Panama has the highest rate of well-being in the world.  Yeah.  Panama.

The Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index shows that, for the second time in a row, Panamanians beat 145 other countries in the number of people who are thriving and satisfied with their life situations.

So, is it a fluke?  Are Americans really that unwell in their beings?  Well, we didn't even crack the top 10 -- all though other American countries did.

  1. Panama
  2. Costa Rica
  3. Puerto Rico
  4. Switzerland
  5. Belize
  6. Chile
  7. Denmark
  8. Guatemala
  9. Austria
  10. Mexico

We were beat by MEXICO.  So where is the United States?  We're at number 23 (behind Columbia, Kyrgystan, Israel and the United Arab Emirates. . .oh and Myanmar).

At least we beat Canada. . . by less than .3 of a percent.

The Five Elements of Well-Being

Purpose: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals

Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life

Financial: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security

Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community

Physical: Having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

If it makes you feel better, we're still in the top and faring much better than most countries.  The very last country:  Afghanistan

What does that mean for us in Oklahoma?  When you look JUST at the 50 states, we're not doing so great, either.  In the breakdown of well being of the 50 states, Oklahoma shows up at 39th.  The states with the highest well being are Alaska, Hawaii, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.  The worst are West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.

So, if we in Oklahoma want to improve our rankings both in the states and help the United States pull up into a place of better well being, what do we do?

Here is what might be making the difference (according to panamaforbeginners.com):

People here don’t let the little things get to them. Sure everyone gets upset and frustrated at times, but the “tranquilo” attitude is definitely persistent here, and it means more than moving at a slow pace and being okay with it. It means embracing the good in life and not letting the bad ruin your outlook on life. While this does not mean that things like poverty, crime, etc, aren’t very serious things that we should all work to combat, it does mean that regardless of your situation in life, one thing you do have some control over your outlook of it.

All that anyone who is American and living in Panama has to do is go on their Facebook feed lately and see that despite persistent job growth and a relatively stable economy, people are as grumpy and as mad as ever.

Other countries could learn a thing or two from Panama, and learn to embrace life more and be thankful and joyful, even through obstacles. The Panamanian spirit is one of the many reasons I love living here, and a big reason why Panama has kept it’s rank as the country with the best well-being for the second year in a row.

So, the goal for this moment, this day and this lifetime:  drop your bad attitude!  Find something positive and make sure you put things in perspective.  Not a bad idea.  We can start this in Oklahoma (along with the idea of a siesta . . .I really would like to do that every day).