Create Happiness, Wherever You Live
Christine Chen | My Soul
The happiest places to live on our planet have a few special things in common: good health, good people, and freedom of choice – weather doesn’t make-or-break happiness (though it might affect your mood every now and then), according to the World Happiness Report. Really, it’s hanging out with the right people and wellness choices that create happiness, wherever you live.
In fact, the report found colder climate locations, such as Canada and Switzerland, were among the happiest places in the world because people there felt they had the resources to live longer and form supportive communities. Other research adds nature to the happy mix, saying spending time in natural surroundings keeps our spirits lifted.
So, if you can’t move to a place on the actual happy list, is it possible to design your life in a way that makes your current place of residence a happier place? Why not?
Do You Have People You Can Count On?
The World Happiness Report found that reliable friends and family, plus empathetic and trusted communities created happiness. Try to connect regularly with a close family group or people whom share your interests. Volunteer for community charities, contribute resources to neighborhood associations, join a recreational sports league, or become involved in local politics. Find others who want to live happily and make the world a better place, and hang out with them more.
Are You Eating? Breathing?
If life expectancy is a key part of being happy, you can certainly increase your chances of living happier and healthier for longer by maintaining good eating and exercise habits. Each choice you make adds up, so eat more organic fruits and veggies, reduce purchases of processed food, and make it part of your day to practice reducing stress through meditation, which you can do in any space, and yoga, which helps you stay sharp and calm at the same time.
Are You Seeing Green?
Regular exposure to nature makes us less likely to brood over bad thoughts or ruminate on them, behaviors that indicate and precede depression. Creating your happy place could be as easy as going for an inspiring weekend hike. If you live in a city where nature is sparse, getting to even a small green space can shift your mood immediately. Or, if a nature walk is simply impossible, look at pictures of a cheerful, outdoor place – even the positive image is better than sitting in a negative space.
A few lifestyle choices mimicking the qualities of the happiest places on earth can make your place a happy place, too. Try it, and go to your happy place, wherever you live.