Those who live by this simple belief are happier, according to science
Be one with one another.
Those who believe in the concept of oneness — that all things are connected and interdependent — are more satisfied with their lives than people who don’t share this belief, according to research published by the American Psychological Association on Thursday. That’s true regardless of religion.
“The results of this study reveal a significant positive effect of oneness beliefs on life satisfaction, even controlling for religious beliefs,” research author Dr. Laura Marie Edinger-Schons of the University of Mannheim in Germany concludes in a statement.
The research, published in the journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, was composed of two surveys of nearly 75,000 people. People who agreed with statements like the ones below were more likely to believe in the concept of oneness; they were also tested on concepts related to oneness like social connectedness, connectedness to nature and empathy.
Oneness varied by religion, gender and age. Though Muslims had the highest levels of oneness and atheists lowest, “when oneness beliefs were taken into account, many of the positive effects of religious affiliation on life satisfaction disappeared,” Edinger-Schons wrote. And women were more likely to believe in the concept of oneness, as were older people (with the exception of those 80 and up).
Other studies on oneness find a correlation between that belief and compassion for others and concern for human welfare. And it’s a popular philosophy among spiritual leaders like the Dalai Lama.
How common are oneness beliefs? A separate study published in 2018 in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that only about one in five people had thought about the oneness of all things “often” or “many times.”
Not only are people who believe in oneness more satisfied with their lives, other studies show that life satisfaction has a positive impact on many other factors of our lives.
Indeed, a 2017 study published in the journal Cogent Education revealed that very high life satisfaction is related to academic success in college — including higher GPAs, increased self-efficacy and lower school-related stress. Better grades in college, in turn, lead to higher incomes, research shows.
Life satisfaction is also related to better health, which again is related to your finances — in that you’ll spend less on health care.
So can you develop or further a belief in oneness? Maybe. Most religions believe in oneness to some degree or another so it could help to worship with others. Not your thing? Some scholars recommend meditation to achieve oneness.
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