Religion refers to a group of organised beliefs that are shared by a community. Spirituality, on the other hand, is a private practice centered on the meaning of life and connecting with others. Both are part of the process of personalizing religion and privatising it. In the United States, this category has become quite popular after the 1960s, when the counter-culture of the time was characterized by protests against organized religion.
Spirituality involves the understanding that our experience of life is based on an expanding consciousness. Spiritual practices help us connect with these expanded states of consciousness. Through these experiences, we can validate the teachings of spirituality. In this way, we can learn more about ourselves, our lives, and the nature of the universe. By pursuing spirituality, we can learn to live in peace and harmony.
People with an intrinsic religious orientation tend to be less sensitive to stress than those with an extrinsic religious orientation. People with intrinsic religious orientations dedicate their lives to a higher power. By contrast, people with an extrinsic religious orientation use religion as a means to attain external goals. Furthermore, research has shown that the gratitude that comes with spirituality is a stress buffer and a key factor in better physical health.
Religions are often deeply rooted in rituals and creeds. These are the foundation of religious institutions. People who follow a religion are expected to practice its teachings, worship the gods, and behave morally. Traditionally, religion has guided societies to peace and stability.