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Four Happy Places

Lesson from San Luis Obispo: Live Close to Your Work

A key component of thriving, especially for Americans, is satisfying work. And a key component of satisfying work, Buettner emphasizes, is a short commute. “We know dependably that one of the things Americans hate is commuting by car,” he says.

Even better than a short drive is walking or biking to work. This is easy in places like San Luis Obispo, °Arhus or Monterrey, all of which have abundant sidewalks and bike lanes. By making exercise “the easy option,” these civic features facilitate active commutes that are a healthy part of people’s days. Activity levels in walkable communities are 35 percent higher than in communities where it’s difficult to get around, Buettner reports.

An additional advantage to reasonable commutes: They leave you surplus time and energy to live out your values. As one SLO resident told Buettner, “When you get home from a half-hour commute from work, there’s no way you’re going to feel like going to a city council meeting.”

By contrast, when your drive is short, or you walk or bike home — enjoying the breeze and waving to neighbors — you’re more likely to feel ready for anything.

Learn more about Buettner’s happiness project in his 2011 book, Thrive (National Geographic, 2010).

Related Links:

5 Tips to Find Serenity in Your Busy Life
Happiness: It Isn’t Your Circumstances
The Source of Happiness?

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1:33AM PDT on Sep 1, 2015

Mindless, expensive, unreasonably long lines ... but happy.

4:42PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

Interesting, thanks for sharing

11:12PM PST on Feb 1, 2014

oddly not a single disney park was mentioned..... interesting.....

5:33AM PST on Jan 11, 2014

Interesting, food for thought.

1:03PM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

Fresh air, community, enjoying life and feeling safe while doing it. Glad to hear the suggestions that came in this article.

2:11AM PDT on Aug 18, 2013


2:20AM PDT on Aug 12, 2013

Thank you :)

3:50AM PDT on Jul 10, 2013

Thank you. We need more places like these...

6:09PM PDT on Jul 9, 2013

Have never been to any of these places, maybe if I ever get rich enough to travel I will visit them all. I agree with those that said happiness should be found withn. For years I wasted time looking for the so-called rainbow of happiness over the next hill. I've scaled mountains and never been completely content. Until I slowed down and began looking at myself; inside myself.

I found that if we are not content with ourselves, do not like ourselves, then we will not be happy. My children and grandchildren make me happy - but it's fleeting, unless you live with them 24/7. When you go home you are alone with yourself and that's when happiness and contentment come through - or lack thereof.

I am content for the most part, but still have some things to work on before true happiness will shine thru - an ongoing process, which has been both eyeopening and frustrating, especially when I find something within I didn't realize about myself - not always positive. Of course, there's the need to make changes - also not always a positive experience, but worth it.

4:11PM PDT on Jul 8, 2013

wonder why the lesson from Mexico is to go to church & believe in something outside ourselves... The ladies met w/ each other & enjoyed each other's company. It had nothing to do w/ churches - they can be very unpleasant places. Over in Florida a lady who had attended for more than30yrs disagreed w/ the pastor about something and he told her to "shut up" because her role was to be quiet & only have an opinion if she was asked for one". Well, the poor lady was in shock but continued going to church,I guess because she had no other friends. I would never show up again, but that's me.

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people are talking

Coconut oil does sound a lot more logical than all the other stuff mentioned in the article. Thanks…

most of these recipes look quite good. i know what i will be cooking on weekend^^

Thank you Angel.


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