The most popular metaphysical activities that spiritual Americans engage in at least once per week include being in nature (41%), practicing yoga or martial arts (27%), and Meditation (27%). Only 2% practice tarot. While 42% of Americans believe that physical objects can hold spiritual energy, there was no public research to support that the same percentage of Americans practiced any activities in this interest (i.e. energy crystals). Details of our findings have been provided below.
1. Being In Nature
- Being in nature can be considered a spiritual experience for a lot of people. In fact, 70% of Americans believe their spirituality has a connection to the environment and 41% make time weekly to practice spiritually in nature.
- Spiritual connections with nature can be found in many religions, however, historically, they were first seen in Asian cultures and philosophies.
- Spiritual practices, including being in nature, have increased by 11% over the past 3 years.
- Yoga is a system of physical, mental, and spiritual growth that is practiced either in groups or individually. 27% of spiritual American’s practice yoga at least once per week.
- The history of Yoga dates back to 1,000-5,000 BC in the Indus Valley in India. The practice was used as a form of spiritual growth to unite one with God.
- The practice of yoga has been widespread for thousands of years as it has been promoted by Gurus globally.
- The yoga practice became more widely accepted in Western culture in the 1890s as Westerners became interested in the Indian culture.
- There has been an increase in yoga studios in the United States over the past 5 years with a growth rate of 5.4%.
- Meditation is the practice of sitting still and quiet focusing on breath and reflection. Over 14% of Americans have meditated at least once and 27% of spiritual Americans meditate at least once weekly.
- The origins of meditation are not completely clear, however, scholars agree that it originated somewhere in Asia, most likely India or China.
- Meditation practices moved to Western Culture in the 19th century when Western civilization became interested in the ways of the East. By 1979, meditation was recognized by modern United States doctors to have medical benefits.
- The meditation market in the United States is expected to continue growing reaching a market size of $2 billion by 2022.
Metaphysical Practices: US Interest
According to Pews Research Center, the number of Americans that consider themselves spiritual but not religious increased from 75% in 2017 to 86% in 2020. There has been a slight increase in interest in Tarot and experts suggest spiritual practices such as yoga and meditation in 2020 to combat mental health issues from the Covid-19 pandemic. Details of our findings have been provided below.
- In 2017, there was an increase in the number of Americans that considered themselves spiritual but not religious accounting for 27% of Americans, up from 19% in 2012.
- In the same year, however, there was a decline in the number of religious people who considered themselves spiritual accounting for 48% of Americans, down from 59% in 2012.
- The most common age group that considered themselves to be spiritual but not religious was adults below 65.
- According to Pews Research Center, approximately 75% of Americans consider themselves to be spiritual.
- 71% of Americans that considered themselves spiritual in 2017 had attended college or held a college degree.
- More women in America are spiritual than men accounting for 53% of spiritual Americans.
- Most Americans that are spiritual but not religious are Democrats (52%) as opposed to Republican (30%) or Independent/Unaffiliated (18%)
- In 2018, 62% of Americans believed in at least one ‘New Age’ (or metaphysical) belief.
- Women accounted for more metaphysical believers than men at 69% compared to 55%
- Democrats accounted for more metaphysical believers than at 67% compared to 56%
Current Data (2020)
- In 2020, 86% of Americans identified as spiritual in some way.
- 70% of Americans stated that feel spiritually connected to the environment.
- 24% of Americans say that the Covid Pandemic increased their faith and 47% say that it has not changed.
- Interest in Tarot has increased slightly throughout 2020 according to United States Google Analytics, however, there are no significant metrics.
- Experts suggest that Americans make an effort to connect spiritually to improve mental and physical health during the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes participating in meditation and yoga.