Did you know the Happiness Alliance, and our happiness index, is born from the sustainability movement? We got our start in 2010, as a project of Sustainable Seattle (Sustainable Seattle is the first community based non-profit to create regional sustainability indicators).
Some say the happiness movement represents a jump from sustainability, but we say that our happiness is founded on sustainability, and intrinsically tied to our natural environment. And our happiness data backs us up.
This month's Happiness Data report is about the connection between our access to nature and happiness in terms of our sense of purpose and meaning in life.
We wondered if people with a greater access to nature have a greater sense meaning in life. Data from over 11,000 people who took our happiness index tells us that people who are satisfied or very satisfied with their access to nature have a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives.
Why Getting Out into Nature or Bringing Nature to Your Life will bring you Happiness
So why should you care that people who are more satisfied with their access to nature are happier?
Because overall, our happiness scores for feeling that things in our life are worthwhile are not so great. This means one way to increase our sense of feeling worthwhile is to reconnect with mother nature. And because we know that sense of meaning in life and satisfaction with life are tied, in all probability, we an increase our sense of satisfaction with life by increasing our access to nature.
About the data
Data gathered via the Happiness Alliance's Happiness Index online with a convenience sampling of 11,398 respondents taking the survey in 2017 reveals a positive correlation between satisfaction with access to nature and sense of purpose and meaning with a d=.461 and p< .0005.
Caveat: Further research is needed to understand what underlying factors may be influencing our findings.
What You Can Do For Mother Earth and Your Happiness
We hope our data report inspires you to talk action to increase or maintain your happiness by connecting to nature. Here are a few ideas for taking action today.
When we put our happiness first in a holistic and balanced manner, we come to know that our health, well-being and quality of life is a reflection of the sustainability of our natural environment. Here are a few ideas for Community Organizers and Policy Makers to contribute to people's happiness through environmental action.
Teaching and talking about our connection to nature is a great way to remind yourself about how important mother earth is to our happiness. Here are three ways to engage the child in your life - or the child in you - with nature.
Earth Day 2018 Happiness Data Report by Alice Vo Edwards and Laura Musikanski.