Quick on the heels of growing medical studies about the effectiveness of healing through prayer, there is now a body of research being pioneered to determine what constitutes happiness.
In a recent news article, "Researchers seek routes to happier life " the head researcher comments on how simple "exercises" based on gratitude can bring about happiness. For many of us non-researcher types, this has been as obvious as the popularity of Oprah's gratitude journals and has become a regular part of our daily practice (as seen on different blogs of friends).
Gratitude, love, joy -- it's all connected to happiness. The website www.spiritualityandpractice.com connects it all this way:
Joy is an essential spiritual practice growing out of faith, grace, gratitude, hope, and love. It is the pure and simple delight in being alive. Joy is our elated response to feelings of happiness, experiences of pleasure, and awareness of abundance. It is also the deep satisfaction we know when we are able to serve others and be glad for their good fortune.
I hope we can see more of this type of research. All things that require a deeper understanding of our spiritual essence are going to help move thought forward from a sensual and materialistic explanation of life to a more spiritual sense of life. And, I am convinced, the more grounded we are in a spiritual understanding of life, the more happy we are.
Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,
The author's medical researches and experiments had prepared her thought for the metaphysics of Christian Science. Every material dependence had failed her in her search for truth; and she can now understand why, and can see the means by which mortals are divinely driven to a spiritual source for health and happiness.
I am also convinced that our primitive natures are spiritual. So, the only thing that truly satisfies us are spiritual things -- found in God - who is our highest sense of what is good, pure and enduring. Here are some more thoughts from Mary Baker Eddy on happiness:
Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping if sought in Soul. Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the cravings of immortal man.
Happiness is spiritual; born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish, therefore, it cannot exist alone but requires all mankind to share it.
May you have a happy day and share it with many!
To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.
(Photo by Kim)