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Professional Happiness

Recent research has found “a striking association between population density — the concentration of people in a given area — and happiness.” In other words, the lower the average population density, the greater is the overall happiness in those communities.

Does this surprise you?

Many factors can affect happiness in individuals and groups but one remains constant. In a recent post (Consider Joining Our Community of Helping,) we identified a key characteristic of the current generation of professionals: a desire for a sense of “belonging,” of being part of a community where one can make a difference, and finding a place were one belongs is easier in smaller communities. The newly published research supports this notion.

A Canadian team found that the happiest people “are significantly more likely to feel a “sense of belonging” in their communities” when they are smaller. The data don’t tell us definitively that people are happier because they live in smaller communities, but that assumption seems logical, given what we know about the values of the current generation of young professionals.

Another group of researchers went so far as to call this phenomenon, “The Urban-Rural Happiness Gradient:” The farther away from big cities people live, the happier they tend to be.

So if you are searching for happiness and fulfillment in a career, ask yourself where you would enjoy being on the urban-rural happiness gradient. If you want to make a difference, consider going where you can be most effective in making a difference.

You can read the research for yourself:

People who live in small towns and rural areas are happier than everyone else, researchers say
(The Washington Post, May 17, 2018)

The Urban-Rural Happiness Gradient
(JSTOR Daily, March 21, 2016)

At the Post Trauma Institute, our patients are more than just a co-pay. We are a community of helping. Our patient centered-mission creates an effective, positive environment for everyone involved. As a member of our team, you will part of something bigger than yourself. Your voice will be heard because we share your values.

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