Smile – You’re in the Happiness Top Ten!

There’s no hard-and-fast set of rules on how to be happy. But if there were, a good one to include would be to live in New Zealand.

We are in the World top 10 of happiest countries, according to the United Nations, beaten only by the Scandinavian five (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland), Canada, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

The UN-endorsed World Happiness Report ranks countries based on six criteria: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perceptions (not reality) of corruption.

Some of the key findings to come out of the report were:

  • Having money is good for happiness, and reduces stress levels. When you don’t have to worry about the power bill, there’s less to stress about, or at best, there’s one fewer sources of worry and unhappiness in your life.
  • Warm, intimate relationships are the most important prologue to a good life.
  • Health is one of the most influential predictor of happiness. However while exercise is important, but being super fit is not.
  • Freedom is an important factor. Once you have enough money to make basic choices, political freedom becomes important to happiness.
  • Giving makes people happy, and is also associated with benefits in the workplace and in relationships.
  • An absence of violence, no restrictions on the ability to live your culture or sexuality, access to nature and reasonable commutes are also all predictors of happiness in humans.

Taken from “The World Happiness Report and the science of personal happiness” by Rob Stock. Read the full article.