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Sticky: Is happiness a state of mind or where you live?
5 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2009 - 11:50AM #1
Jeanninehunter
Posts: 168

It turns out folks who live in states such as Florida, Hawaii and Louisiana are happier, according to survey results recently published in the journal Science.


"The happiness ratings were based on a survey of 1.3 million people across the country by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It used data collected over four years that included a question asking people how satisfied they are with their lives," according to an Associated Press story about the research.


The research of economics professors Andrew J. Oswald, of the University of Warwick in Britain, and Stephen Wu, of Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., also consisted of "objective indicators” borrowed from UCLA researchers to gauge quality of life. The indicators included  commuting time, schools and crime.


Can feeling more satisfied and secure be fixed with relocation? Louisiana ranked first, while New York, my beloved home state, was last on the happiness scale. One of the researchers suggested that high prices around New York City, commutes and congestion contributed to the unhappiness rating.


"Not to be unkind, but some states that made the Top 10 are among the poorest in the country. Are people there truly happy, or are they wearing 'What, me worry?' smiles," wrote NY Times columnist Clyder Haberman. "More important, might contentment be overrated? Seriously, isn’t restlessness, even outright discontent, often a catalyst for creativity?"


For more on the topic, check out a New York Times column and Science article.


Share your thoughts.

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5 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2009 - 2:14PM #2
Karma_yeshe_dorje
Posts: 12,219

I have been told that people in warm countries were more outgoing. Kiss
Me on Mt Taylor 

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 02, 2010 - 8:42AM #3
erthmohr
Posts: 41

I think it makes the point that happiness really is a choice.  We tend to often think that happiness is the result of something happening outside self.  If this were so only those who always had all the stuff would be happy.  Happy is an inside job.  I wrote an ebook about this a few months ago.  It's amazing to me that people just don't get what happy is.. a state of Being.. not a result.  The result is due to the state, the choice to Be happy. 


I live in one of the warm states.. Alabama.  Perhaps people in warmer climates are more outgoing cause we aren't shivering in the cold. LOL Just sweating in the heat.. smile...


 


Donna

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 02, 2010 - 8:56AM #4
Callielou
Posts: 28,924

I think there is something to this living in a warmer climate.


It has been proven that sunlight helps depression, which certainly could relate to happiness, so to me it's understandable because you are probably outdoors more in warmer climate.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 02, 2010 - 9:58AM #5
erthmohr
Posts: 41

While being in a comfortable physical place may lend itself to mentally feeling happier.. happy is the choice.  Today it's cold here.. cold for us anyway.. 27.. shiver.. lol


My happy is the result of the choice I make to BE happy. 


My mother taught me as a small child that my brother and sister didn't "make me mad" .. lol  I chose the anger.  Outside me can be a jumping off place of influence of thought.. but the emotional state.. is always my decision. 


 


Smile


Donna

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2010 - 6:00AM #6
Karma_yeshe_dorje
Posts: 12,219
«The nine quality-of-life factors, and the indicators used to represent these factors, are:
1. Material wellbeing
gdp per person, at ppp in $. Source: Economist Intelligence Unit
2. Health
Life expectancy at birth, years. Source: us Census Bureau
3. Political stability and security
Political stability and security ratings. Source: Economist Intelligence Unit
4. Family life
Divorce rate (per 1,000 population), converted into index of 1 (lowest divorce rates) to 5 (highest). Sources: un; Euromonitor
5. Community life
Dummy variable taking value 1 if country has either high rate of church attendance or trade-union membership; zero otherwise. Sources: ilo; World Values Survey
6. Climate and geography
Latitude, to distinguish between warmer and colder climes. Source: cia World Factbook
7. Job security
Unemployment rate, %. Sources: Economist Intelligence Unit; ilo.
8. Political freedom
Average of indices of political and civil liberties. Scale of 1 (completely free) to 7 (unfree). Source: Freedom House
9. Gender equality
Ratio of average male and female earnings, latest available data. Source: undp Human Development Report»

www.economist.com/media/pdf/QUALITY_OF_L...
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4 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2010 - 11:26AM #7
tattwo
Posts: 286

I feel that happiness is a choice, but outside influences plays a huge role on people happiness

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2010 - 12:09PM #8
k-bearsmom
Posts: 1,716

To me....having a grateful heart leads to happiness...NOT a constant state of giggling nor euphoria...just a quiet happiness, an inner contentment with what I DO have...not concentrating on what I don't have.


And it IS a choice!

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2010 - 5:29PM #9
Karma_yeshe_dorje
Posts: 12,219
«A euphoriant (or euphorigenic) is a type of psychoactive drug which induces feelings of physical and/or mental euphoria, the effects of which may include relaxation, anxiolysis, stress relief, mood lift, pleasure, and a rush.»
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphoriant
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4 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2010 - 8:45PM #10
Anesis
Posts: 1,542

According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, a leading psychologist in happiness research, 50% of our happiness comes from genetics, 10% is circumstantial, and 40% is something we can control.


Characteristics of naturally happy people include optimism, spirituality, gratitude, goal-oriented, helpful, they savour life and they have good social support. You have control over all of these things. If you want to increase your happiness, work on those characteristics.


One interesting thing to note is that in Canada, the unhappiest people are from Alberta, which is the richest province. They also have the most stress, hightest divorce rates and less social support than most other provinces. The happiest people in Canada live in Newfoundland, which is the poorest province, but one of the most community and socially minded, where people depend on one another to meet individual and community goals.


In a separate study, Moore, Young-Leslie, and Lavis (2003) found that religion is key to community unity, and that community unity is one of the key aspects of subjective well-being.


So in addition to working on individual characteristics like I mentioned, the other things are to develop a community mind-set with religious or spiritual significance. Volunteer, give back to the community, create unity in the community....


In the Christian faith, we believe that it is only by giving that we receive. It is very true...if we give to our community, we will receive life satisfaction and greater subjective well-being.

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