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Spirituality is about a belief in who we are, why we are on the planet - and how we relate to that understanding. It is a  belief beyond our senses, what we see around us, and time as we experience it on a daily basis. Spirituality generally includes belief in a higher power, but doesn't have to.

Spirituality can be part of religion, but is different from religion. Religion is communal sharing of certain beliefs and practices about a higher power/creator often referred to as God. Spirituality is more about individual belief relating to purpose and meaning.

Some of the world's greatest scientists are or were spiritualists, including Einstein.

Spirituality can provide a major source of support and comfort. In a spiritual world, you are not alone.

There are many paths to a spiritual belief. The right path is the one that works for you - whether it's through religion, new age thinking or your individual belief.  

  • If you haven't found spirituality, stay open. Things tend to take on a different perspective after a diagnosis. Listen to your inner voice. (For tips about finding spirituality, click here.)
  • If you have found spirituality -- encourage it. (For tips about keeping spirituality, click here.)

For spiritual guidance and/or comfort, consider speaking with a clergy person. In addition, Chaplains on Hand offsite linkoffers 24/7 spiritual comfort and support to anyone, regardless of religious beliefs. 

Don't be surprised if your spirituality changes or deepens after a diagnosis. Diagnosed eyes see differently.

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Emotional Well Being

How To Find Spirituality

There is no single path to spirituality. Following are a few tips based on experiences of other people. Please share your own experience to help others.

  • Read or listen to inspiring books or other writings.
    • Even if you disagree with the messages, your reactions to the thoughts can help you refine yours.
    • You'll also learn how to incorporate your beliefs into your daily life.
  • Spend time with people who believe in spirituality and incorporate it into their daily lives.
  • Spend time in nature.
    • Notice how what you see is interconnected.
    • Notice the intricacy of how each plant or animal are created.
  • Start keeping track of the "coincidences" that happen in your life. David H. points out that the more you notice how many times things happen that seem to be coincidental, the more coincidences you see. 

How To Make It Easier To Keep Spirituality

Following are a few tips that have helped other people keep their spirituality. Please share yours.
  • Spend time with people who are spiritual and who incorporate spirituality into their daily life.
  • Avoid discussions with people who believe their spiritual or religious belief is the only right one.
    • Discussion with people who have other beliefs can help you refine your own thoughts. However, someone who is certain their way is the only right way can only cause unnecessary friction and self doubt.
  • Work on resolving issues with other people.
  • Keep inspiring books, audio or video nearby at all times.
    • All of the world's great religions recognize the daily need for a reminder of a connection to a higher power. In fact, they include reminders several times a day. For example, in the Jewish religion, the repitition of the prayer known as the Amidah.
    • The works don't have to be visible. For instance, at work, you can keep a book in a drawer, locker or file cabinet.
  • Keep a place in your home that reminds you of your spiritual beliefs.
    • Attend the place every day, or as often as you can.
  • Rejoice in your life experiences, even the ones that seem to be negative.
    • This can be particularly difficult with a diagnosis of a life challenging health condition. However, as Linda S wrote: "My dog doesn't understand me. What makes me think I can understand my colon cancer or other things that happen to me? If I believe that there is a higher power, then my job is to look for the silver lining - even as I do my best I can to be healed."
  • Think about your sense of purpose in your daily activities and daily interactions with people.