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Happiness And The Friendly Universe

May 31, 2008
Einstein once said that the most important question a person can ask himself is, "Is this a friendly universe?" As part of the research I did for my new book, Happy for No Reason, I interviewed over one hundred unconditionally happy people. What I found was that they all answered Einstein's question with a resounding "Yes!"

Rather than thinking the universe is out to get them, happy people believe the universe is out to support them. They see all the events in their lives through the lens of, "Ultimately, this is happening for my good. There are no mistakes. Let me look for the blessing in this." This belief in a friendly universe is the root of their relaxed and trusting attitude in life.

There's even research showing that a belief in a friendly universe can impact a person's health. A recent study conducted by Gail Ironson, Ph.D., M.D., professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Miami, found that people with HIV who believed in a loving universal power remained healthier longer than people who believed in a universal power that was punishing.

This may be a hard concept to swallow. Certainly there are many horrible things that happen in this world: war, persecution, famine, and suffering. It's easy to think that we don't live in a friendly universe. The one thing that's helped me embrace the idea that the universe is always out to support me is the knowledge that all the wise men and women who have ever lived -- the sages and saints of the past and present -- have shared this belief. I've also seen that people who are Happy for No Reason use it as a guiding principle, and you can use it yourself to raise your own happiness level.

Rather than trying to decide whether this principle is true or not, I suggest that you adopt this perspective for the next week or two, and see how different your life feels. That means that whatever happens, assume that the universe is on your side -- even if isn't obvious to you on the face of it.

When I first began doing this myself, I noticed that although I wasn't jumping up and down with joy and loving everything that happened in my life, I definitely felt a lot more ease and peace inside. When you believe that the universe is out to support you, you're able to stop resisting what is happening. This doesn't mean being passive or complacent about the events in the world or in your own life. It simply means not fighting or bemoaning what has already happened and can't be changed. Many of us spend a tremendous amount of energy being upset and resisting life -- when you take the view that there are no mistakes and accept what is, you can use your energy instead to deal effectively with the situation now.

Try it and see. You've got nothing to lose but your angst. And I guarantee your happiness level will soar when you realize you do live in a friendly universe after all!
About the Author
Marci Shimoff is author of the new book Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out; plus Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul and Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul, making her one of the bestselling female nonfiction authors of all time. She's also a featured teacher in the international film and book phenomenon, The Secret. Visit Happy for No Reason.
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