Happiness Club promotes overall well-being

Jessica Smith

Everyone has those days when they feel like they are trapped in a bad mood and need something or someone to reignite their fire, and Grand Valley State University’s new student organization, Happiness Club, has the right kind of optimism to help foster positivity and combat the blues.

Linda Yuhas, director of compensation employment services and human resources, and Sue Sloop, a work-life consultant and health and wellness advocate, held their pilot meeting for the Happiness Club earlier this month.

“We were talking about how important it is to surround ourselves with positive, happy people, and so the idea came from that kind of brainstorming,” Yuhas said. “We thought we could form a club where we could just meet on a lunch hour, and anybody who’s interested in really promoting positivity and promoting happiness and raising the happiness level for themselves and for the ripple effect for everybody around them (could join).”
Yuhas said she loves motivational speaking, and she held workshops about happiness throughout the year. She talked to students about the ripple effect that having a positive outlook on life can have in your relationships, success, and overall health.

A Happiness Club get together isn’t a meeting where people are going to sit down and talk about their feelings, it’s going to be happiness therapy in the form of motivational speakers and activities, Yuhas said.

“We would like to have speakers come in and talk about the benefits of happiness, positivity and learning skills,” Yuhas said. “(Talk about) having resources on what to do when people drag you down because you get around people like that and experiences in your life like that, so just trying to help build up that armor so that when those things happen they don’t stick to you.”

The club will promote emotional wellness as well as physical health and wellness.

“Your emotional health plays such a huge part in your overall wellness and happiness,” Sloop said. “If your emotional health is in good shape, and your physical health is in good shape, then you’re going to be better at everything you do, whether it’s work or your personal life, your relationships or your attitude. So one of the unique things about Grand Valley is our Health and Wellness program for faculty and staff is very holistic, so we look at the whole person.”

Yuhas and Sloop agree that the Happiness Club isn’t supposed to be a “feel good for a minute” kind of program. It’s about having or finding a deep-down sense of peace and well-being. If that’s something you lack, this club could help guide you to it.

“Another purpose for this club is for those who aren’t as happy to come and learn how to be more happy,” Yuhas said. “That it is a responsibility to choose how they want to live. It’s your responsibility to be happy. It’s nobody else’s to make you happy and so you can make that choice.”

The next Happiness Club meeting will be held on May 2. They plan on having an informal meeting over lunch, which will host motivational guest speakers for club members and anyone who wants to join.

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