January 9, 2013

National Geographic Books: Thrive Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way

Are you happy? What makes you happy? Do you even know what makes you happy?

Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way by Dan Buettner has gotten a lot of media attention. NPR reports:

Buettner devotes a section of Thrive to Denmark, where the "gross national happiness" is incredibly high. When asked why this is, he notes that the country's leveling tax structure enables its citizens to have more freedom. "Normally when we think of happiness, we think of money and status, but Denmark teaches us the opposite lesson," he says. "There, you have a place where you are taxed to the mean. A cultural norm reminds everybody that they are no better than everybody else, so you're not going to choose your career path based on status. You're in a place where a garbage man makes as much as a lawyer. So what you have are 4 million people who excel at things like furniture design and architecture."

Buettner also notes that in Denmark, most people only work "37 hours a week on average, and they take their full six weeks of vacation," noting that a liberal work schedule leads to greater happiness overall.

From Singapore to San Luis Obispo, Buettner examines happy places on our planet. Things like family matters, as in Singapore where it is the "center of social structure" and extends beyond genetics to friends providing an "extended support system". Or as in San Luis Obispo where grapes come into play (my secret to happiness :)). One glass of wine increases dopamine in the brain making one feel happy. Or as in Mexico where the sunny warm climate provides vitamin D, also known as the "happiness vitamin".

Beyond simple ideas like being in the sunshine and drinking wine, Buettner dives deeper into contentment and offers lessons at the end of the book.

In THRIVE, New York Times bestselling author and explorer, Dan Buettner, reports on the surprising findings from his five-year global study on the keys to personal happiness. In addition to sharing his extraordinary accounts of the happiest people on the planet, Buettner examines how their unique lifestyles correlate to their extraordinary well-being. Finally -- and most important -- Buettner details how to incorporate these powerful characteristics into our daily routine so that we, too, can THRIVE.

This book is printed in the USA.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

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Posted by Jennifer Lance at January 9, 2013 9:45 AM

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