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Making Yourself Happy (or happier!)

happier Making Yourself Happy (or happier!)
Want the insider tips on what the happiest people in the world do to live long, healthy, and HAPPY lives?

Dan Buettner, an explorer, National Geographic Fellow, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author has written The Blue Zones of Happiness

His book is based on happiness you can actually measure. The first kind of happiness is determined by asking people to rate their life satisfaction level on a scale of 1 to 10. The second kind of happiness is purpose, and it’s measured by people rating how engaged they are with their lives, and if they’re doing meaningful things every day. The third measurement is how much people enjoy their lives on a day -to-day or moment-to-moment basis. That’s determined by asking people to remember their last 24 hours and report how many times they felt joy, laughed, or smiled.

Where do the happiest people live? According to Buettner:

Singapore is the happiest country in Asia, and it epitomizes the kind of happiness that comes from life satisfaction. People there like a clear and easy path to success, and they don’t mind working hard. They prefer security over freedom, and they want to live out largely conservative values.

People experience life the best in Costa Rica. It’s green, there’s easy access to nature, and there’s a feeling of equality as everybody has their basic needs covered. They prioritize social interaction, and they will almost never work extra hours if it means they have to forego a good party. They also prioritize family — Sunday afternoons are spent with family and big long lunches. They are also religious, and research shows that religious/spiritual people are happier.

In Denmark, people live with more purpose than anywhere else. All their health care, social security, and education is covered. They have almost all their daily needs taken care of, so they don’t need to “keep up with the Joneses.” This pushes people into careers they love. The Danes work 37 hours a week, belong to clubs, and are able to pursue their passions and use their strengths.

Can Money Buy You Happiness? Yes and No.

Buettner says that millionaires are generally happier than people who make $30,000 a year. But earning $75,000 is about the cap. If you make more than that, then your day-to-day experience doesn’t get any better — you just have more stuff. This 75k marker is an average and is also on a sliding scale based on where you live.

Can you control your level of happiness? Dan says:

When we breakdown how much control we have over our own happiness:

  • 40 percent is dictated by genes
  • 15 percent is determined by luck (chronic illnesses like clinical depression and chronic pain will obviously take a toll on happiness)
  • 40-50 percent is determined by the individual

That means we have a lot of influence over our own happiness.

Things to do:

Your happiness will go up 15 percent if you make a new happy friend. Also, volunteer, even if you think you don’t have the time. People who find meaningful ways to give back are happier. Also, do your best to always sleep 7.5 hours a night. People who sleep 6 hours a night are 30 percent less happy than people who sleep more.

Learn more secrets of the world’s happiest people and places in The Blue Zones of Happiness.

Wishing you love, laughter and magical kisses,
Arielle


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