Spirituality: Reclaiming Happiness and Optimism

Many researchers confirm that without a solid grounding in spirituality there can be no happiness.  Of course, spirituality does not necessarily imply belief. It is a feeling of being able to commune with, or even to rely on, something greater than yourself.  Sometimes spirituality takes the form of surrender and letting go, and at others [...]


Many researchers confirm that without a solid grounding in spirituality there can be no happiness.  Of course, spirituality does not necessarily imply belief. It is a feeling of being able to commune with, or even to rely on, something greater than yourself.  Sometimes spirituality takes the form of surrender and letting go, and at others it becomes a powerful incentive to action.

But whatever aspect it takes for you, spirituality, like a sense of purpose, is a powerful weapon against depression and pessimism.

As psychologist David Meyers points out in his book The Pursuit of Happiness, study after study shows that those who have this bigger picture orientation in their lives are happier, more satisfied, contributing people. He points out that, contrary to popular belief, some form of religious faith or meaning-of-life convictions are characteristic of happy people.

But Meyers also notes that many people surveyed in the United States who do not consider themselves “religious” nevertheless spend considerable time searching for and contemplating the meaning of life. As people see the consequences of living with the illusion of a self-focused, consumer-oriented, materialistic paradigm, many begin to look at their lives more closely in search of new ways that will change their outlook.

Renewing activities in the spiritual dimension–meditation, prayer, religious activity, altruistic service, communing with nature, studying of the Word, memorizing and reviewing a personal mission statement–nurture the big picture context and the contribution focus of heart. It empowers us to transcend the powerful influences of urgency, impulsiveness and instant gratification in the moment of choice.

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This article compiled from these sources:

David G. Meyers, The Pursuit of Happiness, 1992.

Stephen R. Covey, First things First, 1994

Murray & Fortinberry, Creating Optimism,2004

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