Although happiness is a major component of our genetic makeup, happiness can also be attributed to life events and life experiences such as the people we interact with, theactivities we engage in, and the places we live and work. It is so important that even big companies like Google, Johnson & Johnson, and Apple now emphasize on creating a culture of happiness among their employees as this is an attractive feature in people that fuels their creativity. Likewise, several governments across the world have now acknowledge the importance of happiness in social policymaking. Being happy impacts the quality of every relationship, productivity, and overall life satisfaction.
Moreover, neighborhoods can provide environments for socializing and engaging in leisure, both of which have been shown to be associated with happiness. But just how are individual and neighborhood attributes associated with happiness and how is happiness related to how we feel about our neighborhood?
Sense of community (SOC) describes the social connections, mutual concerns, and values that exist within a community. It’s been found that individuals who have a strong connection to their community are happier. Likewise, happy people seek out the social interaction and fellowship that are essential components of strong communities. Happiness alone accounts for 7% of an individual’s SOC (sense of community.)
Other than social bonds, there are many other great qualities, including quality relationships with friends and family members, that happy people have in common. Likewise, happy people tend to be more connected to their neighborhoods and tend to contribute more to the social capital growth of the community in which they live. This sense of generalized happiness in the community can be an impetus for positive behaviors in the community such as volunteering and neighboring, which has further encouraging implications for community planners, public health officials as well as residents.
Happiness does not only enhance certain aspects of our life; it also influences our feeling toward our neighborhood and community.
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