According to the Worlds Happiness Report, surveys from 156 nations put Denmark in the #1 spot (again) as the most happiest country on the planet. The survey was published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
The 2013 report was released this month, and according to the survey, northern Europeans are among the happiest people in the world. Mexico outranked the U.S., coming in at 16, while the U.S. ranked 17. Canada took 6th place.
The top three were:
According to the 2013 Peace Index, they are also ranked in the top 5 of the most peaceful countries in the world. The U.S. was ranked 100 from a list of 162 countries. Canada was in 6th place. Denmark came in 3rd, with Switzerland 2nd, and Iceland taking top spot.
So what contributes to their success? I feel very fortunate that my best friend is from Denmark. We’ve know each other for over 4 years now, and stay in contact on a daily basis, mostly via Skype. *waves to Morti* 😀 Congratulations.
I’ve had the unique opportunity to get to know Denmark’s culture through the eyes of one who lives there, and I must say, I am smitten. One of the biggest things they’ve got going for them is that they put the well-being of people first.
*Gasp* What a concept.
A few months ago I got into a conversation with someone who said “Yeah, but they have little motivation for innovation”. Huh? Norway is considered one of the most innovative countries in the world, ranking 13th, and 2nd in productivity according to Bloomberg’s Global Innovation Index. Denmark was ranked 9th in innovation and 3rd in Research concentration.
I read a blog not long ago from an American woman who moved to Denmark to finish her education. She noted that she felt safe (as a woman) walking alone in Denmark, unlike the feeling she had while living in the U.S. I live in a state that is ranked in the top 10 of the most violent states in the U.S. It also happens to be one of the most religious states in America; and yes, there seems to be a correlation. 8 out of 10 states ranked the most violent also ranked as the most religious. Keep in mind that I said religious, not spiritual. The countries that rank as the most religious also tend to be the lest peaceful, although there are a few exceptions.
Nic Marks, the founder for the Center for Well-Being at the UK think tank New Economics Foundation, gathered evidence about what makes us happy, and now uses it to promote policies that put the well-being of people and the planet first.
A question was asked (globally) by social scientists, “What do you want?”
The top answer was happiness. Health and love tied for 2nd place, and wealth came in 3rd. What people want is happiness for themselves, for their families and communities. In this 2010 TED Talks video (below) Nic shares the 5 ways to well-being:
The second is to be active. Dance like no one is watching. 😀
Third is to take notice; having awareness.
The fourth is to keep learning, and continue throughout the whole life course.
And the fifth way to happiness/well-being is to give. Our generosity, our altruism, and our compassion are hardwired to the reward mechanism in our brain. Check it out.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ~Dalai Lama
What are some of the things you do in your life to promote happiness and well being for yourself and others?