The Sense of Belonging Can Make You Happy

by DavalosMcCormack on June 2, 2009

When I was little I just loved belonging to groups.  At the library I would join the reading club for Nancy Drew, at home I would join the boys playing Cowboys and Indians, in the park I joined the Jr. Recreation leaders.  As far as I could tell all the Jr. Recreation  leaders did was clean up the office for the Rec Director, but who cared, I belonged.

So it wasn’t surprising to me when I was reading about a conference that was held here in San Francisco that belonging means a lot when it comes to feeling happy.  It seems that happiness is a very elusive thing for many people, and if you seek happiness it becomes even more scarce.  The dilemma is that happiness can improve your health so in order to be healthy, happiness is a core ingredient.

I recently read an article about a researcher who is studying spontaneous remissions experienced by people with cancer.  She interviewed over a hundred  people who experienced this phenomenon and her conclusion: “If I was diagnosed with cancer I would focus on having more happiness in my life.”

So, let’s take your temperature, are you happy?

Jan Adrian, founder and executive director of Healing Journeys, a wonderful cancer support group in California attended a conference called, “Happiness and It’s Causes”.  She came away with a few gems which may help you in your quest for happiness.

Here they are:

Spiritually committed people have a higher degree of happiness.

We can’t be happy alone. We need other people in our lives.

Touch is a basic medium of happiness.

In a recent study, people derived greater happiness from spending $20 on someone else than on themselves to indulge some desire.

Compassion seems to be a critical component of happiness.

Happiness is a skill set we can learn and teach our kids. Start by sparking the child’s interest in being kind, generous, and compassionate.

Singing makes you feel good. Happiness is not merely the absence of sadness.

I think being happy is a little bit about belonging, loving yourself and having work/purpose that is meaningful to you. There is nothing like running and jumping and whooping it up in the park on an imaginary horse with others doing the same thing.

What do you think?

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