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Having a spiritual dimension to our lives can make us happier.
But can we discover spirituality or does it find us? Spiritual
wisdom doesn't need to involve myth and mysticism; nor does it
necessarily have to be linked to organised religion, although
people with strong religious faith often experience high levels of
Living happily depends on how we are in our inner
lives - our thoughts, emotions, beliefs and desires. Having a
spiritual dimension means finding a sense of inner peace - both
peace of mind and peace in the heart. It also means allowing our
inner values to guide how we interact with the world around us -
our concern for others, our connection with the natural world and
our interst in making a positive contribution to society.
Research suggests that people with a sense of spirituality - which can be religious or non-religious - are likely to experience greater happiness and wellbeing. Spirituality can provide us with meaning, a sense of vitality (or aliveness) and a sense of connectedness to others and to 'something bigger' beyond our daily lives.  People who feel their life has meaning are happier and healthier too. 
Our sense of spirituality is deeply personal and individual. For some people it comes from a particular faith, for others from their relationship with the natural world, while for others it may be the experience of creativity or music.
Ken Pargament, a leading researcher in the psychology of religion and spirituality suggests that developing spirituality is a dynamic process that has three stages:
Talking or thinking about spirituality may not be something many of us do regularly these days. In a multi-cultural and largely secular society, such as the UK, it can feel odd, unnecessary or uncomfortable. But we shouldn't let that put us off trying to connect with something fundamental and universal within all of us. One place we can all start is with reflection. Below are some questions to contemplate.
What does spirituality mean for you and what role does it, or could it, play in your life? Think about each of the questions below. You might find it helpful to write your answers down. Feel free to adapt the questions or add any that you feel are important.
Take your time, consider them one by one. You may not know the answers straight away and you may need to reflect on them over a few days, weeks or months. It's a process of discovery - one you have to feel as well as think about.
The source of spirituality for you?
What has influenced your sense of spirituality?
What is your spiritual journey?
Based on questions posed by Ken Pargament.
 Gallup (2010). Religious Americans Enjoy Higher Wellbeing. Gallup-Healthways Well-being Index.
 Averill, J. R. (2009). Emotional creativity: Toward "spiritualizing the passions." In C. R. Snyder & S.J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology. NY: Oxford University Press
 Stegar, M.F. (2009). Meaning in Life. In S.J. Lopez & C.R. Snyder (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology. NY: Oxford University Press.
Lost Art of Being Happy: Spirituality for Sceptics
Focusing on the idea of generating skills of the inner life
Man's Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust
Inspiring, deeply moving account and Frankl's pioneering approach to living
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
Shifting perceptions of how we see ourselves and the ego
The School of Life
Explore questions of fulfilment and how to lead a better life
Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
Shows happiness is not just an emotion but a skill to develop
Be part of something bigger
"We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with
- Mother Theresa
Mindfulness changes your brain
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