How to Create a Happy, Equitable, Green World | Sierra Club

Instead of just short-term hedonism, try sustainable happiness. People are happier if they can have more time instead of things, give more than get, appreciate what they have instead of trying to get what they don’t have, and create strong relationships and a life purpose.   Experiments show that happier people take more action, according to three studies published in The Journal of Positive Psychology. Those happier people promoted environmental issues, fought corruption, and attended rallies. 

When you feel ready, try even small acts of activism like signing a petition. It makes people happier, possibly because it gives them a sense of purpose and a chance to meet others, according to a study published in the same journal. 

In mostly high-income countries, income inequalities had at least a moderate effect on the prevalence of alcohol addiction, anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and autism, according to a study in BMJ Open. The underlying pressure for education or wealth could lead to negative impacts on mental health, according to the study’s authors. 

So maybe value mental health instead of wealth! And try being equitable. For example, if you tell people how lucky or privileged they are, they might not like that. So maybe ask, “How has luck played a role in your life?” Try allyship, like asking, “How can I support you?” instead of thinking certain jobs, communication skills, or lifestyles are better than others. Avoid saying you understand how someone feels if you don’t look the same and share the same life experiences. 

How to Create a Happy, Equitable, Green World | Sierra Club