So is the key to happiness community and a sense of belonging? Although Japan has the least happy population focusing on achievements and long working hours (they even have a name for death by overwork karoshi), Okinawa has a population with longevity of over 100 years. In Okinawa they focus on community and elders treat the children as if they were their own grandchildren, an act of kindness.
Happiness is 50% genetics, 10% of circumstance and 40% of intentional behavior.
To sum it up, extrinsic values such as success, image and status do not increase happiness whereas intrinsic values do (personal growth, relationships, desire to help). The hedonic treadmill has a theory that after a bad or good experience, people return to a state of neutrality. Once our basic needs are met the increase in wealth has little effect on happiness.
Roko Belic's list for happiness:
- Practice gratitude - write a list each week of things you are grateful for.
- Community and friends - spend time with friends and family. When we are part of a community it makes people switch from thinking what they don't have to what they do have.
- Focus - completely immerse yourself in an activity or hobby. Live in the moment.
- Be a part of something offering meaning (volunteer for a good cause)
- Act with compassion - Do something for others.
- Exercise - increase dopamine by exercising (aerobic)