Wednesday, September 11, 2013

World Happiness Report

Looking for someplace happy with satisfied people around? Try Denmark. According to the World Happiness Report, it is the happiest country in the world. The other countries in the top 5 happy countries are Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands and Sweden.

The six key variables which have been used to explain the average scores are:

(i) Real GDP per capita
(ii) Healthy life expectancy
(iii) Having someone to count on
(iv) Perceived freedom to make life choices
(v) Freedom from corruption
(vi) Generosity

The Report also shows that happy people live longer, are more productive, earn more, and are also better citizens. 

It appears that there is a growing trend amongst governments to start thinking of aligning policies with what can really improve people's overall well-being rather than just focus on economic growth. Although the report mentions that Bhutan has gone the furthest to measure their progress with reference to the happiness of their citizens, Bhutan has not been included in this list. This has been explained by the fact that  survey questions used to determine happiness levels in the report are not the same as usually used in the country.

The ranks of some other notable countries are: Canada (6), Australia (10), Israel (11), Mexico (16), USA (17), UK (22), Brazil (24), France (25), Germany (26), Singapore (30), Japan (43), Italy (45), Russia (68), China (93) and India (111).

Monday, July 29, 2013

Happiness Equations (4)

A Feel Good Formula has been proposed by Dr. Todd Kashdan.

Feeling Good = (Mx16 + Cx1 + Lx2) + (Tx5 + Nx2 + Bx33)

In this equation, M = Live in the moment - appreciate the sounds, smells and sights that you take for granted everyday. Remind yourself every waking hour to do this (M x 16).

C = Be curious - explore the unfamiliar, mysterious, complex, and uncertain aspects of our world once a day (C x 1).

L = Do something you love – if there is anything that provides the framework for a well-lived life it is the presence of activities that are important to us and excite us. Do this once at work and once at play (L x 2).

T = Think of others first – offer compliments, do a good deed and listen. This is not intuitive because many believe you need to love yourself before you can love others. Science has found this to be false. Do this five times a day (T x 5) and you’ll soon see it feels good to make someone feel good.

N = Nurture relationships – dedicate time to a partner, friend or family member twice a day (N x 2). Scientists have discovered that when you observe the happiest people on the planet, every single one has a close, significant relationship with another person.

B = Take care of your body – no, you do not need three per cent body fat, nor do you need to be able to pound through three sets of 15 unassisted handstand push-ups. Taking care of your body is about healthy eating at least three times a day and committing 30 minutes per day to exercise (B x 33).

According to Dr. Kashdan there is no single secret to feeling good, but when these "happiness six" ingredients are carefully attended to, in the right doses, a person will be on target for a happy life.