A recent USA Today story researched the happiest states in the union based on a study from mathematicians at the University of Vermont.
They used Twitter real time posts to gauge how people were feeling looking for words like “wine” and “food” to determine that Napa, CA is the happiest city in the country. And Beaumont, TX was dead last of 373 cities because of a lot of swearing and, as the article points out, “a shortage of ‘awesome’ and ‘amazing’”.
Hawaii is the happiest state according to this Twitter word analysis and Louisiana the last due to “an abundant use of profanity”. Researchers did not read the tweets for context.
Of course, you don’t need a research study to tell you unhappy people live everywhere and so do happy ones.
A more important study shows that people who have less – like the citizens of the Fiji Islands – are happier than the more stressed and wealthy residents of major cities.
So, how can anyone anywhere increase their happiness by 50% now – today?
- Find at least one thing to be grateful for every hour.
- Don’t postpone or talk yourself out of anything joyful that happens for any reason large or, more importantly, small.
- At least once a day, make it about someone else not about us.
- Be mindful of trying to live in the moment. Experts say even trying and failing to live in the now makes us happier.
“Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it” — Jacques Prévert
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