The Kootenays- Your Happiness Place!

Grow where you are planted… or so the saying goes. But what if where you’re planted is driving you crazy, or totally bringing you down?!


While genetics and upbringing determine our mood levels and sense of well-being to some degree, approximately 40 percent of our happiness is actually within our control. According to some experts, research in the field of positive psychology has shown that happiness is a choice that anyone can make.


It appears, perhaps, that part of the choice to be happy might actually involve where to live…


According to the 2015 World Happiness Report Canada is number 5- up one from last year!- behind Switzerland, Iceland and two Scandinavian countries. I guess there’s something to be said for northern living!


Likewise, the Kootenays recently got their due in the happiness ranks. According to Statistics Canada’s How’s Life in the City report, the Kootenays scored an 8.1 on the happiness index, among the happiest in Canada.


To those of us who live here, these results certainly aren’t a mystery.


As evidenced in the survey results, life satisfaction tends to be higher in smaller communities. Our access to safe outdoors and recreation, as well as a general sense of economic well-being all play into rating so highly. In the report, health was marked as a key factor for happiness, along with economic and social factors such as income, employment and marital status.


Surprisingly, beautiful, revered Vancouver, often ranked in the top 10 of any number of best cities listings on any given year, came dead last.


As psychologist William James put it, “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.”


Or, maybe, by simply altering where he lives. Evidently, the Kootenays would be a great choice!