We have two main community and business wellbeing programs, being ‘Happy Heart Peaceful Mind’ and the ‘Happy Ground Program’. The results we obtain are great and are shown in some detail below, along with some of the testimonials we have collected since 2013.
Happy Heart Peaceful Mind – Results
The ‘Happy Heart Peaceful Mind’ program is our latest course offering. It was run twice in 2018 and subsequently evaluated, with members and staff of ‘Flourish’, a community sector mental health organisation based in Tasmania.
As part of the evaluation we asked participants at the start and end of each course a range of things to understand both their knowledge and skills, and also their wellbeing. We discovered that knowledge and skill improved significantly in relation to the mind and the heart. We also assessed changes in participants’ wellbeing following completion of the course. The measures we used covered feelings of stress, pressure or tension; lightness; peace and calm; gratitude; forgiveness; and love for self and others. Measured on a five point scale, the combined results for both groups are shown below.
|Measure||Program start||Program end||% change|
|How stressed, pressured or tense do you feel?||56||33||70|
|How light do you feel?||30||64||113|
|How peaceful and calm do you feel?||41||67||63|
|How grateful are you generally in life?||60||75||25|
|How grateful are you for the people/things in your life?||64||73||14|
|How easily do you forgive yourself?||39||60||54|
|How easily do you forgive others?||54||70||30|
|How strong are your feelings of love for yourself and others?||51||73||43|
As the table shows, participants became significantly less stressed, pressured or tense, with the combined total falling from 56 before the training, to 33 after the training (a fall of 70 percent). Feelings of ‘lightness’ are also something that comes with an improved heart, and which were experienced to a greater degree by all participants after training was completed. The rating for lightness more than doubled, moving from 30 to 64 (being a 113 percent improvement). We also asked people how peaceful and calm they felt, and this also improved for every participant, with the overall rating going from 41 to 67. Given the program had a strong focus on the non-physical heart, we are also interested in changes in feelings of love for self and others. This also improved considerably, with the combined total for all participants going from 51 to 73, being a 43 percent improvement. 15 of the 17 participants had greater love for themselves and others, and two remained the same. Our evaluation also showed that not only were participants feeling less stressed, lighter, more peaceful, and more loving, but written comments also confirmed that many were also happier.
The results above are supported by further comments from participants. For instance, a number commented on the changes they experienced in their hearts. One participant, Kathy, stated:
I felt a heart-swell, so when I was thinking and feeling in the heart, there was almost an expansion in the chest. Also surprisingly as I went through it and as we were coming out of it, that blockage that I described and have felt, it was healed…it was pulling the gunk out.
Another participant, Julia, had the following to say about the impact of the heart practices:
Some days I wake up and I think ‘not again, not another day’. But on some of those days I then decide to relax, touch my heart and smile, and often after I have finished my practice there’s a complete shift, because I think ‘What’s next? What can I do today?’
Apart from changes in the way participants were feeling, one of the biggest benefits of the course was it provided a new way forward and hope for the future. To illustrate, one participant, Lisa, stated ‘This course has opened up possibilities I never thought possible’. Another participant said that the course was about healing, allowing people to be human beings who can heal.
Happy Ground Program – Results
The Happy Ground Program was the first program we created in 2014 and it has been run regularly since then. Participants were asked to rate a series of statements out of ten at the start and end of the course across a range of measures. All areas measured have improved, with the combined results and associated changes for the seventeen people who completed a survey, as follows:
|Measure||Program start||Program end||% change|
|I feel stressed||130||60||116|
|I have a clear mind||66||116||76|
|I forgive myself easily||49||103||110|
|I forgive others easily||77||117||52|
|My relationships are great||87||125||44|
|I have love myself||77||116||51|
|I have love others||103||130||26|
|I enjoy my work||93||124||33|
|I live in the present||67||115||72|
|I am optimistic||79||122||54|
|I sleep well||66||109||65|
|I feel happy||80||136||70|
As the results show, on average there have been impressive improvements across all measures. To illustrate, participants had clearer minds with the combined total increasing from 66 to 116, or 76 percent. Participants lived more in the present moment, with the combined total increasing from 67 to 115, and stress levels more than halved (from 130 to 60). Participants also forgave themselves and others more easily, and became more optimistic. These changes would appear to have assisted relationships, which went from 87 to 125, helped sleep (66 to 109), and contributed to participants becoming significantly happier overall (moving from 80 to 136, being a 70 percent improvement).
We’ve been collecting some additional testimonials over the years. Here is a selection of what people have said about some of the Happy Ground Wellbeing programs.
I would pretty much recommend the Happy Ground Program to everybody on the planet.
Christine, Battery Point
This could be the single best decision you make in your life! Grow and learn from others in a fun, safe and supportive environment.
Gresham, Park Beach
The course gave me some really useful tools and strategies to increase wellbeing. My happiness has increased because of this course. It has also improved my relationship – a great couple’s course. I would recommend to others – even a follow-up. Thanks very much!
My thanks to Ivan and Dani of Happy Ground who have provided me with the tools for a better life. My daily meditation and diary entries encompass all I am grateful for and are a reminder of how much I have grown within the group. I smile more readily, find solitude when I need it and allow myself to feel happy. Thank you to Happy Ground!
Some of the ‘small’ things I have learnt have had a big impact on my life…I would recommend this course to others because it was a positive experience with positive outcomes – it could be life changing.
Stacy, Tasmanian Government
Ivan has a calming, centre-ing demeanour – which is somehow energetic at the same time – and his passion for teaching and sharing the knowledge is infectious. The meditation sessions were so valuable to us. Meditation, and the related discussions with Ivan, have reminded us to relax more through living in the moment and to invest time in recharging ourselves. Ivan’s gentle introduction to this wonderful practice has kick-started us into meditating at home (almost daily). If you are thinking about it…do it!
I wanted to learn more about being happy and positive and the course gave me lots of information and lots of options. It gave me some valuable tools I can use to address negative thinking.
Jo, Tasmanian Government
I felt some parts were a timely reminder during a hectic period – in fact great timing to assist me to slow down, be grateful and present. This in turn affected my relationships and outlook on life.
Steven, Tasmanian Government
I really enjoyed the practical approach and going back to basics. I have learn ways to be happier and I have developed some new habits.
Michael, Tasmanian Government
I got what I wanted from the course, because I now know what to do to make myself better, less stressed, and happier.
Sarah, Sandy Bay
I genuinely feel happier within myself after completing the course and am going to continue practicing all the things that help make me happy.
During the first meditation I didn’t want to open my eyes for a full ten minutes. Ivan even managed to relax me and that’s saying something. His soft calming voice elevates you to another level, a space that’s yours alone, away from the busyness of everyday life. His voice and calm meditation has helped me gain some inner peace.
Michelle, New Town