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The Heart of a Community

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The Heart of a Community

I have lived in several small communities since college – always appreciating the camaraderie and support of others – whether practicing yoga, planting gardens, sharing meals or helping each other with personal problems. We had the same challenges facing all communities– whether a home, workplace, a village or a city – often without effective tools to address them. Challenges like how to work together harmoniously, how to resolve conflicts effectively, how to encourage healthy attitudes and behaviors, and others. The question I kept asking is, “How do we nourish the hearts of people who make up a community?”

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index set out to determine: “What does it take to be America’s happiest city?” and “What makes a city sad?” They asked numerous questions of city residents in regards to life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities. Those locales with the highest scores were determined to be the happiest and those that scored lowest were considered the saddest. I found it interesting (but not surprising) that emotional health, healthy behaviors and a positive work environment were major factors.

When we started HeartMath, we wanted to research heart-based living and develop emotional self-regulation tools to increase harmony and coherence. We designed programs and methods for individuals and groups to reduce stress and improve emotional and physical health as well as create a more positive environment. We also wanted to measure the social outcomes, including effects on productivity, communication and health care costs. One of our health care system clients, Grinnell Regional Medical Center, in Grinnell, Iowa, wanted to see if they could replicate the results that they’d achieved in their community hospital with HeartMath within the larger community. They called the project, “Heart of Grinnell: A Community-Wide Rural Health Wellness Initiative,” which began in 2007 and is ongoing in Grinnell, Iowa, a community of a little more than 9,000 residents situated about 50 miles east of the capital, Des Moines.

Next: Grinnell’s Result

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Deborah, from HeartMath

Deborah Rozman, Ph.D., is President and CEO of the for-profit Quantum Intech Inc (dba HeartMath Inc.) Deborah has been deeply committed to awareness development and personal growth for 40 years. Deborah is co-author with Doc Childre of Transforming Anger, Transforming Stress, Transforming Anxiety, Transforming Depression and Stopping Emotional Eating.


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7:05PM PDT on Jun 23, 2011


7:32AM PDT on May 17, 2011

Oh dear - I voted No, but it should have been leaning yes. I'm not in the work community, but have seen the people in the grocery stores here, taking "care" of their older customers, and generally showing their awareness of people as people. This is a small community and everyone is seen often enough in any one of the three grocery stores (not counting Walmart, but they could be included, I guess), to become a familiar face.
It seems to be related to how much attention you give your fellow man, and how much time you take to get to know them.

10:14PM PDT on May 16, 2011

Community support is so vital to us as human beings - I don't think we really realize it. We really need one another.

7:56PM PDT on May 16, 2011

Interesting, Thanks.

9:28AM PDT on May 16, 2011

It's HARD to form new community or form ones in new places that harmonize with what you are and how you have lived your life. As we age, no more children at home, life seems more challenging than it was when moving or having to find a new community.

11:35AM PDT on May 15, 2011


10:50AM PDT on May 15, 2011


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