I recently had the opportunity to experience Sojo Spa in New Jersey with my friend and I promised her I would blog about it! What a fabulous experience! I was so happy she thought to introduce me to such a wonderful day sharing it with her. As I thought about it I wondered what I would really blog about. The place is obviously amazing but what I found even more wonderful was that I had an opportunity to share some time with a new friend getting to know her better and enjoying time together. It is often said that sometimes a gift of “experience’ is better than anything else. I would agree with that. This will be a memory that I will refer to often. There is research in positive psychology that supports this line of thinking.

Investing discretionary resources into life experiences, rather than buying material possessions, makes people happier (Carter & Gilovich, 2010; Howell & Hill, 2009; Millar & Thomas, 2009; Van Boven & Gilovich, 2003).

Spending time with someone in your life is when you both give the gift of precious time. Spending the day doing a memorable and special activity together creates happiness. Reflecting on the meaningful place we visited together that we both enjoyed and found memorable was what I was left with at the end of the day.

This was a meaningful experience that was unique in nature, which made me adapt more slowly and mindfully which prolongs happiness. It was also an experience that involved social connection with another person, which generally increases happiness.

I have written in other blogs about Barbara Frederickson’s research on boosting happiness and the “upward spiral” effect. “The daily moments of connection that people feel with others emerge as the tiny engines that drive the upward spiral between positivity and health,” Fredrickson explains.
People who have higher vagal tone tend to be better at regulating their emotions, the researchers speculated that having higher vagal tone might lead people to experience more positive emotions, which would then boost perceived positive social connections.
Having more social connections would in turn increase vagal tone, thereby improving physical health and creating an “upward spiral.” I had an “upward spiral” day!

It was such a fun day experiencing such a new environment. I felt like I went to another country for the day. What a great way to escape the city for a day and put yourself in a new cultural experience. Sojo Spa is a Korean spa that seems to replicate what they have in Korea and is used often by families spending time together. It reminded me of many times I experienced these type of activities in other countries like Japan, Singapore, Italy, Sweden, and Iceland. It amazed me that this seems to be a natural way of taking care of one’s self in other countries whereas in ours it is unusual. There were various sauna’s, plunge baths, and areas where one could relax in an environment that brought nature to you. I loved the aesthetic of natural materials like stones, waterfalls, bamboo, and various flowers. They also offered a place to have lunch which was cafeteria style; however, the food was presented with organic products and beautiful to the eye! I was impressed and my tummy felt yummy! I did a SPICE of Life check in with myself while I was there and thought I actually hit many of the categories –
spiritually I was being mindful of the environment, my friend, and the new experience,
Physically – I was having a self-care day which was needed
Intellectually I was learning about a new cultural experience
Connection – with my friend and self
Emotionally I was very happy ☺

So, I will say thank you once more to my friend for bringing me to this special experience. If you are so inclined to check it out. If you live in New York they have a shuttle that will take you right to Sojo Spas door! You can easily spend a wonderful day there. Let me know if you go!

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