Spiritual practices

What they are

Spirituality is a very individual concept. For some, it may mean being part of an organised religion such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam or Buddhism. For others, spirituality may reflect their own individual beliefs about the universe and their place in it, or a search for meaning and purpose to their lives.

Why use them

Often when people are diagnosed with cancer, the spiritual aspect of their lives becomes more important. People may find comfort in prayer, meditation or quiet contemplation. Receiving care from a spiritual care practitioner, who may also be called a pastoral carer or chaplain, can often help people, even if they are not part of an organised religion.

What to expect

If you are part of a spiritual or religious community, you may benefit from:

  • prayer or meditation groups
  • a feeling of unity from the congregation
  • healing services for the sick
  • practical and spiritual support offered by members of your spiritual or religious community.

If you are not part of a formal community, you can find further information about your area of spiritual interest from support groups, friendship groups, your local library or online.

Evidence

There is growing scientific evidence of a positive link between spiritual practices and health. They have been shown to reduce stress, instil peace and improve ability to manage challenges.


This information was last reviewed in May 2018
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment

Cancer information

What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads

Dealing with the diagnosis
Common reactions to a cancer diagnosis and how to find hope

View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends

SHARE
TOP BACK TO TOP