According to some figures from 2016 World Happiness Report, Denmark, Switzerland, and Iceland are the happiest countries in all over the world. Meanwhile, the U.S. is in the no. 13 spot of the list. What makes those countries over any of the other rich, democratic countries with small, educated populations? Here are few things about living habits of Danes, Swiss, and Icelanders that you can learn to become the world’s happiest people.
- They are always staying active
National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner, who wrote a book about some of the world’s happiest populations called Thrive says that citizens in Denmark and Switzerland usually travel on foot or bikes. The Danes and the Swiss are encouraged to stay active with walkable and bikeable cities. In fact, 50 percent of the citizens of Copenhagen, capital of Denmark, use bike as a transportation mean in their daily life.
“In places where people are happy, they’re getting what we call non-exercise physical activity. They don’t call it exercise. They say they’re going to the market, to work, or out with friends and hopping on their bike to get there” says Buettner.
While paying much attention on how to be physically healthy every day, those happiest people don’t consider exercises as the most important ways to maintain a proper physical health. Instead, they would rather incorporate more movement into their everyday life as a key to increase their true happiness.
- Their life is strongly linked with nature
Happiness is not something far from easy for the happiest people in those nations. A walk in the park with pet or an outdoor game may bring them emotional benefits. Many researches have shown that walking in nature can not only reduce negative feelings such as stress, anxiety and worry but also increase your cognitive abilities. In other words, there is a close relationship between human’s happiness and nature. If you know how to enjoy the beauty of nature, your happiness level may up, accordingly.
- They spend lot of time with their family and friends
Another common habit that the Danes, Swiss, and Icelanders share is that they usually manage their time to meet their friends and family members. Instead of going on Internet, they make a call. Rather than chatting with colleagues, they hang out together for a coffee. They prefer talking with their neighbors to playing a video game. Being socially connected makes their life more colorful and beautiful.
- They spend less time on TV
Buettner has conducted a survey on the living habits of 150,000 people. What can be seen from the survey is that those who report feeling the most joy spend only 45 minutes watching TV a day. “If TV comes at the expense of socializing, staying in shape, or activities like volunteering, you’re trading diamonds for rhinestones,” Buettner says.