The first World Happiness Report was published this month and other good news is that this week the United Nations conference on happiness is being assembled. http://www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu/sitefiles/file/Sachs Writing/2012/World Happiness Report.pdf
Could this mean that governments will now pay more attention to the happiness of their people when they form their polices? We hope that this will be the beginning of a trend to create an awareness that deals with more than just income.
In the Happiness report the four happiest countries are Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands. The report describes that other factors such as social and personal are important for happiness–mental health, physical health, individual values (people who care about other people).
The report indicates that over the last 40 years, the measure of happiness has not increased in the United States despite sharply rising incomes. The problems of poverty, insecurity, corruption, loss of social trust are just a few factors that affect America’s sense of well-being. Source: John Helliwell, Richard Layard, Jeffrey D. Sachs.
We should begin to learn from the reports, conferences and new initiatives. Seattle’s happiness program is a great example in the US and is going strongly. Check out their questionnaire and program. http://www.sustainableseattle.org/sahi
Of course, happiness begins with you and your ability to understand the principles, practice them and set an example. It is the beginning of building a world with more joy and less sadness.