How happy are we? Luckily we can answer this question with actual facts.
Australia is the 12th happiest country in the world for the period 2017-2019. Which is pretty impressive.
It was based on things like having someone to count on, frequent meetings with friends, having a sense of freedom to make key life decisions, generosity and trust (feeling trust in others generally and in the powers that be), and inequality.
I haven’t read the whole report (it’s 202 pages of tiny writing) but I did get this particularly interesting tidbit.
Trust is critical to wellbeing and happiness.
It makes sense right. I live in a small community where everyone is friendly, no-one locks their front doors, kids play happily in the streets, and it’s all rainbows and butterflies (literally). People talk about how much they love living here all the time.
This community has trust. We trust that: our neighbours will drive slowly enough to not hit a child, keep an eye on our front door when we’re not home, return our friendly greeting, and just generally be decent people.
We have a council that (mostly) tries to keep development to a minimum to maintain the community vibe. So we trust that they’re (mostly) on our side too.
Now here’s something for you to think about:
How is your trust?
Do you have a friend or family member you trust implicitly? Do you feel like there are people in your community you can trust? Do you feel like the police are there to help and protect you? Do you trust that the government has your best interests at heart?
If you answered no to these questions, your wellbeing and happiness is probably quite compromised.
If you answered no to some, are they things you can actively change?
For example, could you reach out to friends to build a closer environment of trust? Could you become more involved in a community project that does good to help restore your faith in the goodness of people? And, if all else fails, could you move to a community that supports a good sense of trust?
We may be less happy than we would like in life but it is always good to remember that we have the capacity to make changes to improve that. What we need to know is what we need to change. Hopefully this gives you another insight into that.