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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 January 17, 2019

                                          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                          In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                          Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                          Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                          Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                          Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                          The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                          There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                          How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                          According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                          Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                          Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                          The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                          Listen carefully:

                                          We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                          The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                          Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                          8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                          There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                          Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                          1. Pray Daily

                                          You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                          When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                          Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                          Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                          2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                          A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                          By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                          Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                          If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                          This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                          How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                          3. Smile Often

                                          Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                          Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                          Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                          The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                          4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                          A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                          When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                          Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                          Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                          5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                          I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                          Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                          What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                          6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                          God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                          I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                          I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                          7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                          You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                          How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                          First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                          If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                          If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                          If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                          Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                          8. Go Exercise

                                          Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                          The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                          You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                          12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                          It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                          Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                          More Resources About Mindfulness

                                          Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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