Who are the (surprisingly) happiest people in the world?

Who are the (surprisingly) happiest people in the world?
Who are the (surprisingly) happiest people in the world

For the third year running, Finland has come top of the World Happiness Report as the world's happiest country. The result might surprise anyone who believes that sunshine is an essential ingredient for happiness: the country sees only 8 hours of daylight during the depths of winter. Even some Finns think they don't deserve the win. So how accurate is the World Happiness Report and what's the secret of Finland's success?

How does the World Happiness Report measure happiness?

The World Happiness Report considers factors such as life expectancy, individual freedom, average income, the trust people have in government and business sectors, and the level of education and social welfare.

The beautiful Land of the Thousand Lakes is not the only Northern European nation to hold a position in the top rankings of happiest countries: Denmark came second while Norway, Iceland, and the Netherlands also scored highly. But while the Finns enjoy a high per capita income and an outstanding quality of life, they also have high rates of suicide and prescriptions of antidepressant medication.

Northern European people may have relatively high incomes, but stressful workplaces mean they also risk professional exhaustion. If you find yourself feeling unhappy and overwhelmed with negative thoughts, Bach Flower Mix 83 can help to overcome professional exhaustion and bring back your zest for life.

Bach flowers personal mix

Bach flowers personal mix:

  • Personal combination
  • Based on your symptoms and character
  • Bach flower remedy personally selected by Tom
  • Fast and good results
Discover how Personal Bach flowers remedy - Wizard can help you

How can we measure happiness?

How to define happiness and how to quantify it are two very complex questions. Is joy the result of individual choices, or does it depend on the way society is structured? Many believe that happiness is very subjective, a fleeting emotion we experience individually. But factors such as the higher incomes and social welfare of wealthy countries create a feeling of satisfaction amongst the people and increase society's happiness in general.

The World Happiness Report leans strongly towards a view of happiness as related to material well-being and the way societies are structured. While the categories it surveys are useful in describing the country's levels of satisfaction, they somehow fail to capture how happy people are.

By connecting happiness directly to income and social welfare availability, the World Happiness Report implies that poorer nations' citizens might be unhappy because of their governments' corruption or inefficiency. But many people from developing countries believe that happiness helps them overcome any social problems they might have.

And if you measure happiness in relation to mental health, why should 7 out of 10 countries on the happy list also be in the top 10 for suicide and use of antidepressants? Finland, Norway, and Sweden face more severe mental health issues than all South American and Caribbean countries put together.

Is this because the people of developing countries need fewer material advantages to be happy? Or could it be that they have religious beliefs that provide emotional support and deter suicides? These questions remain unanswered, but it's clear that material benefits alone don't bring happiness.

Satisfaction doesn’t equal happiness

Of course, income plays a role in happiness. The countries that score highly in the World Happiness Report have a median income more than 25 times greater than the most unhappy ones. But wealth is only significant in so far as it supports the basic requirements for a comfortable life. Once you have enough income to cover the necessities, more riches won't necessarily make you any happier.

Three years ago, Denmark was named the world's happiest country. But Danish researchers agree that wealth is not the only measure of happiness. The Danes are famous for their love of hygge, a convivial, cosy lifestyle where spending quality time with family and friends is what matters.

It all depends on how you define happiness. Northern European people are mostly very satisfied with their lifestyle: they have excellent health care, education, transport and welfare systems. But there are other ways of measuring happiness. Using different variables, Bhutan and Colombia have also been ranked as having the happiest people.

A parting thought

Joy isn't about the big moments in our lives, such as a much-anticipated holiday or special event. Whether it's a beautiful sunrise, coffee with friends, a walk in nature or spending time with your kids, moments of happiness are within our grasp if only we take a moment to appreciate them. It's just a question of changing your focus.

Being happy is a beautiful feeling, but perhaps happiness is too abstract to measure. Maybe we should take reports claiming to know the happiest people in the world with a generous pinch of salt! Whatever country we call home, we should always be mindful of the small moments of contentment that happen every day.


Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom/2020/03/20/ranked-20-happiest-countries-2020/

https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/how-the-happiest-people-on-the-planet-keep-smiling/


Marie Pure

Other articles


12 reasons to go for your goal right now

12 reasons to go for your goal right now

It's important to find a good moment to go four your goals. Not a better moment than now, find our tips to do so here! 

Read the complete article

Revealed The most important things in life

Revealed: The most important things in life

Do you believe that there are certain things you must achieve to be happy? Society teaches us that wealth, health, romantic love, and family are essential for happiness. But are these externals really the most important things in life?

Read the complete article

Learn to forgive How

Learn to forgive: How?

Forgiving someone isn't very easy, especially when you're hurt. Yet it is important to learn to forgive. Why and how? Read on and get to know.

Read the complete article

Let's go! How to make resolutions work

Let's go! How to make resolutions work

It's the same every year. We start well by making some New Year's resolutions but end up ditching them before January ends. So you how do you choose resolutions you can stick to?

Read the complete article

Coping with life transitions

Struggling to cope with life transitions?

Are you struggling to cope with transitions in life? Read our article on signs and tips for coping with life transitions. 

Read the complete article

7 tips to go from loneliness to happiness

7 tips to go from loneliness to happiness

Everyone feels lonely sometimes, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more difficult than usual to maintain our usual social contacts. Whether you’re confined to your home in lockdown, furloughed from your employment or working from home rather than going into the office, you may be missing the regular contact you previously enjoyed with family, friends and colleagues.

Read the complete article

Why routine is good for you

Why routine is good for you

Having a daily routine can reduce stress and anxiety - but are routines always good for you? It all depends on your character!

Read the complete article

Find out if you’re (secretly) a perfectionist

Find out if you’re (secretly) a perfectionist

Can setting high standards for yourself ever be a problem? For most people, striving for perfection would be considered a positive thing. For example, musicians only reach concert standard after thousands of hours of practice and athletes can't reach peak performance without long hours of training.

Read the complete article

7 Factors for building a close family

7 Factors for building a close family

All parents want the best for their children, and building a close family with bonds that will last forever is the secret to seeing them thrive. Families flourish when their bonds are strong, and everyone in the family feels happy and secure.

Read the complete article

How to deal with negative people

How to deal with negative people

Is someone bringing you down because of their negativity? Read our tips on how to deal with negative people and be a positive person yourself.

Read the complete article

Free personal advice for your problem?

Are you unsure which Bach flowers can help you? Contact Tom for free advice.

tom vermeersch
Tom Vermeersch

Yes, I want free advice

No thanks, I will do my own research