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Friday, August 20, 2010

Happiness in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan

As we mentioned earlier in the week, it was the monarch of the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan who first defined the concept of Gross National Happiness. But what is the Bhutanese formula for happiness?

Like many psychological and social indicators, GNH is easier to describe than to define with statistical precision. However, the Bhutanese people seem to know that happiness is multi-dimensional. Learn more on Bhutan's official website. The country is Buddhist and has a matriarchal system, very few cars, no branding in the shops, a single television station and a passion for archery. Healthcare and education are free for life. Almost every citizen wears the national costume all the time and regulations on architecture preserve the craft industry of religious art. Yes, there is uniformity, consistency and they're mobilized for the preservation of their core values.

For more ideas, read this article from Psychology Today about how to make a gratitude adjustment. And there's plenty of material for you on our website,, that can help grow your feelings of well-being. Learn from Trudy about her painful losses that ended in a chance to live life more fully. Here are final tips for the week about increasing happiness:

Pay attention to the practical issues. Get enough sleep, stimulate your mind, eat well, practice relaxation or meditation, find your passion, exercise regularly, don't hold a grudge and spend time with friends. Maintaining order also falls into this category - studies show that if you make your bed, that provides inner calm and helps you start the day off right.

Don't expect too much. Unrealistic expectations can often lead to disappointment. Built-in obsolescence makes you a slave to the latest style and the next upgrade. It never ends, and leaves you dissatisfied with what you have. In some situations try not to expect anything and whatever comes your way will be a blessing.

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