human spirit/soul as opposed to material/physical things.

Who knew, right?

Spirituality differs from religion and I think that’s where a lot of confusion comes from because people lump them in the same category when in truth, they are separate entities. We can be spiritual and not religious and vice versa.

TV show host Oprah Winfrey says, “It isn’t until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are- not necessarily a religious feeling but deep down, the spirit within- that you can begin to take control.”

Very wise words, Oprah.

There are documented benefits of channeling your inner spirit: improved mental health, satisfaction with life, pleasure, connection to yourself and the way you interact with the world, and helps to derive meaning and purpose.

For myself, even when I have nothing I deem as meaningful in my life, I know what my soul values and I think just heading in that direction is the basis of practicing spirituality. You don’t need to go on silent meditation retreats to be spiritual. Get in touch with your spirit self whatever way works best for you, whether it be via meet-ups, meditation, books, worksheets- anything- and truly allow yourself to be present in the moment.

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” – Rumi (poet)

About the Author

Tara is a wellness blogger for the Local Biz Magazine who is in the process of writing her memoir on finding hope and meaning while living with a mental illness. Tara loves the concepts of positive psychology, incorporating them into every aspect of her life and spreading the message on the science of well-being.