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Why Spiritual People Are Happier 

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Why Spiritual People Are Happier 

Based on research from a book titled The Science of Happiness, studies show that people connected to spirituality or religion are far happier than those who are not. 

Religion and spirituality are different in their approach but lead to a similar space. They are both in the pursuit of connection to a greater power beyond the self; to divinity, to source, to the ultimate, to God. Religion has a methodology, a belief system, that provides a specific way to reach the divine. 

What is spirituality?

Spirituality is different, it is personal and amorphous. You choose the route you take to reach spirit. For many people it is quieting the mind through meditation and feeling the interrelation of all sentient beings. For others it is doing plant medicine and connecting to mother earth and her wisdom and healing trans-generational trauma. For some, it is raising kundalini and moving up the chakra system to a heightened awareness. 

The spiritual path is as unique as you are. But ultimately, it is all about your connection to the universal spirit, a higher power that is both mysterious and ever present. 

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How does spirituality make people happier?


The greatest pleasure is derived from meaning. Not from the quick momentary dopamine hits such as getting a like on Facebook, eating cake, or drinking a beer. These pleasures leave as quickly as they come. Meaning is something we carry with us for the duration of our lives. It is the reason we get out of bed in the morning. There is something beyond the material plane of existence, and spiritual people feel it. There is a belief in the indivisible forces guiding visible life.  

When we find meaning in events and life circumstances we can grow from them. Happiness goes beyond positive emotions, it is the ability to deal with negative emotions head on. Deeper meaning changes the course of a life because we are connected to a higher purpose. 

When there is deeper meaning in our suffering, we can transcend the tough times with grace.  Spiritualized people are not nihilistic or absurdist, they know that they are here for a divine reason, and the spiritual path is one of being deeply involved in life. Through the pain, and through the pleasure. All of it holds value.


When life has meaning, and the meaning is to head towards source, and union with godliness (whatever god may be to you), then there is a certain amount of trust in life. God would not lead you off the path. In connection to spirit we trust life. Life is benevolent because you see the godliness in everything. 

There is trust in something beyond yourself.  We do not see the problems that happen to us as random, but as lessons meant for us to learn from on the spiritual path. When big life shifts occur, and our vision of reality is disoriented we can allow and accept life, instead of resist it. 

We know that the hard times can be worked with, there is truth in the process of becoming. And trust is not with blind faith. It is with the inner knowing that life only gives you what you need.  


Spiritualized people often have tight communities because of the state of interconnection. Some fundamentals to spirituality are forgiveness and compassion. Spirituality is about higher consciousness, and in a place of high consciousness we are not willing to lie, deceive, or cheat one another. This allows people to sustain longer term friendships and relationships.

Community bonds create an abundance of happiness. The root of depression in the United States is from lack of connection. The nuclear family is a rarity, the culture is individualistic. People are fragmented from others, isolated and lonely. 

Spirituality promotes healthy relationships because of realizing the state of oneness, that we are all interrelated, an essential part of the whole. We pay homage to the people we love. We are kind to strangers. In community, we are of service to one another.  

When we live with community ties, we give outside of ourselves. There is less pressure on us. We are not islands. Having a community with a similar belief set to connect to divinity, creates bonds for life, and a shared goal to reach toward. 

Some of the happiest moments of my life was meditating with the sangha (my Buddhist community) and sending out loving kindness to the world. I could feel the collective energy in the room, and the human web of love we all shared. 


Spirit captures us, it places us into the moment. When we enter communion with the divine, it is a place where there is no mind. When we are trapped in our thoughts, and judgements, it creates separation from us and life. Spirituality is about connection to the whole. And we connect better with people from a place of joy and vitality. 

In a book called Dalai Lama The Art of Happiness the Dalai Lama touches upon why it is important to be genuinely joyful. He asks, “Isn’t a life based on seeking personal happiness by nature self-centered, even self-indulgent?” “Not necessarily. In fact, survey after survey has shown that it is unhappy people who tend to be most self-focused and are often socially withdrawn, brooding and even antagonistic.”

Happiness occurs naturally in a state of presence, and it is not emotive, it is a peaceful state of being. When we are taken by the beauty of a moment, present when someone speaks, and when we can be attuned to our environment, we find joy. 

When less identified with the mind, we can clearly see the present moment. As Eckhart Tolle says “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” Many spiritual practices involve disciplining the mind, by not taking every thought as so real or concrete. When you feel sadness or anger or pain arise, you are able to catch the thoughts and see them rather than identify with them. You watch with curiosity as each thought and emotion change. But the watcher is stable, never changing. 

Simple practices to nurture spirituality:

  1. Meditate: Quiet the mind and see that you are not your thoughts or emotions. This will allow you to go beyond egotistic proclivities and see the divine nature of reality. Universal bliss is out there but if you are trapped inside negative thought patterns, you won’t see it.
  2. Connect to nature: Watch the river flow with ease, see how water is fluid, and move between the rocks with ease. Watch the sunset and feel the quiet beauty of color. Walk barefoot in the forest and listen to the melody of the birds. Know that you are a part of this creation. 
  3.  Prayer: Prayer does not have to be you down on your knees begging for life to change. A prayer is just a communication with the divine. This can be speaking gratitude or thanks, or asking for perspective. Allow each prayer to be discourse with a higher intelligence. 
  4. Be of service: In Southeast Asia, the monks wake up and go door to door to collect food in the morning. They do not do this because they are starving and poor. They do this so when people wake up they can be in generosity. When we give to others, we are saying “I have more than enough.” To be of service, is to give. This can be your time, like speaking to a friend in need. It can be to donate to a non profit or make a homeless person a sandwich. There are countless ways to serve. 
  5.  Gratitude: When we are connected to spirit, we see the miraculousness of life. When we sharpen our senses to life’s subtleties there are more and more things to be thankful for, to be awed by. When you love life, life loves you back tenfold. Gratitude is the key to abundance. 

Plant medicine is a method to spirit. See how!


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