Why would spirituality be considered a sustainable life practice? After all, it is not something you can see, hear, taste or touch. The reason spirituality is a necessary component of a sustainable lifestyle is best explained by the findings of psychologists and mental health experts: spirituality is necessary to mental health. Spirituality is one of the four major ingredients to mental health, balance, sustainability and stability, as well as the answer to the question of morality.
Many people hear this and confuse spirituality with religion. Spirituality and religion are two entirely different things. Spirituality is a feeling of reverence while religion is an organized institution. In order for a person to be spiritual, they would have to believe in some type of metaphysical life force that interacts with our physical existence, and attribute their personal morality to that life force. Most spiritual people tend to reason that this metaphysical life force takes the form of entities: God, the devil, angels, demons, spirits, fairies, etc. Others believe the life force is a type of energy that is not organized into a conscious entity but still interacts with people, such as karma or a curse. It is arguable that merely holding to a moral system or believing that purpose exists in the universe is a form of spirituality.
The reason spirituality if so important to mental health is because it closely dialogues with and informs the other key components of a balanced, sustainable life. Feeling a sense of purpose in life is strongly tied to the belief that life has meaning, and it is spirituality that informs a person’s life meaning. We often choose relationships with people who are of a similar spirituality as ourselves, and many people who are passionate about their health describe being healthy as good for the soul as well as good for the body. The stronger the life of the spirit, the stronger the connection between the elements of a sustainable lifestyle.