For Happier Cities get More Cyclists

a couple, bicycles

Cities where people cycle regularly are happier than cities in which cycling is rare. The evidence continues to mount that building good cycling infrastructure will improve the life of everybody in a city – regardless if they ride or not. Urban planners already know that designing cities for pedestrians and cyclists make for better environments and now the on the ground happiness can be traced to it too. Get out there and ride a bike or ask your local politicians to make riding safer.

In Bogotá in 2017, for the first time, there were more survey respondents using bicycles than cars – 9 percent vs. 8 percent – with a satisfaction rate of 85 percent for bicycles against 75 percent for private vehicles. Only 19 percent users of the city’s bus rapid transit system, TransMilenio, reported being satisfied with its service.

The data from Colombia is consistent with international evidence.

A survey of 13,000 people in the United States by researchers from Clemson University in 2014 showed that cyclists were the happiest commuters.

Similarly, a survey of 1,000 people in London showed that 91 percent of the respondents bicycling to work found it satisfactory, while only 74 percent of bus commuters and 73 percent of Underground users were satisfied with their daily travel experience.

In the Global Happiness Report 2017, countries with high bicycle use tend to among the happiest overall, like the Netherlands (ranked sixth; daily bike use: 43 percent), Denmark (ranked third; daily bike user: 30 percent) and Finland (ranked first; daily bike use: 28 percent).

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Thanks to Delaney!

The Happiest Workers are Self-Employed

conversation

It’s Wednesday my dudes, which means you’re likely midway through your work week. If you’re looking for a boost in productivity and happiness you may want to consider working for yourself. People who are self-employed report being happier than people who work for bosses in a recent in study about workplace happiness. Of course, being self-employed isn’t for everyone but if you’re looking for a change maybe it’s time to strike out on your own!

Professor Warr said: “Professional workers who are self-employed really value the autonomy they have. They have the freedom to innovate, express their own views, have influence beyond their own role and compete with other companies and people.

“They really get to use their own expertise, so don’t seem to mind working long hours. They can find meeting high standards really fulfilling.”

Co-author Professor Ilke Inceoglu added: “Being engaged in their jobs makes people feel energised and pleased with their own contribution.

“Measuring how engaged people are in their work is therefore a really useful way to gauge their wellbeing and shows we must move beyond just looking at job satisfaction.”

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Read the full study.

Be Lazy About Happiness

run

Dan Buettner has travelled the planet looking for ways to make people happy and has found that the best thing one can do is be relaxed about the whole thing. He wrote a book, The Blue Zones of Happiness that basically says happiness is a journey, not a destination. To be happy keep striving to become a better person by making your day to day more joyful and learning new things. The key is to find something that has meaning to you that you want to pursue and learn more about. The laziness comes in how you do this: don’t stress about it and take your time.

Hamblin: It sounds like you’re arguing for a reframing of the idea of “happiness” toward something bigger—an aggregate of purpose and joy and satisfaction and meaning. We’ve run pieces in the past that touch on, for example, Viktor Frankl and others who have said that life is really about pursuing meaning, and if you pursue happiness as we Americans tend to think about it, you end up going to amusement parks and shopping malls and trying to do things that are supposed to be making you happy but are sucking life out of you.

Buettner: Yes, exactly. So this was our challenge. Even though you can’t measure happiness, you can measure life satisfaction, partly by asking people, and partly by discrete questions about how much you smile or laugh or feel joy. You can also measure people’s sense of purpose, with questions like, “Do you learn new and interesting things every day? Have you used your strength to do what you do best this past week?” So for this book I worked with statisticians to run the numbers on data like this around the world. That pointed us to Singapore, Costa Rica, and Denmark as globally illustrative of facets of happiness. And so I spent a lot of time in those places, as well as a few U.S. cities, and tried to piece together explanations.

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How to Maximize Misery

Many people strive for happiness and think it’s the end goal of life – pro tip: it isn’t. We’ve looked at happiness quite a few times and if there’s anything to learn from these posts it’s to embrace what you have at any given time. Mindfulness is key. In the video above CGP Grey takes use through things that make us miserable, and if you want to improve your life then you ought to stop doing those things listed in the video.

3 Things You Can do Now to Improve Your Life

work and smile

Happiness is an elusive thing – one can never have enough and striving for it makes it unattainable. We all want happiness in our, so how can we achieve a happier life? The most obvious answer is to “live in the now” and be thankful for what you have, but there are other things you can do too. These other three things will not only help you be happier they will generally improve your life! SO, if you want to improve your life do these three things:

  1. Talk in person.
  2. Put away your mobile.
  3. Have meaningful goals.

Chasing meaning, not happiness, is what really matters
The quest for happiness doesn’t make us happy. In fact, Emily Esfahani Smith realized that constantly evaluating our own happiness is actually contributing to feelings of hopelessness and depression. Happiness is a fickle emotion, fleeting, based on a moment or an experience. What’s really making us feel sad is not a lack of happiness, it’s lack of meaning, she said.

Smith, author of the new book “The Power of Meaning,” said that after five years of interviewing hundreds of people, she discovered that meaning can be derived in four forms: belonging, purpose, transcendence and storytelling.

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