Happy in Community!
Affirming Your Life
“Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower.”
— John Harrigan
Affirmation: Today in meditation, I will focus with gratitude on how my spiritual community supports and inspires me, and brings me joy.
When people say they’re happy to come to OHI, there’s solid science behind that statement.
Back in 1998, Martin Seligman, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, was elected president of the American Psychological Association. It was up to him to determine what the focus of study would be for the organization that year. Dr. Seligman knew that psychologists had spent decades researching exactly what made people fearful, angry and depressed. Wouldn’t It be enlightening, he thought, to study what made people happy?
So that year, America’s psychologists collected thousands of pieces of data pinpointing exactly what made people feel good. Dr. Seligman’s team sifted through reams of research and were quite surprised at what the detailed study revealed.
A person’s sense of contentment wasn’t inextricably tied in to their wealth, or their level of education. It wasn’t how attractive they were, or how young, or where they lived. Instead, the level of one’s happiness was revealed to be consistently determined by three key factors: their belief in some kind of benevolent higher power; being a valued part of a community, and having a sense of purpose in their life.
Dr. Seligman’s pioneering research has given rise to a brand new social science, Positive Psychology, devoted to researching and teaching the tools to help people, communities and societies in their pursuit of happiness. He offers free assessments to help you learn about your values, strengths and general level of optimism at https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/.
Further evidence of how being in community helps make us happy is in the work of UCLA Professor Matthew Lieberman. In his book, Social: Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect , Dr. Lieberman asserts that our very physiology mandates we seek out our ‘tribe.’ We have evolved to the point, says Dr. Lieberman, where, “…becoming more socially connected is essential to our survival. In a sense, evolution has made bets at each step that the best way to make us more successful is to make us more social.”
The late neuroimmunologist, author and holistic speaker Dr. Candace Pert, whose work is carried in the Optimum Health Store, also taught about the essential nature of being in like-minded community to be healthy and happy. Strong social networks not only make us feel good — they actually reduce the risk of depression, lower the risk of heart disease, and increase longevity.
As growing scientific research suggests, the OHI community is a powerful tool for helping guests achieve and maintain not only optimum health, but optimum happiness. In alignment with Positive Psychology’s three essential requirements for being happy — Faith, friends and purpose — the God-centered focus at OHI empowers people with rituals and practices to nurture a belief in a loving, divine source.
Friendships form quickly in the non-judgmental, supportive environment, where compassion for each other lifts the entire community. And for the “doing something purposeful” element of achieving happiness — everything is geared towards supporting guests in achieving their goals, which usually include being of greater service to their family and friends.
Come back to OHI for an extended 3-week stay — and feel your happiness level soar! Reconnect with your spiritual community for an extended stay to link up with old friends, and make some wonderful new ones. Call us at (800) 224-2620 to book your reservation. Be sure to ask about our current promotional discounts.