What does Positive Psychology say about Spirituality

What do human’s search for when they search for spirituality? Zinnbauer & Paragament (2005, Pg 611) have suggested that it is “a quest for existential meaning, to the transcendent human dimension” meaning that individual seek meaning in life with freedom and choice.

The quest for spirituality has been explored by positive psychologist in context of spirituality processes as being cultural (cf.Shafranske & Malony, 1996) an engagement in prayer, importance of religion to individuals and evidence-based studies that associate spirituality for better well being human functioning. The key constructs of spirituality have the following elements such as the perception of the divine God and the concept that humans being are beyond their normal experiences (Pargament & Mahoney, 2005). Furthermore,  spiritual processes such as praying and meditation have been strongly associated with better wellbeing with a more adaptive coping ability too as they view life through the scared perspective (Koenig, McCullough & Mahoney, 2005).

The search for scared one is a 5 part spiritual processes divided into the following discovery, conservation, transformation, spiritual integration and disintegration. The process have been identified as the discovery: evolving mindest, conservation: once you have discovered the sacred one then to sustain it is the next process involving social involvements, transformation: the emergence of oneself in spiritual pathways display spiritual resilience. Spiritual Integration: the notion is associated with individuals who pray, meditate and enter holy places of worship experience better wellbeing  (Koenig, Mccullough, & Larson, 2001; Pargament, 1997; Pargament & Mahoney, 2005). Disintegration: spiritual process that have a negative effect upon human well being.  On reflection the processes are a personal journey an individual conducts thus allowing self-development to take place within a framework of spiritual pathways.

Empirical studies have advocated that religion and spirituality can be conferred in a subjective or social manner to cultivate well being (Zinnbauer & Pargament, 2005). The notion of the search for the sacred indicates that the attainment of spirituality is a search process in which an individual chooses to pursue. So many variant pathways can be explored in the search of the meaningful sacred one. The process of spirituality can be incorporated within creativity, wisdom, forgiveness, meaning, hope humility providing imperative pathways to pursuing the sacred ones (Shane  J Lopez & C R Snyder, 2009). The process of finding ones sacred one is an adaptive and evolving spirituality process (Robert Coles (1990, p.335).

Positive Psychology Practitioners

The need to answer your inner spirituality call is much needed in today’s climate and the process starts from the 5 part processes to approaches defined within religious literature. I explored the Mystical approach which considers the process of self-building as a journey towards Allah. It builds upon the relationship of the soul and self-building like you would beautify a home with beautiful furnishing, one would furnish one’s heart with good character strengths. This process is truly a divine positive intervention with the potential to filter into answering one’s quest for spirituality in an authentic manner.

The future of Spirituality

The cohesion of social scientist, health, mental professionals and I feel religious scholars, should make it a positive process of developing a psychospiritual intervention that builds upon spiritual resources into clinical practices. I look forward to such an intervention and feel as Positive Psychology Practitioners should use the spiritual processes to build a foundation to elevate depression, cultivate meaning and joining local spiritual organisations as a step in the right direction. In addition organisations such as the Kings Centre in High Wycombe and the KSIMC of London provide a spiritual platform. I feel a more evidence-based model shall make practitioner within the field of Positive  Psychology more equipped to attend to everyone’s psychological Positive Wellbeing steering us closer to the target of worldwide well being by 2051 for all.


Mohammad Ali Shomail, (2016) Self Development, Essays on Islamic Spirituality.

Lopez, S.J & Snyder, C, R, (2011) The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology, Second edition, New York, United States of America, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS.

About the author: Fizza Shah

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