World Happiness ReportMexico is the home to a culture that ranks amongst the happiest people in the world despite that on average, the country has limited job opportunities and education coupled with high political corruption and low personal safety. WHY ARE THEY HAPPY?SOCIAL WELL-BEING. People in Mexico have a large community to lean on. The definition of family extends beyond the nuclear family ties as people tend to be just as close with their extended families and friends - all expected to play an important role in sharing daily life. The strong community values is apparent when observing their lifestyle. STRONG COMPANIONSHIPUnlike cultures where it is expected to leave the family home as soon as adulthood is reached, people tend to live longer with their family; and it is also common to find elder parents living in their adult-children households. According to the World Happiness Report, “by living longer in the family people extend their companionship with those they grew up with, and with whom a close, disinterested, and long-lasting relationship already exists”. Why does strong companionship makes us happy?The strong genuine ties to family and friends gives us a sense of belonging to a shared mission or identity. The warmth and acceptance stimulates a feeling of social integration and promotes a subconscious belief that one is a vital member of the community. In turn, the feeling of social integration and contribution aids in higher self-esteem and sense of worth. Recognizing we are lovable and worthy is closely correlated with higher happiness. SOCIAL INTERACTION ABUNDANCEPeople tend to favor quality / bonding time over wealth accumulations. They seize any opportunity to gather for family dinners, to eat together at work, to celebrate special occasions, or to simply watch sports or prepare a BBQ. The ambiance is always lively with music, beer, dancing, talking, and laughing. Why does social interaction makes us happy? Prioritizing time to bond as a family, friends, and community sets a foundation of appreciation for one another and mutual respect. The more time we spend with people, the more we know about each other, and become more skilled at communicating in a respectful and assertive way. We can understand and exchange points of views to value the other person and be less likely to hurt each other. An abundance of social interactions gives us the interpersonal skills needed to navigate different personality types and life situations. The better we navigate social interactions, the less destructive conflict we endure, and the more joy we can cultivate in our lives.GENEROUS HELPING HAND The welcoming and friendly nature of the culture extends to unconditional generosity regardless of their wealth level. People loan or gift each other money through economic hardships. Grandmothers take care of their grandchildren so that moms can go to work and earn money. The second generation takes care of their parents when they are old. They host large parties and welcome everyone and anyone with open arms. Why does generosity impact our happiness? Generosity can positively impact our long term wellbeing and happiness, regardless of how big or small the gift / service may be. Studies suggest that acts of generosity can be as effective at lowering blood pressure as medication or exercise and that there is also a positive association between helping others and life expectancy. POSITIVE OUTLOOKGenerally speaking, they have admirable stress coping mechanisms. Likely influenced by their indigenous spiritual influences meshed with Christian beliefs, people maintain a positive outlook in life. They choose to not worry about the things they can’t control and they find joy by accepting and appreciating what they have in their lives. Part of that joy is sourced from their sense of humor and frequent laughter, used to distract themselves from stressors when needed. How does a positive outlook contribute to our happiness? Humor leads to social bonding due to shared positive emotions and the discharge of negative ones while laughter has been associated with an array of health benefits–lowered stress levels and the release of beneficial hormones among them. HOW TO CULTIVATE SOCIAL WELL-BEING IN YOUR LIFEIt’s easy to get caught up in work / life duties and unintentionally neglect relationships at times, but we have to remember that tending to our relationships is a form of self-care.Seeing, living, and breathing the strong community feel in Mexico serves as a reminder to put our priorities into perspective. It inspires us to continuously attend to, nurture, reinvigorate and strengthen relationships with the most important people in our lives and the communities to which we belong. Feeling a little inspired as well? We’ve curated 4 daily practices you can incorporate into lifestyle to strengthen your social well-being and liver happier. Need to untether from your routine?Join us on our upcoming retreat to Tulum, where you can experience first-hand the cultural values that make Mexico one of the happiest communities in the world. Book here.