Are you happy? Move to Boulder, Colorado or have more sex.
I was lucky enough to meet up with Dan Buettner and speak with him about his new book, “THRIVE”. Dan is author of the New York Times best seller, “The Blue Zones” This book focuses on personal happiness rather than longevity. “Thrive” explores four parts of the world where people are happiest and reveals the secrets and personal habits that contribute to their bliss and high level of well-being.
National Geographic assisted in supplying various scientific data to measure happiness around the world pointing to a high level of satisfaction and well-being. Happier people tend to live longer. So understanding how to be happier is the intention of his book. Dan cites that characteristics of the happiest people in America ( from a survey of 1.4 million ) include many factors.
Characteristics of a Happier Person
- The person sleeps 8-9 hours per day
- They learn something new and interesting everyday
- The happy person finds it easy to get clean and safe water
- They have enough money to buy food
- They visit the dentist each year
- … and the person socializes at least 7 hours per day
It’s interesting to see how socialization plays a role in our happiness level. Maybe it’s time to start chatting more in the coffee house or grocery store.
But even if you aren’t in sync with the list above, there are things you can do to be noticeably happier in the next 24 hours based on research from the book.
How to Instantly Become a Happier Person
- Eat a low fat breakfast
- Take a 30 minute walk or workout before noon (He notes, this helps bump up your happiness for up to 12 hours of well being)
- Have sex at least once a day- there it is once again!
- Sleep for 8 hours
- If you want to eat your way to more happiness, you should eat more of these foods or prepare meals with them.
Foods to Eat Your Way to Happiness
- Nuts (pistachios and walnuts)
- Sunflower seeds
- Interesting to see the good fats and nutrients in these foods… especially spinach – Popeye was definitely a happy person!
He was surprised to find, that religious people were happier and the 6-7 hours of socialization was a surprise as well. Getting back to the statistics, in 2011 Boulder, CO was the happiest place in America.
Key Things that Happy People Have in Common
- Spending no more than one hour a day on social networks
- Spending 8 hours a week or more volunteering
- Having sex at least once a day
- Listening to two hours of music a day
- Doing yoga 8 hours per week
- Taking 26 days of vacation per year
- Watching about 45 minutes of TV/ day
- Having a dog
- Liking the color yellow
- Sleeping for 8 hours
- Trusting others
To take the test for yourself, check out the National Geographic THRIVE site and see how happy you are or move to Boulder and have more sex (that’s a form of exercise)! For more health tips, advice on happiness, and more information on leading a better and happier life, visit www.AndreaMetcalf.com.