Author and Broadcaster Carol Craig revealed that Ayrshire comes out badly in national statistics measuring happiness and anxiety levels, when she presented the second in a series of high profile lectures organised by Crossroads Lifelong Learning Partnership.
It was a great crowd that enthusiastically gathered at Craigie Village Hall, near Kilmarnock, on Wednesday night, to hear Carol discuss the stats Prime Minister David Cameron started collecting two years ago as a measure of the nation’s well being.
The figures show that people in North Ayrshire have the lowest happiness levels in Scotland while South Ayrshire and Edinburgh share the distinction of having the highest anxiety levels.
Carol said: “I think too many of us focus on the material things in life, like money, personal appearance and popularity, but pursuing these goals doesn’t make people happy.
“Those who live in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland have the highest happiness, and lowest anxiety levels so answers still have to be found to clarify what the key indicators are that makes communities work and function well.
Carol added: “it’s a complex subject, and there are no easy answers.
“I do know that if people set out to pursue happiness they will fail, because a real sense of general well being, only happens when we stop becoming overly focussed on ourselves.
“Those who get involved in their community, build strong personal relationships and lose themselves in challenging and absorbing hobbies or sports are laying healthy foundations for their health and mental and emotional well being.
Isla Brown, project manager of Crossroads LLP said: “Carol delivered some really powerful messages on the effect of consumerism and its impact on personal well being, and sparked a very lively debate on the subject”.
The Craigie Hall lecture series is part of a wider programme of events Crossroads Lifelong Learning Partnership is organising as part of its ‘School Without Walls’ project which aims to lay the foundations for a new type of educational establishment with a curriculum linking learning and the rural lifestyle.