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Someone once said: 

“Happiness is a state of mind. “

Well, if happiness is a state of mind,then Boulder is its capital!

There is a  universal quest for happiness. People will go to great lengths and travel long

distances to find a home or an answer which will give them happiness and fulfillment. Not

everybody is successful in this quest. In fact several studies and surveys have been

conducted to determine what percentage of people are truly happy, and why. In fact, several

popular books have been published reporting on the reults of these studies.

One such book report was featured on May 8th on the CBS television program “Sunday Morning”

But don’t just take their word for it. The author, Dan Witter runs the Gallup-Healthways

Well-Being Index, a projected 25-year study – the most in-depth ever – of Americans’ overall

satisfaction with life.The Gallup research digs deeper, beyond vague feelings of

“happiness,” to gather more measurable data on 55 aspects of overall well-being – everything

from emotional and physical health, to how satisfied we are with work.

“We talked to 1,000 American adults every single night, every night of the year, so by the

end of the year, you’ve captured 350,000 respondents,” Witters said.
Gallup has interviewed more than a million Americans since 2008, enough to map our

happiness. After all the data was analyzed, Gallup ranked the populations of 188

metropolitan areas from highest well-being to lowest.

Boulder was number one.

No surprise: On a statewide level, Hawaii heads the top ten. But this isn’t just about good

weather. Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska and Colorado are next, and no Southern state made the


What’s Boulder doing right? Why are people in Boulder, Colorado happier and those in

Huntington, W.Va., at the bottom?

“Well, they’re taking care of themselves, for one thing,” said Witters. “Obesity is only 13

percent, smoking is only 13 percent. So they’ve got a very good handle on how to care for

themselves, and so happiness is very high. Stress is low.”

And so the Happiness Project, conducted by Gretchen Rubin was born. She picked 12 areas of

life, from marriage to money to mindfulness, and concentrated on one a month for a year.
She herself found that she too ended up happier … and with some prescriptions for the rest

of us.

“Happiness can seem very complicated and transcendent,” Rubin said. ” “So a good

place to start is with your own body. So even things like getting enough sleep and getting a

little bit of exercise are things that are going to boost your mood, give you a better sense

of focus, give you more energy. And then it’s easier to do all the other things that will

make you happier.”

What Gretchen re-discovered is the wisdom of that old saying: Happiness is a journey, not a

destination, and one best guided by daily … incremental changes in lifestyle… with one

above all:
“Ancient philosophers and contemporary researchers agree that maybe the key the happiness,

if you had to pick just one thing, is strong relationships with other people,” she said. “So

take the trip to see your sister’s new baby, go to the reunion, throw a party. Connections –

anything that’s going to make you feel more connected with other people is going to add to

your happiness.”

Which seems to be what all those Gallup numbers add up to: No matter where you live, rather

than winning the lottery or rewiring your soul, being happier is really just a matter of

taking that first small step in the right direction.

“Sometimes the difference between who we are today and who we want to be, or wish that we

were, are very small things,” Witters said. “They aren’t big steps, they’re little steps.

What you need to do is have the knowledge that if you take that step, there’s going to be

something better on the other side, waiting for you. And that’s at the core of the well-being equation.”

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