Getting in touch with your spiritual side

Spirituality has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose in life. There are as many different ways of expressing spirituality as there are ‘spiritual’ people. Learn how to find out what’s important to you and give your life deeper meaning.

This can help if:

  • you want to know how to express your spirituality

  • you’re curious about how others express their spirituality

  • you want a broader understanding of spirituality.

Girl staring up at sky

Ways of expressing spirituality

Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. It has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose and feeling connected to something bigger than ourselves. It typically involves a search for meaning in life. There are plenty of spirituality examples where people experience and express their spirituality for different reasons and in different ways.

Religious ways

For example:

  • Buddhism

  • Islam

  • Christianity

  • Judaism

Non-religious ways

For example:

  • Humanism

  • Environmentalism

  • Social action

Start with what’s important to you

Here are some ways to express spirituality:

  • Think about how you see yourself in relation to your friends, your family and your world.

  • Identify what’s important to you. Think about the sorts of changes you’d like to see in yourself and in your world.

  • Try to describe your 'authentic' or 'true' self. Think about the values you want to live by.

  • Take time each day to connect with your natural environment: walk your dog in a place that you find beautiful; sit still for a few minutes somewhere quiet and just listen to the sounds of the natural world around you; go for a bushwalk or for a surf.

  • Meditate and/or do yoga at home or in a class to focus on the connection between your body and mind.

  • Read books about alternative ways of finding spirituality in your life.

Tips for practising spirituality

Believe and do what’s right for you

With something as personal as spirituality, you want it to be meaningful to you. Although respecting other people's beliefs and practices is important, don’t feel like you’ve got to follow them yourself if they’re not right for you. Also, spirituality isn’t about being ‘cool’ or fashionable. If you suspect that your friends are taking up yoga just to be trendy or to tone up their butt, and twisting yourself into a pretzel shape isn’t your thing, go for a walk along the beach at sunrise instead.

Talk to others

Spirituality can be complex and you might feel overwhelmed or confronted, so don't be afraid to talk about it with a trusted family member, friend, teacher or religious leader. Listening to other people’s experiences and making them feel meaningful for you might help you decide what spirituality means for you.

Stick at it

Some people might think it’s daggy to talk about spirituality, or tell you that it's a waste of time. Don’t worry about what they think; this is about finding meaning in your life, not theirs. If you haven't found what you're looking for yet, keep searching! Spirituality is a lifelong journey.

What can I do now?

  • Try meditation. Check out if there’s a regular class near you or download the Smiling Mind app for a guided meditation.

  • Practise self-awareness and knowing what’s important to you.

  • Read books about alternative ways to incorporate spirituality in your life.