The Happiest City in the US and Why We Aren't Surprised
There are plenty of factors that go into what make us happy, as individuals and as a community. According to a press release by National Geographic, Gallup senior scientist Dan Witters, and author Dan Buettner created a list of the 25 happiest cities in America, based on 15 metrics including civic engagement, walkability, and healthful food options.
So who came out on top? Not surprisingly, Boulder, CO was rated as the happiest city in America, due to it's sense of community, access to nature, sustainable urban development and preservation policies. Interestingly, people tend to be much happier in places where they have access to green spaces and are able to walk or bike around.
This doesn't really come as a shock, as we already know there's a strong correlation between exercise and mood improvement. However, it draws an interesting question as to the link between environmental preservation and happiness. How much of our happiness is directly dependent on our physical environment, and what effect is industrialization actually having on our overall happiness as a society? Furthermore, what long term effects will it have on our society if we continue to industrialize our beautiful natural spaces and resources?
Another interesting note Buettner made is how our environment and lifestyle likely have a greater effect on our happiness than our mindset. He says "if you want to get happy, don’t try and change your belief system. Change your environment." So those people who say that "happiness is a state of mind" are probably full of it.
For more info on Earth Justice, the charity that our environmental protection products support, check out their website here.
Words: Jacquelyn Z.
Photo: Scott Kranz