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The Measure of Happiness

December 2, 2022
Dr. Dimitrios Vareldzis

According to the World Happiness Report, “2022 reveals a bright light in dark times. The pandemic brought not only pain and suffering but also an increase in social support and benevolence. As we battle the ills of disease and war, it is essential to remember the universal desire for happiness and the capacity of individuals to rally to each other’s support in times of great need.” 

The 6 key areas of wellbeing are: 

• Healthy Life Expectancy—A healthy diet, a healthy weight, regular exercise, avoiding tobacco and smoking, drinking in moderation, good oral health care and treating/monitoring for chronic diseases can increase life expectancy significantly. 

• Social Support—Nurturing and cultivating relationships improves life. Interestingly, increasing exposure and use of digital media, which can supplant person-to-person engagement, has been measured in having a negative role in wellbeing. 

• Freedom—The ability to make life choices is more highly correlated to happiness than most of the other key areas in the study. 

• Trust—Freedom from corruption in government and business is integral to wellbeing. 

• Income—Although money cannot buy happiness, poverty negatively impacts the wellbeing of many in the US. 

• Generosity—Studies show that giving is correlated with happiness; people who give to charity report higher happiness than people who do not.