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The Top 5 Happiest Countries In The World

The Top 5 Happiest Countries In The World

I think it’s quite safe to say that 2016 wasn’t the best year ever. For many, it was strange and frightening. For others, it was even worse than that. Our immediate future doesn’t look all that great based on what we saw this year, but there are some places on earth where happiness reigns.

2017 could be the perfect time for a trip to one or more of the happiest countries on earth. Who knows, perhaps by paying them a visit, we’ll all feel a bit happier again.

1. Finland

    We can see a familiar pattern start to form when it comes to the world’s happiest countries. Three of the top five countries are located in Scandinavia, which should probably tell us that they are really doing something right.

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    Finland is renowned for its excellent education system, low levels of corruption, very high literacy rates, and a relatively small income gap from top to bottom. Factor in a long life expectancy and a great work-life balance and it’s not difficult to see why Finland is one of the happiest countries in the world.

    If the city isn’t your thing, tourists may also quite enjoy some of the stunning Nordic country scenery that Finland is known for.

    2. Norway

    In recent years the Norwegian government made a real push to advertise this amazing country to the rest of the world. The pictures spoke for themselves and this is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Scandinavia. It might not be the cheapest holiday vacation in the world, but you can’t really put a price on happiness.

    For its full-time residents, Norway is one of the happiest countries in the world thanks to its prosperity and a sense of satisfaction with the standard of living. Not to mention the fact that three-quarters of people report that, in general, positive days far outweigh the negative ones.

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    3. Iceland

      Iceland is a great example for every country out there. Given its recent troubled history, it is amazing that Iceland is now considered one of the happiest countries in the world. It’s placing here just shows you how much positivity can be drawn from what seem to be the most challenging of times.

      The massive economic recession of 2008 served to bring communities within Iceland together. In doing so they have turned their country around. The true root of happiness may be a more complex topic to understand, but this beautiful place will bring a smile to the face of any visitor.

      With active volcanoes, pristine beaches, lovely towns and cities, an amazing loop road around the whole country for road trip lovers, and just the most incredible natural beauty available in all directions, it’s easy to see why Iceland is one of the happiest countries on earth.

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      4. Switzerland

      Switzerland breaks up the Scandinavian monopoly on the world’s happiest countries with its appearance here. Its inclusion is also a little surprising as Switzerland might seem to be the opposite in many ways from the other happy countries. This is a country which includes one of the most expensive cities in the world and has long been renowned for drawing in the world’s jet-setters to its ski slopes and numerous fancy boutiques.

      What it certainly does have in common with the other happiest countries on the list is an abundance of natural beauty. The Alps, mountain lakes, picturesque towns, and villages that serve hearty, local food, it’s a haven for adventure and sports’ lovers. Switzerland is fully deserving on the list of the world’s happiest countries.

      5. Denmark

        Denmark is officially the happiest country in the world. A lot of people have become aware of this fact over the last few years. In fact, the Danish word, hygee, as come to define this uniquely high-level of happiness.

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        Hygee can loosely be translated to coziness, but there is also an emphasis on how the Danes just seem to take real pleasure in simple things. When you think about it, it is strange that Scandinavia with so much cold weather and darkness should be such a happy place. The people here are obviously able to innately draw on some inner resilience to see the light in things.

        For happiness-tourists, Denmark is an excellent stop. For all of us, it should be observed and studied rather than simply enjoyed. If whole parts of the world can be genuinely happy as a collective, there’s no reason why the rest of us can’t join in too.

        Additional photo credits:  Markus Trienke, Moyan Brenn, John Anes.

        Featured photo credit: Candida.Performa/It’s all about love via flic.kr

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        Last Updated on August 20, 2018

        11 Health Benefits of Black Tea that You Didn’t Know About

        11 Health Benefits of Black Tea that You Didn’t Know About

        Have you ever heard people criticizing your choices in having caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee? Though over-indulging in anything will have negative consequences, having an extra cup of black tea might not be as bad as you might have imagined.

        Personally I love my perfect cup of tea. It’s how I like to begin my day—not to help me wake up, but rather I like to enjoy a tasteful cup of bliss first thing in the morning. When it comes to herbal, green or black tea, different things suit different people and a doctor’s recommendation should never be overlooked, but for most of us, indulging in a cup or two of black tea might in fact be a healthy life choice, as some studies have shown.[1]

        Both green and black tea are made from a shrub called Camellia Sinesis, but with different processing methods. In addition to the leaves being withered, rolled and heated, black tea leaves are fermented before the final heating process.

        Below are 11 health benefits of black tea on a regular basis, though it should be noted that it is recommended that black tea should be consumed without any additives like milk or sugar to truly harness its benefits.

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        1. Oral Health

        Studies funded by the Tea Trade Health Research Association suggests that black tea reduces plaque formation as well as restricts bacteria growth that promotes the formation of cavities and tooth decays.[2] Polyphenols found in black tea kill and surpass cavity-causing bacteria as well as hinder the growth of bacterial enzymes that form the sticky-like material that binds plaque to our teeth.

        2. A Better Heart

        As identified by Arab L. et al. in their 2009 research paper called “ Green and black tea consumption and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis”, it is seen that regardless of people’s country of origin, individuals who consume 3 or more cups of tea had a 21% lower risk of a stroke than people who consume less than 1 cup of green or black tea per day.

        3. Antioxidants

        Black tea contains polyphenols, which are also antioxidants that help block DNA damage associated with tobacco or other toxic chemicals. These antioxidants are different from those obtained from fruits and vegetables and therefore as a regular part of our diet they can provide additional benefits towards a healthy lifestyle.

        4. Cancer Prevention

        Though a lot more research is required to confidently suggest cancer prevention techniques, some research over the years suggests that antioxidants like polyphenol and catechins in tea may help prevent some types of cancer.[3] It has been suggested that women who drink black tea regularly have a lower chance of ovarian cancer than their counterparts.

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        5. Healthy Bones

        It has also been suggested that regular tea drinkers have stronger bones and lower probability of developing arthritis due to the phytochemicals found in tea.

        6. Lower Risk of Diabetes

        Based on a research study conducted of elderly people living in the Mediterranean islands, it was discovered that people that had been consuming black tea on a long-term basis on a moderate level (i.e 1-2 cups a day) had a 70% lower chance of having or developing type 2 diabetes.[4]

        7. Stress Relief

        We all are aware and well experienced about the calming and relaxing benefits of black tea. Not only does it help slow you down after a long day, studies show that the amino acid L-theanine found in black tea can help you relax and concentrate better.[5]

        Black tea has also been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol when consumed in moderate amounts on a regular basis.

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        8. Better Immune System

        Black tea contains alkylamine antigens that help boost our immune response. In addition it also contains tannins that have the ability to fight viruses and hence keep us protected from influenza, stomach flu and other such commonly found viruses in our everyday lives.

        9. Healthy Digestive Tract

        In addition to improving your immune system, tannins also have a therapeutic effect on gastric and intestinal illnesses and also help decrease digestive activity.

        10. Increased Energy

        Unlike other drinks that have a relatively higher caffeine content, the low amounts found in tea can help enhance blood flow to the brain without over-stimulating the heart. It also stimulates the metabolism and respiratory system, as well as the heart and the kidneys.

        11. Happiness Factor

        If a perfect cup of tea makes you smile and lets your heart indulge a little, then what could possibly be the harm?

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        There you go, 11 reasons why you should drink black tea more often. When you’re drinking it without additives like milk or sugar, you’ll experience more of its health benefits!

        Featured photo credit: unsplash via unsplash.com

        Reference

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