It seems like recently we’ve been hearing lots of Bad News. Day in and day out the media pundits shout the same stories on station after station. Whether they are right or not depends entirely upon where you live and what is going on in your neighborhood, because all real estate is local.

I’ve had enough of the media negativity!

So, I was excited when I read about a country named BHUTAN. They are located in south Asia at the eastern end of the Himalaya Mountains. Business Week rated this small country as the happiest in Asia and eighth happiest in the world. This is largely because of the Kingdom’s efforts to preserve the nation’s traditional culture, identity and environment.

What is their secret?  The Concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH). The four pillars of GNH are the promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance. Measuring GMH looks at the following:

  1. Economic Wellness: consumer debt, average income to consumer price index ratio and income distribution
  2. Environmental Wellness: pollution, noise and traffic
  3. Physical Wellness: overall physical health, severe illnesses
  4. Mental Wellness: usage of antidepressants and rise or decline of psychotherapy patients
  5. Workplace Wellness: jobless claims, job change, workplace complaints and lawsuits
  6. Social Wellness: discrimination, safety, divorce rates, complaints of domestic conflicts and family lawsuits, public lawsuits, crime rates
  7. Political Wellness: quality of local democracy, individual freedom, and foreign conflicts.

What a Concept!

Here’s a list of ideas that might help your happiness index and bring more fun and joy into your life:

  • Sip lemonade on your porch and talk to neighbors
  • See a double feature…with popcorn
  • Find pictures in the clouds, preferably with a child beside you
  • Make a snow angel
  • Pick up trash you see along the street...on your neighbor's side
  • Go see a high school theater production and imagine their futures
  • Give your children a big hug
  • Plan a neighborhood pot luck
  • Be thankful for the family gathered around your Thanksgiving table, thankful for the food you share and just plain thankful that you have someone who loves you, with all your bumps and bruises, unconditionally.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!