There’s A Reason Your Tree-Hugging Friend Is More Satisfied With Life
Science says they’re looking for happiness in the right place
If you find yourself a little down these days, instead of becoming one with that bag of chips, try becoming one with the Universe.
A new study out of Germany discovered that people who feel connected to the Universe are more satisfied with life.
The study published in the journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality found that people who scored high on their feelings of "oneness" with the Universe, also rated high on life satisfaction.
So this suggests that people who feel plugged into the Universe's wholeness feel better about life overall.
Researchers surveyed 75,000 people in two different surveys.
First, they established belief and connection. Then separately, measured overall satisfaction.
They found that the more connected people felt, the more satisfied they were with life in general.
Then they tested again six weeks later to determine if the feeling was transient or fixed and found that the results held.
People's connectedness hadn't changed.
This suggests that if someone feels connected to the Universe, it's an immutable quality that stays embedded in that person's psyche. That is to say, it's a deep, enduring feeling.
While general overall satisfaction was higher in people with a sense of connection, they also found some other benefits.
Younger people did better educationally, and older people were healthier overall.
But don't worry if you're not religious.
Surprisingly, religion wasn't found to be a significant factor.
They questioned Protestants, Catholics, Jewish people, Islamics, Hindus, and Buddhists. More than a quarter surveyed were also atheists.
While there were variations of intensity recorded across all religions, the strength of the connectedness people felt, rather than religious conviction, emerged as the better predictor for life satisfaction.
So, if you want to achieve greater satisfaction in life, you might want to develop your sense of oneness with the Universe.
It's essentially the idea that everything is connected.
You're the whole Universe.
It's the acceptance that there is no past or future, no space or time. The idea that there's nothing to fear because we live in endless peace, harmony, unconditional love, and equality in all things.
It's the idea that we're all part of a bigger picture.
That's kind of it in a nutshell.
So it's not hard to see why people who live with this belief as their most deeply embedded feeling would have greater life satisfaction.
If that's your operating system, then no wonder life just seems better overall.
It's not really that difficult to buy into as far as I'm concerned since we're all made of stars.
We're all just different configurations of the same atoms and elements.
We're all made of the same stuff that's always been here and always will be here.
I think, as humans, all living inside our own heads with our own personal problems and biases, it's easy to forget that we're all part of the same system. That we're actually very interconnected.
We also forget that kindness is always in our best interest because no one's actions are without consequences.
I think unconsciously, in the most primitive part of ourselves, we remember and know this, which is why acknowledging it gives us such deep comfort.
It's a universal truth we've forgotten and something our souls ache to remember.
I think this is why we're drawn to spiritual practices and group activities. Why getting into the flow of creativity is so gratifying, and religion is so comforting.
All of these things connect us to something bigger than ourselves.
What's even better, is that if you want to cultivate "oneness," you can do this in your own unique way.
There are lots of activities that can help connect you to "the source."
The study indicates that anything that makes you feel connected to something outside yourself will do.
If you can find that connection, well-being should follow.
So if you're feeling a little low these days, try finding a way to connect to the Universe; science says you'll have a much better chance of finding satisfaction if you do.