Happiness Club spreads positivity at GV
If you’re seeking to spread inner joy, peace and well-being or if you’re looking to find it, one of Grand Valley State University’s newest clubs is the place to spend your lunch hour.
The Happiness Club is hosted by Work Life in connection with GVSU’s Health and Wellness Center and was created in late winter of 2013 after Linda Yuhas, director of compensation and employment services at GVSU’s Human Resources, gave a presentation on attitude and happiness that intrigued staff.
“A year ago I developed a workshop for faculty and staff on happiness and how they can bring their happiness level up,” Yuhas said. “I got to thinking, it seems to me that there’s a real need out there not just at Grand Valley, but worldwide, that people need to be happier.”
She decided to organize a group for people to come together once a month to increase and spread happiness.
“I did a lot of Internet searching, and happiness clubs are all over the world,” Yuhas said.
Though faculty and staff have been the majority of attendees at the club’s meetings, students are more than welcome to attend, she said.
Sue Sloop, a Work Life consultant at GVSU, said emotional health impacts physical health. Happier people have better relationships, are more successful and are generally healthier and more productive. People who are happy and have a positive attitude tend to have smoother, more satisfying lives, which is what the Happiness Club is hoping to pass on to others.
“These meetings are going to focus on attitude and active decisions to be positive,” Sloop said.
However, club meetings aren’t meant to be like a therapy session where people gather to talk about their feelings. Instead, it will be happiness training in the form of presentations, guest speakers and activities.
“All of our presenters are just very positive, upbeat people,” Yuhas said. “It’s really just sharing their stories and inspiring the people around them.”
Damon Arnold, director for athletic advising in the Laker Academic Success Center, will be the guest speaker at the club’s first meeting of the year.
“I was kicked out of two schools and graduated from an alternative school, so I never thought being Dr. Damon Arnold was possible,” he said. “But surrounding myself with people who saw my potential showed me it’s possible to be who you want to.”
Arnold plans to speak about the importance of change and hopes that students attending the meetings will take away the message that success and happiness are choices each individual can make.
“The key is how you respond to things that happen,” Arnold said. “You need to find happiness in every situation you go through.”
Meetings are also not meant to be a temporary feel-good fix for unhappiness, but rather focus on finding a deep-down sense of peace and well-being. Students, faculty and staff who are unhappy or are looking to be more positive are invited to attend the monthly, lunchtime gatherings. Each meeting will have a different presentation or guest speaker from GVSU or surrounding communities.
“It’s just a great place for people to gather and lift each other up and to have joy,” Yuhas said. “The more happy people we have, the better our world will be.”
The first meeting is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. on Sept. 5 in Kirkhof Center 1142.
To join the club or gather more information, visit www.gvsu.edu/healthandwellness.