Dan Buettner, the author of The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons from the World’s Happiest People, writes that happiness can actually be measured - both objectively and subjectively. As he researched the knowledge base created by experts who had quantified happiness, he was able to condense their ideas into twelve life characteristics that are common to the world’s happiest people. He tells us these happy folks:
1. Live with a loving partner
2. Spend 30 minutes of quality time with their kids at least five times a week
3. Own a dog
4. Spend less than one hour watching TV or playing video games per day
5. Have people in their lives whom they can confide in after a difficult day
6. Eat at least six servings of fruits or vegetables daily
7. Meditate at least once a week
8. Visit the doctor and dentist at least once per year
9. Have a home with good natural light
10. Live near nature, whether it’s a park close by, houseplants or a fish tank inside, or a window through which they can clearly see outside.
11. Can articulate their sense of purpose or life mission
12. Care for loved ones, such as sick children or aging parents.