At last we have arrived at the juicy part of "Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zone Way," by Dan Buettner-- what is the take home lessons for us all? What insights can we integrate into our lives to make ourselves more happy and less stressed? How can we improve the quality of our life and therefore our health? Buettner has found six domains in life that can improve or shape our chances of finding happiness. He calls them Thrive Centers. The six areas that he identified are community, workplace, social life, financial life, home and self. The more these are interconnected in healthy ways, the higher the level of happiness people will achieve and maintain during their lifetime.
Let’s take a look at each starting with community. Community is not just the place you live but it includes the environment of economic freedom, employment rates, tolerance of your citizens, quality of your government in your municipality, the amount of community spaces available for family activities and exercise, access to the arts, and safety. These are all areas that need to be considered before you move into a community because they influence your happiness and your health.
In general people spend half of their waking hours at work so having the right parameters for your work life hugely impacts happiness. When considering work make sure you have the right job for you to bring you satisfaction, avoid long commutes, take your vacation time, work with people that you would socialize with outside of work and then do so.
Social life can take on many forms--some that create health and happiness are joining a club, connecting with people who share your faith, marrying the right person for you and understanding the joys and complications of relationships including those with your children.
Financial thriving comes from having enough to make sure your basic needs are met, so implement a savings plan, and avoid unnecessary credit card or other debt.
Activities in the home include spending time with the people you love, reducing the electronics and TV interaction in the home, getting pets, creating quiet meditation spaces, having a family room and using it, growing a garden, making your home spaces look pretty, and getting enough sleep.
Finally, for yourself look at your gifts, passions and values and make sure everything in your life reflects what is most important to you. These are your secrets to finding health and happiness.