It is surprising to discover that despite the increase in income and life expectancy, the world is very unhappy. Even in a rich country like the U.S., we see rising levels of suicide, depression, anxiety and addiction. So if happiness is about more than money or health, what is it then?
Happiness is a science. The World Happiness Report measures six things to create a national score: income, healthy life expectancy, social connection/community, generosity, freedom and trust. What stands out from this report is that social connections and community are the major impacting factors. Human connection and supportive community (with friends, family, colleagues) keep people happy across their lives and delay mental and physical decline. We have to spend more quality time with actual people. It sounds very simple but given the fact that addiction to technology is a real epidemic, it can take some serious efforts before we can do so.
People need help to unplug. The latest research on the microbiome—that ecosystem of bacteria, fungi, viruses and yeasts in our intestinal tract—shows how it affects our levels of happiness. This study of the gut-brain-happiness axis is called psychobiotics. As the research marches on, the relationship between what we eat and our mental health will be easier to understand. People need help with getting a healthier microbiome.
If we look at the happiest philosophies of the happiest nations in the world—whether it’s the Danish concept of “hygge” or the Swedish “lagom” or the Japanese “ikigai”—we can have an idea of what happiness looks like to some. Happiness is more about a meaningful life, contentment and a sense of purpose.
In this current culture of wellness, where the quest for self-optimization can itself mine the path to happiness because of too much pressure, people need help to focus more on mental well-being rather than just on physical health.
Annetta Ferrante, founder of YOU Wellness and Well-Being, provides unique guidance about what can actually make us happy. She studied The Science of Well-Being at Yale University, and she is passionate about putting happiness at the very center of her wellness programs.
For more information about Annetta Ferrante, integrative nutrition health coach and certified feng shui practitioner, or to make an appointment, call 516-423-0628 or visit YouWellnessAndWell-Being.com.