They were seeking to find individuals, some of whom are more affected by the modern day world and industrialized society, who expressed being happier in their lives.
They traveled to Denmark, Mexico, San Luis Obispo (in California, USA), and Singapore.
(Image of Chinese character for happiness crafted from azalea root courtesy of assiewin at rgbstock.com)
Six Centers For Potentially Promoting Happiness
The researchers concluded that there are six centers key to the environments in which we live our lives that contribute most to our sense of well-being and feelings of happiness. According to those researchers, it is aspects of those six areas within our psychological, physical and social framework that most influence our perceptions of happiness. Seeking out certain elements within each of those central areas can potentially increase the chances of your’s and your family’s perception of having greater happiness in life.
The six so-called “thrive” centers focus on:
- Community planning for well-being for its citizens that includes community space, quiet surroundings, safety, and opportunities for regular exercise such as walking;
- Financial life that is based on a balance between having enough money while not wanting it too much (idea of money being a means to an end while not being and end in and of itself); and keeping good track of money including regularly saving & using long-term planning & investing approaches from an early age, while not overspending today thus avoiding getting caught up in overwhelming debt;
- Home setting that is conducive to better flow and use, with space for interaction kept separate from sleeping space, and having an opportunity for getting outdoors and enjoying nature and outdoor physical activity. If gardening on any level appeals, seek out opportunities to participate in it.
- Self appreciation of your gifts, passions, strengths, talents and values. The researchers noted that finding your core sense of purpose and nurturing it through positive interactions with others greatly impacts our perceptions of happiness in our lives. Availing yourself of opportunities where you can expand your people skills, including through volunteer work, really can make a difference. You, your family & friends, as well as your entire social network/community can then benefit.
- Social life that includes not only your personal family relationships such as choosing a spouse that you are highly compatible with, but also creating and nurturing a social network of mutually committed positive friends with whom you can share life’s feelings of joys and sorrows, as well as take time to laugh together to reduce the stress levels in your lives. There’s something special about having others you can trust to be there to celebrate with you when its time for that, as well as support you in other times of emotional need, and for them to know you’ll be there when they need you.
- Workplaces that provide opportunities for each worker to be working at the right job for them, without excessive commuting time, and encouraging employees to take vacations & really enjoy them seem to equate with a higher sense of worker well-being both at work and at home. Europeans are well known for enjoying 6 weeks of vacation a year–something virtually unheard of in the US.
We would expand upon what is mentioned by those researchers as we feel as part of one’s environmental influences, access to a wide variety of nutrients via a diverse number of more desirable food sources in the diet each of us consumes matters. No one should be saying there is only one dietary approach to follow that fits all as the beauty of culturally diverse ethnic food preferences reflects how people around the world adapted to living in different environments and finding a way to thrive there. We believe in your right of choice and finding an approach that works for you.
Many different dietary approaches as part of living have been studied and will continue to be studied–what matters is finding an approach that works to optimize your personal health and that of your family members, etc.
As more information emerges on all of the different epigenetic influences on our specific genes, expect to read about more options open to optimize health status for as many as possible for as long as possible. Wellness is preferable to illness, and quality of life matters whether we are discussing Men’s Health, or Women’s Health, or family health, etc. All of us are capable of changing our behaviors and hopefully adapting habits that are more positive for us.
Note that those working with a book author who published a book about the Blue Zones have developed a questionnaire for collecting data that they have deemed a “Happiness Test” published in conjunction with a book titled “Thrive— Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way.” It appears they plan to continue to collect data on people’s traits & perceptions of themselves and equate those to others of the same sex and age when it comes to happiness perceptions.
Many researchers the world over have been studying what seems to help people perceive that they are happier for generations, just as they have studied longevity for generations–none of this is really new.
What is new is that media opportunities exist everywhere today and the public has more access to information than in any other time in history. Many public and private sources of generally accurate information exist and many of those sources provide such information at no charge. The difference lies in applying that information to your’s or your family’s particular situation as that is where discipline specific expertise matters.
Many true health professionals are making the public aware of general information at no charge through their websites and blogs, however, if someone needs personalized guidance, that is where well qualified individualized services should be sought out.
Qualified, properly credentialed, experienced health professionals can assist you or your family members to explore health and happiness concerns. Their guidance can be tailored to unique, individual needs and can be invaluable–no site can substitute for such personalized guidance.
Happiness is internal not external, and is possible for anyone of any age and actually of any health status if they come to understand what it is really all about.
As always, the above content is offered for infotainment purposes only, as is all content on this site. We urge you to discuss any health related concerns you or your family members may have with those health care practitioner(s) who are credentialed along with being certified/licensed to practice in your location. Being under their care gives you the opportunity to discuss specifics unique to your own and/or your family’s health situation accordingly.