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

Outbreak at Okanagan hospital

Gastrointestinal illness reported at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Secondary school ranks first in national competition

A local high school’s work in post-secondary preparedness has garnered national recognition

Dedicated volunteers look for clues

Police appreciate work of those who provide extra eyes for missing women investigations.

Dueck answers Hall’s call

Vernon’s Josh Dueck elected to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame

Big Band supports children with disabilities in Lake Country

Proceeds from the Okanagan Big Band performance in Vernon supports local kids

Christmas spirit rounded up at Ranch

O’Keefe Ranch celebrates the season with Victorian Christmas

Choir presents a cozy collection of Christmas tunes

Tapestry Women’s Choir and Fireflies Children’s Choir take the Armstrong Bible Chapel stage Dec. 16

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Vernon Off Road Motorcycle Club looks back at 2017 season

Half Throttle, Great Trails, highlight 2017 season

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Worship night celebrates with Christmas concert

Hear The Music is back with a Christmas concert Dec. 17 at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre

Armstrong purse project puts women first

When money is tight, even the essentials can become luxury items

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

Most Read