Whenever people look for meaning, or for an external connection, it is an act of spirituality. As such, spirituality is a basic part of the human experience. There is a growing body of evidence indicating that spiritual or religious practices, such as prayer or meditation, are associated with better health outcomes.

Spirituality is often described as a dynamic, life-long process where meaning and purpose in life is found through interconnectedness with one’s self, others, nature or a higher power.

Religion has a basic function to create and nurture communal, as well as individual, spiritual life. Religious traditions, rites, practices, and institutions exist to accomplish the function of “binding together.”

This section offers three main recommendations for developing spirituality: spend some time each day in contemplative practices; develop and maintain meaningful relationships; and find a spiritual or religious community.