Happy Nation

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20th January, 2023

For five years in a row, Finland has been ranked No. 1 as the happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report.

In the 2022′s report, people in 156 countries were asked to “value their lives today on a 0 to 10 scale, with the worst possible life as a 0.”

It also looks at factors that contribute to social support, life expectancy, generosity and absence of corruption.

To maintain a high quality of life, here are three things the Finns never do:

1. They don’t compare themselves to their neighbors.

There’s a famous line by a Finnish poet: “Kell’ onni on, se onnen kätkeköön.” Roughly translated, it means: ‘Don’t compare or brag about your happiness.’

Finns really take this to heart, especially when it comes to material things and overt displays of wealth.

One of the wealthiest men in Finland was found pushing his toddler in a stroller towards the tram station. He could have bought himself an expensive car or hire a driver, but he opted for public transportation.

That’s what success looks like in Finland: just like everyone else.

They focus more on what makes them happy and less on looking successful. The first step to true happiness is to set your own standards, instead of comparing yourself to others.

2. They don’t overlook the benefits of nature.

According to a 2021 survey, 87% of Finns feel that nature is important to them because it provides them with peace of mind, energy and relaxation.

In Finland, employees are entitled to four weeks of summer holiday. Many of them use that time to hit the countryside and immerse themselves in nature.

The fewer amenities, even to the point of no electricity or running water in the house, the better.

A lot of Finnish cities are also densely built, which means that many people have access to nature at their doorsteps.

Spending time in nature increases their vitality, well-being and gives them a sense of personal growth.

We should also look to find ways to add some greenery to our life, even if it’s just buying a few plants for our home.

3. They don’t break the community circle of trust.

Research shows that the higher the levels of trust within a country, the happier its citizens are.

A “lost wallet” experiment in 2022 tested the honesty of citizens by dropping 192 wallets in 16 cities around the world.

In Helsinki, 11 out of 12 wallets were returned to the owner.

Finnish people tend to trust each other and value honesty. If you forget your laptop in a library or lost your phone on the train, you can be quite confident you’ll get it back.

Kids also often take a public bus home from school and play outside without supervision.

Think about how we can show up for our community.

How can we create more trust?

How can we support policies that build upon that trust?

Small acts like opening doors for strangers or giving up a seat on the train makes a difference, too.

To be happy, stop comparing, get some nature in your life, show some kindness, care and be compassionate, make someone feel good & contribute to making a Happy Nation.

Let’s pledge to do a good deed every day & stay blessed forever.