Spirituality in Human Experience and Wellbeing: A Path to Inner Strength, Resilience, and Connectedness

February 19, 2024
Nasreen Sulmain Lalani

Nasreen Sulmain Lalani

Spirituality is a core human experience, albeit often ignored or not talked about. Spirituality is often mixed with religion or religious beliefs or practices. Nonetheless, newer definitions of spirituality indicate that it is a broader concept than religion or religiosity. It is an aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express their meaning and purpose, the way they experience their connections to self, others, nature or something higher or sacred. It is a self-chosen connection that inspires individuals to achieve their optimal being and these connections are not limited to some higher power, supernatural or omnipotent. It can bring faith, hope, peace and empowerment, which enables a person to endure hardship and mortality, provides a heightened sense of physical and emotional well-being and the ability to transcend beyond self.

Lalani et al (2021), a study examining spirituality among nurses and allied staff and family caregivers caring for their seriously ill family members, showed that spirituality can be a source of inner strength, resilience and subjective well-being. Despite several adversities, spirituality assisted caregivers to find meaning in their experiences, relieved their sufferings and helped them to grow and transcend their fears into strengths. During the pandemic, the importance and benefits of spirituality and spiritual values were further recognized. Spirituality and spiritual values kept the families and communities together during times of crisis. Spiritual values such as love, hope and compassion enabled families, youth and children to remain connected with one another and protected against poor mental health, loneliness and isolation (Lalani et al., 2022). Meaning-making and social connections have always been central to human lives and suffering and play a critical role in maintaining our holistic well-being.

There are several ways we can express and practice our spirituality to enhance our spiritual and holistic well-being. Some people express their spirituality through prayers or religious rituals and practices, whereas other people can express their spirituality through art, drama, nature, walking, aesthetics, music, poems or other forms of writing, journaling and mindfulness. These practices promote self-reflection, self-awareness, inner peace and comfort, especially during difficult and challenging times. Self-reflexivity involves critical introspection and understanding of one's own abilities and capacity to grow and adapt, which plays a vital role in spiritual development. Moreover, it is important to acknowledge and respect the diverse ways in which individuals express their spirituality, fostering a sense of generosity and understanding with in the community.

In summary, spirituality is an integral part of human existence that can contribute significantly to inner strength, resilience and connectedness. Embracing spirituality and its practices can enhance holistic well-being and help individuals cope with various life challenges. It also fosters a sense of unity and support within communities, promoting a healthier and more resilient society.

Nasreen Sulmain Lalani: Lalani's research focuses on examining palliative/end-of-life care disparities and developing equitable healthcare solutions to improve patients' and caregivers’ self-care, well-being and quality of life, particularly among rural and underserved minority populations. Lalani also has expertise in promoting post-disaster community resilience and recovery and climate change initiatives. Lalani has developed palliative and end-of-life care educational training modules to facilitate end-of-life care communication and to advance spirituality and spiritual care among providers, patients and families. She regularly writes self-care blogs for university students and faculty and offers wellness sessions in the community. Being the president of the Delta Omicron Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Society, she extends her research and knowledge about self-care and spiritual well-being to the global nursing community. Lalani’s work has been presented at several national and international conferences and has been published in peer-reviewed journals, books, and newsletters.


Lalani, N., Duggleby, W, & Olson, J. (2021). I need presence and a listening ear: Perspectives of spirituality and spiritual care among healthcare providers in a hospice setting in Pakistan. Journal of Religion and Health. 60(4), 2862–2877. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-021-01292-9.

Lalani N, Cai Y, Wang Y. (March, 2022). "Hard to Say Goodbye Over iPad": Experiences of Palliative Care Providers and Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Rural Communities of Indiana, United States. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing : JHPN: the Official Journal of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. DOI: 10.1097/njh.0000000000000856. PMID: 35285462.