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20 Happiest Places On Earth You Would Love To Live In

20 Happiest Places On Earth You Would Love To Live In

A number of different measures contribute to the average overall happiness of any given country, including GDP per capita, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, and even overall generosity and social support. These are the countries (they are not in chronological order ) ranked top 20 by 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index.

1. Denmark

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     With an average life satisfaction score of 7.69 out of 10. This tiny country ranks first in entrepreneurship and opportunities – based on high levels of social fairness, connectivity and very low start-up costs. Denmark support parents – families receive 52 weeks of parental leave. Danish children receive free health care, as do Mother’s. Gender equality is key – with top leaders being both men and women. Bikes count for 50% of the travel round Denmark – reducing carbon emissions.

    Its capital city Copenhagen was also named the “world’s most liveable city” again earlier this year by the international affairs magazine Monocle for its quality of life. The city is now regarded as one of Europe’s top foodie destinations, with the help of restaurants such as Noma which was named the “world’s best restaurant” last year.

    According to research from the University of Warwick, genetics could be the key to explaining a nations level of happiness. Danish birth was also associated with specific versions of a gene that influences brain levels of the mood chemical serotonin. Compared with other people, Danes were less likely to have a short version of the gene linked to low levels of life satisfaction.

    2. Norway

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      Norway dropped one space in the world-happiness-ranking in 2014. However, they do have a brilliant sense of humour. They have great income, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices and generosity. Norway is among the richest in the world and ranks first in social capital and second in safety and security. Making it a very safe place to live, as well as a fun and free place. Norway is also really safe, they have a very low crime rate and off course, its a beautiful country.

      3. Switzerland

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        Switzerland is one of the most thriving countries in the world and one of the happiest. But why? Well, they have brilliant health care – they have the lowest Government spending on health care and some of the healthiest people. They are very happy, they have a very low depression rate and were voted 64th out of 122 in stress levels. They invest in top-notch education. They care about innovation and come first in the world for innovation and on-the-job training and they have created an environment where people can thrive, allowing people and companies to leverage that capital.

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        4. The Netherlands

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          The Netherlands is a very rich country, a rich democracy and lots of social cohesion. Also, Dutch children are happy, because there are endless amounts of children’s playgrounds, petting zoos and kid-zones. They are also taught to have a very open relationship with their families and to communicate regularly. Dutch families have a very liberal attitude to sex, drugs and alcohol. Many people know the Red Light Districts, suggestive art, and about sexual equality. Nearly a quarter of Dutch women give birth at home under the supervision of a midwife. After birth, the women are entitled to maternity care where they will help new mothers care for their baby but also advise them, give them regular health checks and even help them with household chores.

          5. Sweden

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            Sweden has high levels of social equality and political participation – it’s also a very tech-savvy country. Sweden is a good place to start a business. Start up costs are low. Although Sweden does not have higher economic wealth than the US, Swedens rate themselves as slightly happier than Americans do. Most Swedish families have two working parents, therefore a household has plenty of money.  Yes, taxes are high but they are used for brilliant health care, free university and a wide range of social programmes to help people get skills and jobs. They also receive a minimum of five weeks of paid holiday a year!

            6. Canada

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              Canada is the most prosperous nation in the Americas. Canada is very tolerant and welcoming. As a whole, people have become a bit happier and more generous in the past five years. Canadians have brilliant life expectancy, freedom of choice and generosity. Ninety-four per cent of Canadians believe they know someone they could rely on in time of need while 82 per cent say they have more positive experiences in an average day than negative ones. Canada also has strong social ties with their family, friends and co-workers, they take more time and effort to make sure people are an important part of their lives.

              7. Finland

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                Finland has very low levels of crime and poverty, they have brilliant health care and the best education system in the world and a healthy work-life balance. They get 36 holidays days per year and if you leave your job for a brief time you can come back to a guaranteed position months later. University is free and if students want a student loan the interest rate is only 1%. Finland also has the least corrupt government in the world and they have plenty of beautiful places to relax!

                8. Austria

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                  Austria has beautiful scenery, lakes, good food, fun celebrations and welcoming residents. As a result, residents tend to be very content. They believe in the old saying “live and let live”. Austria has low a crime rate (less than 100 murders per year). There is very little poverty and excellent public health care and public schools are easily accessible to everyone.

                  9. Iceland

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                    Iceland may seem rather isolated but 8 out of 10 Icelanders report that they are very content living there. They have a very high level of trust and strong social bonds with each other – it is not uncommon to see babies sleeping in their strollers outside of coffee shops while the parents relax inside. Iceland is also a very open gay friendly place, people don’t even notice. They also have great health care, paid maternity leave, unpolluted air, Eco-friendly heating and clean water. And of course the scenery is spectacular.

                    10. Australia

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                      Australians have a lot going for them – they have a booming economy, very low unemployment rates and the minimum wage is nearly $16 an hour. They also have a low crime rate, great health care and a very clean environment. Off course, the beaches and weather help too! They make sure they have a very good work-life balance. They are so friendly and easy to talk to. Public transport is so easy and cheap.

                      11. Israel

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                        Israel is ranked low in terms of income, housing, education and security – so why are they so happy? War has quite a bit to do with it.
 The fact is that Israel has been in a perpetual state of war—or under the threat of war—since David Ben-Gurion declared independence in May 1948, the only Western country in the world in which this is the case.

