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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 May 21, 2019

                                          13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                                          13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                                          Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

                                          Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

                                          Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

                                          1. Stress Eating

                                          I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

                                          While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

                                          I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

                                          If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

                                          How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

                                          2. Nail Biting

                                          Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

                                          People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

                                          Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

                                          For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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                                          3. Hanging out with Naysayers

                                          We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

                                          Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

                                          Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

                                          4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

                                          Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

                                          While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

                                          Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

                                          Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

                                          5. Smoking

                                          Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

                                          In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

                                          Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

                                          Smoking risks

                                            6. Excessive Drinking

                                            All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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                                            According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

                                            • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
                                            • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
                                            • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
                                            • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
                                            • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

                                            If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

                                            If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

                                            7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

                                            Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

                                            If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

                                            A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

                                            “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

                                            And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

                                            While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

                                            Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

                                            Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

                                            8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

                                            There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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                                            In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

                                            Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

                                            Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

                                            9. Watching Too Much TV

                                            I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

                                            Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

                                            Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

                                            It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

                                            10. Being Late

                                            Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

                                            Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

                                            Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

                                            11. Being in Bad Relationships

                                            Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

                                            I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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                                            Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

                                            12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

                                            Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

                                            Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

                                            Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

                                            By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

                                            Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

                                            13. Focusing on the Negatives

                                            In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

                                            Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

                                            Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

                                            And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

                                            The Bottom Line

                                            So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

                                            Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

                                            Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

                                            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                            Reference

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