Doctor’s prescription for happiness

Being grateful an important ingredient in the recipe

Those who are grateful live longer, healthier lives.

That was the message from Edward Diener, aka Dr. Happiness. The world-renowned psychologist and leading expert in scientific research on happiness shared his insight at the Kelowna Community Theatre as part of the University of B.C.’s Distinguished Speaker Series.

The presentation, titled The Science of Happiness: What We Know and How We Can Use it to Improve Society, both inspired and informed a near-full house.

“It’s not physics,” said Diener, who instead says there is not one key element to happiness, but a recipe of several factors.

And yes, one of them is money. But only to a certain extent.

The research shows that while covering basic necessities generally improves a person’s quality of life and therefore happiness, the more money you have does not necessarily equate to increased happiness.

“Money’s not everything,” said Diener.

But combined with other elements, such as social relationships and work, it plays a part.

“There are dozens of things you can do to be a happier individual,” said Diener.

“Be grateful, that’s one that I’m still working on, and be positive to others. Remember not just to criticize others but to say positive things. You can’t say enough positive to other people, giving them compliments and thanks.

“Support others, don’t just look for support, be a support.

“Develop a habit of seeing the good in the world and others.”

With recent events like the Las Vegas shootings, while obviously devastating, in the big scheme of things it was small compared to plague, depression and world wars that have occurred, said Diener. Taking this into account, as well as seeing the good that has come from such tragedy is important, he urges.

“We’ve got to also see that there were millions of dollars given and thousands of people giving blood.

“Don’t just look at the bad things in the world, don’t catastrophize. Realize this will go away, we’ll get through this. Do what you can and then move on.”

Diener is working to have his research used and accepted by leaders, to both guide policies and improve society.

“You want citizens to be happy to function better,” he said, adding that still more needs to be done. “We need to have national counts of well being to supplement economic counts.”

But all-in-all, we’re pretty happy with all things considered.

And in fact Canadians are among the world’s happiest people.

Just Posted

West Kelowna to stick with regional transportation planning

City council votes to rescind its move to leave regional planning body

Vernon at centre of rail trails convergence

More local development input sought for Okanagan and North Okanagan/Shuswap rail trails

Keeping pets safe at Christmas

This time of year presents a lot of possible health hazards for our pets

UBCO researchers find link between methane and Amazon rainforest

It turns out that trees in the Amazonian floodplain act as “chimneys,” according to a researcher

Kelowna Gospel Mission creates more meals with new slicer

The slicer was donated by the Morningside Rotary Club

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Flag person’s death shines light on dangers

Company calls for more awareness of and respect for flaggers

Rockets fall in Swift Current for third straight loss

The Broncos score the game’s first five goals in Kelowna’s fourth game of six-game eastern trip

Star gazing: Mars – the Red Planet

Mars is part of our culture, currently of extreme scientific interest, and sufficiently like Earth

Kelowna auto dealer revs up KGH building project with big donation

Kelowna Toyota has donated $30,000 to help build JoeAnna’s House on hospital grounds

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Most Read