Religion is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of systems of belief and morals. These include texts, organizations, world views, ethics, and designated behaviors. The purpose of religion is to help people to connect with a Higher Power. Religious traditions are deeply rooted in rituals, doctrines, and archetypal figures.
Many religious institutions hold rigid interpretations of the founder’s teachings. This can create an atmosphere of fear and worry. People may struggle with spiritual understandings and inner conflicts.
Those who consider themselves neither religious nor spiritual disagree about whether religion does more good than harm. However, these Europeans are more likely to agree that there is no spiritual force in the universe.
Some researchers believe that there is a disconnect between what people perceive as religion and spirituality. In some cultures, religious beliefs are a defining factor, while in others, the separation of religion and spirituality has positive connotations.
Traditionally, spirituality was a subset of religion. This was part of a long American process of privatizing religion and creating a new category of spirituality.
Recent research has shown that people struggle with their spirituality as a result of distress. In some cases, it is the result of life events that shake the person’s physical and psychological well-being. Nonetheless, there is a growing body of research linking spiritual struggles to declines in health.
Most Americans who are not religious or spiritual are less likely to engage in spiritual practices than those who are. One definition of spirituality describes it as an individual’s experience of God. Another defines it as an expression of God’s nature.