 Because of this they love life more than any other country.

                        They also enjoy higher life expectancy than Germany or The Netherlands, regardless of the war. They over 82 different kinds of ethnic communities and at any day you can bump into several of them. They have no censorship (within reason) and most radio stations will use swear words, however those swear words seem to have little or no impact. Just don’t swear in Hebrew, that is disrespectful. Women have many rights in Israel, with them being  one of the first countries to have a female Prime Minister.

                        12. Costa Rica

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                          Costa Rica isn’t a particularly wealthy country but they are very happy! They are incredibly green, with residents being very aware of their carbon footprint. Costa Ricans also have a high life expectancy – 78.5 years on average. Costa Rica has no army, instead they spend their money on education and health care, making them very peaceful. Environmental protection is massive in Costa Rica, they are very green and have a tree-planting programme. Costa Ricans have a very healthy diet in local fruit. Even their money is happy, they have brightly coloured notes with pictures of the country’s beloved wildlife on them.

                          13. New Zealand

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                            New Zealand is ranked 1st in Education and 2nd in Governance and Social Capital. New Zealand reflects a high-life expectancy. This why its people are so happy. New Zealanders are the friendliest people in the world, from the shopkeepers to the average person walking down the street. New Zealand are pretty strict with drinking, they ID everyone and they do no tolerate drunken behaviour.

                            14. United Arab Emirates

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                              In the United Arab Emirates, many drivers are intentionally getting speeding tickets with the hope that the arresting officers will drive them to the police station in a Bentley or Aston Martin. Now really, when you’re happy to get pulled over, what does that say about your country? With the ever-developing plans, economy is booming by the day.

                              15. Panama

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                                Panama has a strong sense of generosity as well as a low perception of corruption. They have a very positive attitude to life and are very laid back.  Panamanians love their fiestas and will not miss an opportunity to have a party. Social contacts are very important and a lot of time is dedicated to small talk and personal conversations. Families are very strong in Panama and on Sunday’s everyone still gets together.

                                The country has a thriving economy, with cost of living so cheap – you could live in a 3 bedroom apartment for $800-$1500 a month. You can live car-free, most things are in walking distance and it’s very easy to use public transport. Costa-Ricans have a very healthy lifestyle, with a simple diet and a lot of exercise. They also have a fantastic landscape, booming economy, financial stability and positivity runs high.

                                16. Mexico

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                                  Mexico on a whole has a strong baseline for the happiness and well-being of its citizens reflecting a perception that what they have makes life enjoyable. Mexicans have a better ability to cope with life’s negative experiences, pain, worry, sadness and instead remain positive, content and hopeful.

                                  17. USA

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                                    The USA have a high life-expectancy and high levels of well-being. America is one of the most resilient countries in the world and is very open to radical change. Americans can express themselves very openly. Americans are also less likely to view money as a way of leading them to happiness. 80% of Americans are very happy with their partner and family life. They also have the best road trips in the world, because traveling is so easy around America. They are very diverse, they have hundreds of different cultures and are very accepting of people and you their food … that would make anyone happy!

                                    18. Ireland

                                    Spain v Ireland - Group C: UEFA EURO 2012

                                      Irish people are among the happiest in the world, according to a new global report. Healthy life expectancies and generosity are elements that keep the residents of Ireland happy. In general, Irish people are more satisfied with their lives, with 84% of people saying they have a lot of positive experiences in an average day. Ireland is a very fair place, with powerful people keeping in check by the media, law and public opinions. Ireland also excel at sport, they get involved and are very patriotic.

                                      19. Luxembourg

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                                        Luxembourg proves that sometimes money can buy happiness. It has great access to education, with 100% of the population being literate. Luxembourg is a well-known tax haven. Luxembourg’s average unemployment rate from 1982 to 2014 was 3.3%, the lowest in the Europe. Luxembourg was ranked 3rd best country in the EU for business efficiency. Like other European countries, Luxembourg has a free and universal national health insurance system. Luxembourg celebrates National Day on 23 June as the sovereign’s official birthday. The night before (22 June) is festive, with torchlight parades, fireworks, music, and parties. National Day is more ceremonial, including military parades, cannonades, and a “Te Deum” sung in the national cathedral… AND they have Prince Felix!

                                        20. Venezuela

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                                          Finishing the list is Venezuela, where in 2012 the country paid respect to some of the worlds most endangered species by setting up a 1,440 square miles shark sanctuary in the Caribbean Sea. They are very happy, energetic people and they love a dance and a party. Venezuelan people give a lot of importance to friendship, when they have a best friend, they stick by their side anytime because true friends are hard to come by. They are also very healthy, drinking natural juices during dinner instead of fizzy drinks.

                                          Featured photo credit: snow globe via shutterstock.com

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                                          Last Updated on September 10, 2019

                                          7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                          7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                          Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                                          Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                                          This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                                          One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                                          Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                                          Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                                          1. Gratitude

                                          Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                                          The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                                          Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                                          So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

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                                            2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                                            This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                                            For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                                            What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                                            Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                                            3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                                            This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                                            Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                                            An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                                            Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                                            write down goals

                                              4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                                              According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                                              There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                                              5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                                              Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                                              Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                                              6. Rise Earlier

                                              The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                                              For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                                              So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                                              Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                                              7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                                              Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                                              Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                                              It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                                              Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                                              More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                                              Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                                              Reference

                                              [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                                              [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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