We all find happiness in different ways and often this can come from the simplest things in life. From achieving a healthy work-life balance to tucking into local produce, every country has a different approach to happiness and we can all learn something from the different cultures around the world. Below Health experts at BWell CBD have pulled together the top ten happiest countries in the world and have researched more about their lifestyles to find out what their secret to success is. We find this totally fascinating!
Why? Freedom and gratitude
Taking the top spot as the happiest country in the world, Finland is known for their leading educational system and healthy lifestyle. The nation can enjoy low corruption levels, a high standard of living and more forest per square mile than average, with the country known for an outstanding level of equality. When asked for their secret to success, common answers included freedom and not wanting to complain, enjoying their happy life gratefully.
Why? All about the Hygge!
Being the home of the hygge lifestyle, the Danish have their own word dedicated to finding pleasure and comfort in the smaller things in life, such as friendship and contentment. As well as the positive approach to life, Denmark is one of the world’s most socially and economically developed countries with a particularly high standard of living, ranking high in some metrics of national performance such as health care, education, democratic governance and LGBT equality.
Why? Chocolate, cheese and choices
The trick to happiness is simple to the Swiss; chocolate and cheese! Although they love to tuck in to tasty treats, Switzerland nationals tend to live an incredibly healthy lifestyle which leads to a great life expectancy rate. This along with their freedom to make different life choices makes Switzerland one of the world’s most developed countries, with the 8th highest per capita gross domestic product and the highest nominal wealth per adult.
Why? It’s all in the water
The unique geothermal network in Iceland is said to have contributed to the secret to happiness, with locals saying that the pool culture is the key due to laughter and chatting. Being voted as the most peaceful country in the world by the Institute for Economics and Peace and the world’s best country for gender equality by the World Economic Forum, the small population has a powerful impact.
Why? Healthy work/life balance
Also being regularly ranked in first position on the list of happiest countries in the world, the low crime rates, free education and great healthcare system contribute to the success of the nation. They put their happiness down to their healthy work-life balance, encouraging employees to spend plenty of time with their loved ones and enjoying their favourite activities after a day of work to keep stress levels to a minimum.
Why? Lagom: A lifestyle choice
Practising a lagom lifestyle, the Swedes put their happiness down to a life of balance, with lagom directly translating to ‘moderate’. To adopt a more lagom lifestyle, living sustainably, healthier and more organised are all great places to start, enhancing your quality of life. The country ranks as the 11th highest per capita income in the world and also ranks high for health, education, quality of life, protection of civil liberties, income equality, economic competitiveness, human development, and gender equality.
Why? Environment tops trumps
Tucked away on the Himalayas’ eastern edge, the buddhist kingdom of Bhutan is an inspiring example of how to combine health and happiness. Their secret to success is a commitment to saving the environment, being a philosophy they follow to conserve the planet. They made explicit use of the principles of Gross National Happiness (GNH) rather than measuring by GDP, even managing to avoid a single COVID-19 death in 2020 due to collaborative efforts.
Why? A little something called Gemütlichkeit
Similarly to a hygge lifestyle, Austria follows a Gemütlichkeit approach, adopting a positive mindset, friendly approach and feeling of belonging. The country offers stunning views, plenty of sporting activities and a popular art culture to bring everyone together, paired with low inequality rates and unemployment which offers residents high income per capita and a great life expectancy.
Why? A bulging budget for wellbeing
The leaders of New Zealand have gone above and beyond to improve the happiness of their country, introducing an allocated budget dedicated to addressing mental health problems, suicide and child poverty. As well as tackling serious issues before they escalate, the country is quick to take action should something threaten their happiness, building up a strong relationship of trust throughout the nation.
Why? A naturally happy attitude
Luxembourg is one of the world’s most developed countries with an advanced economy and one of the highest GDP per capita in the world. Taking up top spots from both a happiness perspective as well as a wealth perspective, the size of the country has not impacted its success. The secret to success is claimed to be an ‘enjoy life’ attitude, showing incredible resilience and a great quality of life.