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Apr 6, 2018

What is the Blue Zone of Happiness?

Dan Buettner also wrote the Blue Zone for Happiness. In the Blue Zone for happiness, one of the most common ways to promote happiness is to prioritize prevention in health care. According to the Delphi study treating disease costs an estimated 16 times more than preventing it. Eighty-five percent of the US expenditure with an annual of two trillion dollars goes to treat preventable disease. By increasing one’s awareness of healthy lifestyles thus preventing disease happiness increases. My philosophy as a health care provider is that I educate my patients to take charge of their health. When a patient understands how most diseases are associated with diet and lifestyle and how their symptoms are directly related to what they do, then they can change that behavior thus take charge of their own health.  

The happiest place in the US are:
  1. Boulder, CO
  2. Santa Cruz, CA
  3. Fort Collins, CO
  4. San Luis Obispo, CA
  5. Santa Clara, CA
  6. Provo, UT
  7. Norwalk, CT
  8. Barnstable Town, MA
  9. Anchorage, AK
  10. Naples, FL
Why are these locations happier than others?  What do they have in common?

Community
  • The key to happiness is trusting your local politicians, police, and neighbors. 
  •  Is the place walkable such as safe streets, bike paths, and sidewalks? 
  • Are there areas that are close to nature?
  • Is there a community actively engaged in the government and concerned about improving quality of life?
  • Is there clean water, air, and land?
  • Is there affordable and good dental care available?
  • Is there healthy food in the area such as farmers markets, plant-based food that’s easy to find instead of fast food. Organic and non-GMO is always better.
  • Is it a community with less obesity, less drug use and restrictions on smoking?
  • Is there a community noise ordinance?
  • Is there an effort to treat the mentally ill as mentally ill account for 50% of the population's health care cost this includes depression and anxiety? 
  • Does the community Invest in beauty and open spaces?
  • Do people volunteer?
Work
  • Jobs are another area that can make people happy.  When your working forty hours a week or more you want to be in a job that you love.
  • Find a job that you are passionate about, that engages your talents and gives you constant feedback. 
  • Do not work more the forty hours a week and make sure you take a vacation every year. 
  • Avoid long commutes for work.
  • Set goals at work.
  • Prioritize family and friends and socialize with happy people.
  • Money is not the most important factor when getting a job. In fact, after an annual income of $75,000 happiness does not increase.
Personal
  • Join a club which gives you a sense of purpose.
  • Adopt a pet.
  • Declutter your home and bring in natural lighting.
  • Listen to music.
  • Use automatic savings.
  • Reduce credit card spending.
  • You may want to rent instead of own a home.  If you own a home pay down your mortgage.
  • Count your blessings, be kind, live with passion and have a positive goal for your future.
  • Try new things.
  • Meditate.
  • Know your purpose in life.
  • Sleep at least 7 -8 hours a night or more. People who sleep less than 6 hours a night are not very happy.
A healthy, long and happy life is all about taking care of our health through preventive care, increasing our intake of plant-based foods, exercising and staying socially engaged with a job you love. It comes down to being in charge of your life. Do you live in an area that promotes the blue zone way of living? If not, what can you do to change this?