Spirituality is a worldview that suggests there’s more to life than what people experience on a physical and sensory level. It can involve religious traditions that focus on belief in a higher power or more holistic beliefs that include a connection to others and the universe as a whole.
Being spiritual can look very different for everyone. Some people feel a spiritual connection through prayer or meditation, while others find it in nature or through service to others. There’s no right or wrong way to be spiritual; it’s all about what works for you.
Research has shown that spirituality is associated with positive outcomes in trauma survivors, including less depression and anxiety, better coping, and a stronger sense of meaning in their lives. For example, the rage and desire for revenge that some people experience as a result of traumatic experiences may be tempered through forgiveness or spiritual beliefs, and can lead to healthier relationships.
Spiritual people are also more likely to meditate when stressed and to turn to a community of like-minded people for support. They’re more likely to be open to new ideas and perspectives, and have an optimistic explanatory style. This is part of the reason why they’re more able to cope with setbacks and overcome trauma. In addition, research shows that a spirit of connection is the strongest predictor of health and happiness, and is essential to rising strong in times of crisis. (Braving the Wilderness, Chapter 4)