Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Study: Naples Residents Among Happiest in U.S.

happy dog

naples-herald-dot-logo-20x20 (1)University of British Columbia (UBC), recently surveyed residents from U.S. metropolitan areas about their satisfaction and ranked Naples, FL as the fourth-happiest city in the U.S. No other city in Florida made it on the top 10 list of happiest places to live.

Author Dan Buettner conducted a longevity study on the oldest U.S citizens to create a model for living longer, being active and living happier, healthier lives. He labeled his results, “Blue Zones Project.”

Naples Community Hospital (NCH), has joined forces with Blue Zones Project to improve community wellbeing by improving surroundings and building in healthy choices.

“When the entire community works together, we can lower rates of obesity, smoking and chronic disease,” said Buettner.

The Blue Zones Project Community Assessment took place between Oct. and Dec. 2014, with activities throughout the inland and coastal areas of Collier County and South Lee County. Blue Zones Project conducted an environmental analysis of the community and met with key local community leaders in order to create a summary of the community findings to then be phased into specific community blueprints. To read the Community Assessment log onto collier.bluezonesproject.com.

The National Academy of Sciences reports that there is new evidence that happiness and health may overlap. “Our findings indicate that positive affective states are related to favorable profiles of functioning in several biological systems and may thereby be relevant to the risk of development of physical illness,” the study reads.

The Pursuit of Happiness is not just a movie, the scientific community has poured millions of dollars into researching the effects of happiness on the mind and body. The results of their studies have proven there are methods and mood changers, to cultivate happiness.

Naples’ infrastructure is full of Blue Zones where community policy works to give residents healthier choices. NCH suggests that spending time outside is a great way to boost happiness. Naples offers sidewalks, bike lanes, community gardens, mobile food markets and farmer’s markets, to keep you moving, connect you socially and offer you healthy food choices.

A sleep study at the University of California, Berkley found that getting a good night’s sleep helps insulate people against negative emotions. The study showed that sleep is directly correlated to mental clarity and productivity.

According to “happiness expert” Daniel Gilbert, maintaining a healthy social life does more for your happiness than anything else, even your income. Naples offers social gatherings on every corner, with restaurants, parks, churches, shopping and theaters.

Research has shown that giving to others gives you an emotional lift. Naples is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States and according to Forbes Magazine, Naples will have the fastest job growth among the 200 largest metro areas with an annual rate of 4.1 percent through 2016. A study out of Germany found that those who volunteer regularly have higher satisfaction with their lives than those who don’t.

Naples offers you indoor and outdoor options for exercise, a workout at the local gym, an early morning jog along a trail, or an early morning swim. Researchers say when you work out, your body releases chemicals known as endorphins that help reduce pain and encourage euphoric ones.

Stop and smell the roses, or any flowers for that matter. According to a Harvard University study, a bouquet of flowers helps people feel less anxious, experiencing more happiness and having more energy. The study also discovered that flowers in the work place have the potential to boost mood and productivity.

“Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure or joy,” said Naples Lifestyle-Specialist Ann Willis. “Happiness coaching is just that, a focus on creating a life of joy.”


© 2015 Naples Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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