HEALTHY LIVING
12/16/2013 05:21 pm ET

Why Countries Should Prioritize Measuring Happiness (VIDEO)

The government surveys our income, spending and housing, but what about happiness? According to some experts, many societies have outgrown these more material measures of success and now need the additional measurement of well-being.

Carol Graham, an economist at the Brookings Institute, says that new surveys crafted to measure happiness are a much better indicator of how people are succeeding -- whether it's looking at the big picture or how you feel in the moment. Graham and her team helped to develop a report that measures "experience well-being," or satisfaction in your day-to-day life.

"After a certain point, more money won't make you smile more in a day," Graham told HuffPost Live host Nancy Redd. "More money won't make your commute to work less stressful and so it's a whole other dimension of well-being that we also address in the report."

Author and speaker Richard Heinberg stressed in the segment that it's important for countries to start looking at what's important to people's well-being in order to measure overall success. People and experiences -- not material goods and money -- are usually what contributes most to our lives.

"If we start measuring what it is that actually makes people happy and satisfied with their lives, we find out it's things like connections with friends and family, quality of community life, having a government that's transparent ... meaningful work," Heinberg said. "These are things we can have more of, without necessarily consuming more stuff, so it's really important ... that we shift from a consumer society to a happiness society."

Check out the clip above for more about measuring happiness and success, and watch the full video over on HuffPost Live.

For more on the Third Metric, click here.

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