Are You Happy?

Ashley Leahey
November 15, 2017

In his new book, The Blue Zones of Happiness, Blue Zones Project founder, Dan Buettner talks about his experience with the world’s happiest people. He encourages us to reflect on our happiness as a person, in our communities, our country, and our planet. In the book Dan shares his Blueprint for Inner Self Happiness. Here are a few insights:

Know your purpose. Being invested in something greater than ourselves is fundamental to a richer, happier life. Want some time to reflect on your purpose? Attend a Blue Zones Project free purpose workshop to guide you in identifying your gifts, passions, values, and finding your calling.

Learn the art of likeability. Smiling, trusting, and giving others your time has been shown to create happiness. Make the effort to learn to be a good listener, greet people by name, and use positive body language like keeping eye contact and uncrossed arms. Welcome others’ ideas and encourage them.

Focus on others. Volunteers tend to weigh less, feel healthier, have less chance of suffering a heart attack, and score higher in every area of happiness. Try to take the focus off yourself. Make a list of things that will help make others happy and devote time to it. Practice random acts of kindness like bringing coffee to a co-worker, calling friends to tell them you’re thinking about them, or helping a neighbor carry groceries into the house.

Get out of your comfort zone. Everyone has a comfort zone. Being able to break out of it is essential to transitioning and growing. Putting yourself into slightly uncomfortable situations can push you to achieve goals you might never have expected. Try new things, even if you may not be good at them. Embrace failure.

Learn meditation. Studies show that meditation has positive effects on emotions, physiology, stress, cognitive abilities, and health. It helps slow the mind, making it more likely that you’ll clearly see the important things in life. Plus, it’s like learning to ride a bike: once you’ve learned, you never forget how to do it and you can reap the benefits throughout your lifetime.

Keep the faith. In most countries, religious people are happier than nonreligious people. If you’re religious, attend services regularly. If you’re not, take the time to visit some places of worship to see if any resonate. If organized religion just isn’t your thing, look for groups in your area with whom you might share and practice your spiritual beliefs. Whatever you believe in, engaging regularly in a spiritual practice can influence your life in a deep, sustained, and positive way.

Want to get involved with Blue Zones Project – Hawai‘i? Email us at or visit Like us on Facebook (@bzphawaii) and Instagram (@bzphawaii).

 Source: Buettner, Dan. The Blue Zones of Happiness. National Geographic, 2017.

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