According to The Week Magazine, Sept 13, 2013, a research study at University of North Carolina states “…we are genetically engineered to be happiest and healthiest when we spend a lot of time selflessly helping others — and unhealthy when we’re mostly devoted to self-gratification.”
The study asked how the 80 volunteers felt when they received pleasure from a tasty meal or a great shopping trip for themselves, as opposed to the happiness brought about by contributing something to society that gave them a deeper sense of purpose.
After answering these questions….“The researchers then drew the subjects’ blood, and found that the genes of the volunteers whose lives contained lots of pleasure but little meaning were priming cells to express high levels of inflammation — which is linked to cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease — and a weaker anti-viral response to infections.”
The conclusion was that there are two distinct kinds of happiness and “our genes can tell the difference.”
Talk about body wisdom!
Yes, we can continue to monitor our happiness level by asking ourselves significant questions, such as:
What or whom are you here to serve? And how can you best do that?
Our minds do influence matter. Science tells us this, as well as the ancient teachings of spiritual Masters.
We influence reality through our intentions, our attitudes and our actions.
I like to start each day by asking God to reveal to me what I need to know and do, as well as showing me how to cause as little harm as possible.
The Buddha has put right attitude at the top of the 8 fold path.
According to my teachers a right attitude is one that leads to harmony and peace. Wrong attitude leads to suffering.
When right attitude is our primary aim, we are shown the path that is best. It will always include the happiness of others, as well as ourselves.
The practice I follow is to notice when I have a wrong attitude, (that will be whenever I am feeling dissatisfaction or suffering) and bring myself back to the breath of Spirit that is breathing me.
I then rejoice that this is my real home. I let the breath slow me down and relax my body.
With this pause I become ever more aware that lovingkindness includes being compassionate with myself for not being able to keep centered in God, poised in the Christ Mind, no matter how much I desire to.
Straying from my purpose of teaching and expressing love happens. I just fall off the path.
The path of Spirit is a razor’s edge, after all. Not easy to walk on.
Noticing and coming back to God Mind as often as possible is what I can do to relieve suffering. This leads me to a sense of well being, of real pleasure.
And my genes know it!
Wow — what a reciprocal world we live in. Always giving and receiving — breathing in and breathing out. Just make the shift back to God, over and over, and again and again. It’s coming home to our hearts.
As we continue on the path of serving God by finding respectful ways of loving ourselves and others, we are being led into a deeper happiness and ever greater health.
And your genes will love you for it.
-Rev. Billie Blain