Did you know some of the happiest people in the world right here in the USA?
For the last installment of this month’s theme, what can we learn about happiness to create a sweet life, I tell you this… yes, it’s true! Some of the happiness people are, in fact, right here in the U.S.A..
During this past month, I wanted to you understand that healthy habits are one of the keys to happiness. I wanted you to begin to connect the dots that if you want to be happy, you have to be willing to be healthy. There is research from Dan Buettner’s book "Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zone Way" on this topic and a specific chapter called "San Luis Obispo A Real American Dream."
His writing focuses on the lifestyle issues that create happiness, including:
Increased gathering spaces
Improved quality of life
No drive-through restaurants
Biking or walking over driving
Having control over your time and finances
So what’s the fuss about San Luis Obispo? Here’s why:
CLOSING OFF THE TOWN SQUARE TO WALK
San Luis Obispo's rise to the top of the happiness scale has been a relatively new development since 1969. The town voted to close their main streets to traffic and devote the downtown area to create a town square. The town square is focused on increasing the quality of life by creating gathering spaces, art and music spaces, areas to walk and bike, and improving exercise and health in the community.
SHIFT TOWARD QUALITY OF LIFE
The shift towards quality of life and away from totally optimizing business helped to galvanize the residents to become more involved in their surroundings and their local government's decisions. San Luis Obispo was the first municipality to ban smoking in the United States in restaurants, bars, and certain public spaces to improve the health of their residents.
NO DRIVE-THROUGH RESTAURANTS
It also prohibited drive-through restaurants in the town to improve the quality of the easily-accessible food for its residents. They created a greenbelt, an area where they restrict the amount of new real estate that can be built around the town. It is currently restricted to one percent a year to prevent suburban sprawl in their community.
BICYCLING OVER DRIVING
They encourage the use of bicycle riding or walking over driving by having good sidewalks and bike lanes. They also have traffic move at a slower rate to support riding and walking. With such wonderful quality of life and such happy people, you would think people would be flocking to live there.
1/4 OF THE RESIDENTS ARE SELF-EMPLOYED
However, only a limited amount of jobs are available and about one quarter of the residents of San Luis Obispo are self-employed. People who have control and freedom over their time tend to be happier people too. It is great to know that there are places in the United States where people’s happiness and health are priorities.
When you start to take a real look at your life and your health habits ask yourself… how much do you move? Are you spending time with your community? Are you eating in a healthy way? Do you have control over your time?
These are the factors that change your health for the better. If you aren’t paying attention to these things, then you need to come and find out how we weave these factors into a customized health care program, just for you. It is what makes our programs have such great results. We teach you how to enjoy your life more at the same time we’re working to improve your lab work results, energy and helping you lose weight.
As one on of our practice members shared in her success story… “I love the way I feel now, plus I’m losing weight. My whole demeanor and body language are different. I definitely feel like I'm a happier person.”
If you want to be a happier person, don’t you think it is worth it to take a couple hours out of your life to find out we can help?
To Your One Sweet Life,