February 5, 2008

Asheville is on the Map - For Happiness!

Asheville was in the news recently as one of the happiest places in the world. The distinction comes from researchers at the University of Leicester (UK), who have established the first color-coded world map of happiness. In addition, author Eric Weiner traveled the happiest places in the world for his book The Geography of Bliss, and determined that America’s happiest place is Asheville, NC!

Those of us who live in Asheville, or enjoy visiting, didn’t need the media to tell us. But this does validate what we already knew. The question is, how in the world did they measure happiness?

Measuring Happiness

As it turns out, scientists have been trying to determine the ’science of happiness’ for years. Factors leading to life satisfaction? Friendship, marriage (or life partnership), meaning in life (stemming from spirituality, religion, or philosophy), and long term goals that are fun to work towards. For more in-depth information, check out this 2006 article from Mike Rudin, BBC News series producer of “The Happiness Formula.”

Weiner’s decision to settle on Asheville for the happiest place in the US was based on our beautiful surroundings, abundance of art & culture, and sense of community.

More Reading

To read the news articles on Happy Asheville for yourself…
Has Singapore Found the Secret to Satisfaction? (see Weiner on Asheville, pg 3)
Nine Happy Places (see Weiner on Asheville, pg 10)

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