Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

California labels itself a happiness lab.

By triji Mar 23, 2024
News

At the same moment, the state of California is on the verge of becoming the first state in the United States to make the happiness of its people the primary focus of its public policy.

What does it mean to be happy, and how can one quantify it? The state of California is resonating with these existential questions. A working committee that is dedicated to this quest has been established by this state on the west coast, which is frequently a pioneer in societal undertakings in the United States.

This unusual nationwide endeavor, which has been given the name “Special Committee on Happiness and Public Policy Outcomes,” aims to improve the well-being of Californians by going beyond standard economic measures.

“If everyone has a roof over their heads and a job but remains unhappy, then we have not achieved our goal,” said Anthony Rendon, a Democrat who has served as the speaker of the California Assembly for the past seven years and who is in charge of this committee.

With the intention of developing a plan of action by the end of the year, the committee, which held its first public meeting on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, intends to broaden the scope of discussions with the general public as well as with a variety of specialists.

This is the case of Bhutan.
Gross National Happiness (GNH) is a measure of prosperity that takes into account a variety of aspects, including health, education, traditional culture, sustainable use of natural resources, community vitality, and psychological well-being. It is derived from Bhutan, a nation in which GNH is regarded as a more humanistic and all-encompassing indicator of prosperity than Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The move comes at a time when California, the most populous state in the United States, is experiencing increasing fear. A survey conducted by the State Public Policy Institute in September 2023 found that 55 percent of adults and 54 percent of people who are likely to vote believe that the state is moving in the wrong way.

In the same poll, 87 percent of Californians believe that there is a problem in the United States of America regarding mental health. This percentage is comparable to the national perception, which is 90 percent, according to a poll conducted by CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) in October 2022.

More broadly, the United States of America is falling in the yearly report of the happiest countries in the world, which was issued by Gallup and the United Nations. This finding indicates that the feeling of happiness is decreasing in the United States. According to the study that was released on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, the United States of America is ranked 23rd, which is eight places lower than the previous year. This marks the first time that the United States has fallen out of the top 20 global rankings since the report was originally published in 2012.

When it comes to young individuals under the age of 30, the United States ranks 62nd out of 143 countries. This loss is especially noticeable among this demographic. On the other side, the country ranks tenth among those who are above the age of sixty, which indicates that older citizens have a higher level of happiness.

It is possible that you are having a conversation in your head that goes something like this: “If only I had more time to relax, or to spend with family and friends, or to focus on meaningful activities, my life would be so much better.” This is the case if you are experiencing feelings of stress, being stretched thin, or being overworked. This is the case if you are a human living in the United States of America in the year 2022.

Cassie Mogilner Holmes, who works at UCLA Anderson, is adamant that you are able to find the time to accomplish it. In her book, “Happier Hour: How to Beat Distraction, Expand Your Time, and Focus on What Matters Most,” she provides a step-by-step strategy to increasing your level of happiness.

In the beginning of the book, Holmes’s personal tale is presented, which lends further credibility to the recommendations that are derived from scholarly study.

According to what Holmes has said, “When I was a child, people called me Little Miss Happiness.” Due to my consistently upbeat and optimistic demeanor, it was simple to dismiss me as naive. But if I’m being completely honest, I’ve always had a lot of reasons to be pleased.

A period that she refers to as “my very own fairy tale” started when a boy she had a crush on in elementary school who had lived in London during the time that her family was there looked her up when she was living in New York after she graduated from college. Relationships developed, and her prince eventually proposed to her not long after she turned 27 years old. During the week leading up to her long-awaited wedding, she was backing out of the driveway with her wedding dress and honeymoon attire neatly packed behind her when she received a phone call. They had relocated to the Bay Area.

It was at that very moment that my happy existence was shattered, along with my vision of a future that was completely mapped out. The conclusion of my fairy tale came too soon, and it was not at all happy. “All of a sudden, I found myself in a state of heartbreak, humiliation, and saddled with the unfortunate (and expensive) task of deconstructing my meticulously planned dream wedding,” she revealed in “Happier Hour.”

In spite of the fact that I had already started my doctoral research on happiness by that point, I had never really questioned my own happiness. I returned to the previous literature, but this time I did it with a fresh perspective because I was experiencing depression in the months that followed. I was curious about what it is that brings us joy, and I wanted to know whether there was anything I could do to get back to feeling that way.

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