So What Can We Do to Be Happier?

It should be clear by now that psychologists know quite a lot about what kinds of behaviors lead to greater happiness. So what can we do with our economy to improve well-being? We need to pay more attention to time balance, security, and social connection. As individuals we can focus more of our time on family and community, and on building trust. We can devote less attention to maximizing incomes and more attention to generosity. As workers, we can ask our employers for more time off instead of higher pay. Less stuff and less debt allow for a better life with less income, less stress, and more time. In our local communities, we can find ways to design more relationship-friendly places. Farmers' markets are one great example. Shoppers there engage in ten times as many conversations with other people as those in supermarkets.32 In our cities, as in Denmark, we can design public and private spaces that facilitate social connection, instead of discouraging it, as our pattern of urban sprawl surely does. For more suggestions, you'll need to keep reading …

Meanwhile, let's get beyond the GDP and see how our economic policies affect the quality of our lives.

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