Blue Zones

Live Longer, Better

How to be Happier


The secrets on how to be happy might surprise you.

What is happiness?  Happiness is not a silver bullet but silver buckshot.  ”Thrive” finds the data-backed parts of the world where people are happiest and outlines six areas where we can make permanent changes in our surroundings that favor happiness.

1. Community

Surveys from 146 countries, representing most of the world’s population, show that the top factors promoting happiness are: economic freedom, low unemployment rate, tolerance, and quality of government.  The biggest determinant of our personal happiness is where we live.

2. Workplace

Most of us spend more than half our waking hours at work.  Having a short commute, a job that engages our talents and a best friend at work are three of the biggest determinants of a happy work-life.

3. Social Life

The happiest Americans report 7-8 hours of social interaction a day–face time, not Facebook.   Joining a club that meets just once per month can have an effect on your happiness equivalent to doubling your salary.

4. Financial Life

Money buys happiness but only to a certain point. We need food, shelter, education, mobility and healthcare.  After we have those things, money should be spent on experiences and financial security.

5. Home

Setting up science-backed nudges can subtly lead us to behaviors that favor happiness.  Adopting a dog, for example, will dependably lower stress hormones daily.  The happiest people only watch a half hour of TV a day, so reducing screens in your home will help you to watch less TV.

6. Self

People who can articulate their life purpose in one sentence are 20% happier than those who can’t. Take time to know your values, strengths, talents, passions –and how to share those gifts – and you will dependably raise your well-being.