Are Hawaiians Happier?

Aloha!
Hawaiians earned the title of “The Happiest State in America” with the highest rate of well-being of any state for the 4th year in a row, according to the annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The index looks at six categories: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, healthy behaviors, and physical health. According to a Huffington Post blog post entitled “What Hawaii Can Teach the Rest of America About Living Better” by Carolyn Gregoire, Hawaii locals not only live longer, they’re less stressed and happier than any other state. Other states in the top ten were:
10) Massachusetts
09) Iowa
08) New Hampshire
07) Nebraska
06) Montana
05) Vermont
04) Utah
03) Minnesota
02) Colorado
01) HAWAII

Folks in the top 10 states tend to have lower rates of obesity, and fewer medical problems, such as Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and chronic pain. They also report enjoying their jobs more. They have lower rates of smoking, and exercise more than those who live in the lower -ranked states.

These five states have been in the lowest rankings every year from 2008 through 2012: West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Almost 60% of those in Hawaii say they are “thriving,” versus about 45% in West Virginia. Hawaiians live longer, according to recent data from the Center for Disease Control.

So what are the secrets to the Aloha state’s longevity and happiness?

A Slowed down lifestyle.

A sense of family and strong community

Sunshine and exercise: more than 60% of Hawaiians exercise, according to Dr. Bradley Willcox, a longevity expert and professor at the John A. Burns school of medicine at the University of Hawaii.

20130908-103019.jpg
Courtesy freedigitalphotos.net arztsamui
“You get vitamin D from the sun when you’re out, it’s easier to be physically active here –you’re not dealing with 2 feet of snow for a good chunk of the year.”

Okay, let’s talk about these things. If you live in Hawaii, I’d love to hear from you. Please weigh in on:
What you think your state of happiness is, on a 1-10 scale, ten being the happiest.
Has your family had longevity?
Are you really healthy?
Do you exercise and get outside regularly?
Do you feel stressed?
Do you lead a slowed-down lifestyle?
Do you have strong family/community ties?

I will publish the results from the feedback I receive.

On another note, living in Hawaii is always interesting, and does pose its challenges. Last evening while we were in our Jacuzzi down in the yard, we had a visitor:

20130908-104934.jpg

I felt something brush my ear, and thought a mango tree leaf had dropped into the spa. I reached for it and it moved. I flung it, screeching, and Mike said it began swimming fast across the Jacuzzi. Well, you’ve never seen two adults in relaxation mode move so fast (or sound like 6 year-old girls).
It was about the size of the span of my hand when open, from pinky to thumb, say 6-7 inches. This is our second centipede in a week. I was headed down the hall the other evening at bedtime and just happened to glance down and saw one on the floor. I could easily have stepped on it and been stung, being that I’m always barefoot. Our chosen mode of removal is a giant pair of cooking tongs, at which point they get very angry‚Ķ And then they are tossed in the toilet and flushed. A friend lays a flat box down and waits for them to crawl in. (What was that ad on TV? Cockroaches crawl in, but they don’t crawl out?)

Anyway, never a dull moment. And how was YOUR Saturday evening?

If you live in Hawaii, please take a moment to respond to the above questions, if you would. Many mahalos!

A hui ho!! If you would like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “follow” button on the homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica