As a resulf of a comment from Gibran on my poll to readers, I remembered that I would frequently write about happiness. Especially after having read the book the Happiness Project. And even in Singapore, I wrote about the happiness survey. And how the cost of living was so high and the expectations on kids were tremendous and how all this was effectively blocking happiness.
The Happy planet index uses global data on life expectancy, experienced well-being and Ecological Footprint to calculate this. Argentina, Mexico and Chili rate the highest. (Source: http://www.happyplanetindex.org/data/)
There is also a concept of gross national happiness where happiness is defined as:
1.Economic Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of economic metrics such as consumer debt, average income to consumer price index ratio and income distribution
2.Environmental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of environmental metrics such as pollution, noise and traffic
3.Physical Wellness: Indicated via statistical measurement of physical health metrics such as severe illnesses
4.Mental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of mental health metrics such as usage of antidepressants and rise or decline of psychotherapy patients
5.Workplace Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of labor metrics such as jobless claims, job change, workplace complaints and lawsuits
6.Social Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of social metrics such as discrimination, safety, divorce rates, complaints of domestic conflicts and family lawsuits, public lawsuits, crime rates
7.Political Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of political metrics such as the quality of local democracy, individual freedom, and foreign conflicts. (Source: http://www.grossnationalhappiness.com/)
Here are the Gross Happiness Index results: Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands scored highest. But, Canada scored fifth! Yeah for Canada. Uncle Sam scored 8.
Forbes magazine also published an Article about the 2011 Legatum Prosperity Index. (source: http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mef45ejmi/the-worlds-happiest-and-saddest-countries-2/) Norway, Denmark, Australia, New-Zealand and Sweden scored the highest.
Key contributors to happiness are: freedom of expression, high gross national income, steady employment, family stability, national safety, freedom from corruption. But, let’s put all this dry logic aside. For the moment, let’s assume we’re all employed, safe and well fed.
In truth, in life, we make our own happiness by appreciating moments that make us smile. For every smile you make in a day, you build a pearl of happiness. This pearl gets added to the others and forms a necklace and this necklace is contagious. Soon, everybody will wear a happy necklace around their necks. A smile will return to you tenfold.
Here are some of the things that make me smile.
Cuddling. I’m a huge cuddler. I love to cuddle with Emilie (my daughter) watching I love Lucy reruns. I love cuddling with Ben (my son) as we read Jules Vernes’s “Voyage au Centre de la terre”. I love cuddling next to the producer watching Castle and Hawaï 5.0.
Writing. Whenever I write a new entry on my blog, I smile. Everytime I write something, on the blog or for my book “Tumbleweed: The Resilience of a Rebel” I smile. It makes me happy. This is also true when I take a picture which I know I will use for my blog. Or when I plan an activity I will write about in my blog.
My swing. I have a swing in my backyard. I love to laze around on my swing.
Cooking. When I cook something new, I have fun. It is fun to imagine people’s reaction to the new taste, the new flavor combination.
Chrysanthemum Tea. It’s pure sunshine for the soul.
Playing Boccie in my mom’s backyard.
Swimming and playing in the water with Ben.
Winning at cards.
Winning at Boggle or Scrabble.
Wearing a new shirt.
Rubbing Buddha’s belly. I collect Buddha’s and I love to rub their bellies even if I am Christian. But in truth, I love to rub any belly I can get my hands on. My kids, my hubby, etc.
Listening to Michael Bubble, Frank Sinatra, Adele and Serge Gainsbourg.
Taking a bath.
Finding something cool on Pinterest and pinning it to a board.
Learning something new.
Saying a joke that makes people laugh (most of the time, my jokes fall flat)
Drinking a good glass of wine.
Having a heated debate about something.
Opening a new notebook and writing the first entry
Seeing a movie at the theater
Not doing something I’m supposed to do (rebellion)
Splurging on something I don’t need
Making my family smile
Eating anything green
These are some of my pearls of happiness. What are yours? Let’s build a Happiness Bridge.