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20 Most Peaceful Countries in the World to Live in

20 Most Peaceful Countries in the World to Live in

Imagine you could choose the most peaceful country in the world to live in. What a luxury! The first prize goes to Iceland, followed by Denmark and New Zealand. The Global Peace Index has issued a report which lists all 162 countries in the world according to how peaceful they are.

They used a wide range of respected sources such as The World Bank and some of the UN agencies before they drew up their list. Peace, according to their definition based on 22 indicators, is the absence of war, violence, low military spending, levels of policing, organized crime, and the application of democratic government.

Here are the 20 most peaceful countries in the world:

1. Iceland

Iceland

    Apart from dramatic scenery, Iceland has a 100% literacy rate in the 300,000 population  Living among an educated population which is tolerant towards minorities is a great bonus. The best thing of all is that murders (1.8 per 100,000 population a year) are practically non existent. Compare that with the US where you have a rate of 5.8 per 100,000.

    2. Denmark

    Denmark

      The Danes are said to be the happiest people in the world!  Figures for worker motivation are very high and there is a welfare system in place which is the envy of most of the world. Taxation is high but the money is well spent on making the Danish lifestyle really relaxed and well organized.

      3. New Zealand

      New Zealand

        One of the most unpolluted countries in the world where spectacular scenery abounds. 90% of  immigrants state that they would certainly recommend the land of the Kiwis to their families and friends. New Zealanders get generous leave benefits so they have plenty of time to enjoy the landscape and sports facilities.

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        4. Austria

        Austria

          Austrian teenagers get to vote when they are only sixteen years old but they can only drink alcoholic beverages when they are eighteen. Austria boasts a wonderfully clean environment where everything is spotless, great transport system and very low crime rates. It is also cheaper than many people believe. You can buy a bottle of drinkable wine for $4.

          5. Switzerland

          Switz

            The secret to Switzerland’s happy and healthy population is that the authorities have invested heavily in their people in providing them with excellent education, health services and employment benefits. They may be famous for their banking, cuckoo clocks and skiing resorts but they have wisely invested in their greatest asset.

            6. Japan

            Japan

              You need never worry about finding a clean restroom in Japan. They are spotless!  Combine that with great food, impeccably polite people and a transport system the envy of the world. Perhaps Japanese people work too hard but they have built a peaceful and technologically advanced nation in a relatively short time.

              7. Finland

              Finland

                If you do not mind the long, dark cold winters, Finland has plenty to offer.  There is practically no corruption and very little class distinction. It scores highly on gender equality as well.  It has practically the best education system in the world. Children are given plenty of recesses too in the fresh (cold!) air and there is a very low rate of ADHD.

                8. Canada

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                Canada

                  Did you know that the average household income in Canada is $28,000 annually? This is one of the highest in the world and certainly above OECD averages. In addition, there are excellent work opportunities where meritocracy is widely recognized. A peaceful country with a sound economy and beautiful landscapes make this a great place to live.

                  9. Sweden

                  Sweden

                    Another Scandinavian country in the top ten!  Sweden is fabulous for lots of snow and long winters so if you are into that, it is a great place to be. High standards of living plus generous parenting leave for mums and dads (15 months) plus a great welfare system justify its high place in the rankings.

                    10. Belgium

                    Belgium

                      If you love beer and chocolate and do not mind endless rainy days, then Belgium is another great location. There are wonderful old towns, castles and museums to visit. As regards transport, Paris and London are really near so you get the best of several worlds. You can be in Paris in 70 minutes taking the high speed train.

                      11. Norway

                      Norway

                        Norway is a really safe country and has an incredibly low prison population. It also comes out on top as regards health and happiness. Freedom to roam in a stellar landscape is enshrined in the Norwegian law known as ‘allemannsrett’ which means you can camp or trek anywhere you like. Add in fabulous lakes and fiords which make it one of the most beautiful and peaceful countries in the world.

                        12. Ireland

                        Ireland

                          I was born and grew up in Ireland so please turn a blind eye to the bias in this entry!  Yes, the people are really friendly and they have a wicked sense of humour which is great fun. Having a conversation with an Irish person can turn into an event! The scenery at times is breathtaking and it has some of the best golf courses in the world. The only problem is the weather but you can’t have everything.

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                          13. Slovenia

                          Slovenia

                            Slovenia scores highly as a great place to bring up kids and ranks higher than the UK, according to a UNICEF report. In addition to some wonderful trekking countryside, it has marvellous food and seems to have inherited the best from Italy and other neighbouring countries. You can feel very safe here as there are only 1,000 people in prison out of a total population of 2 million.

                            14. Czech Republic

                            Czech

                              The Czech Republic has a great musical tradition. Smetana, Dvorak and Janacek were all Czech citizens, just to name a few. It is also surprising to note that the last census revealed that 34% of the population consider themselves atheists. Marionette theater plus the traditional hearty food of soups and meat add to this country’s charm. The Czechs are very proud of their history, art, music and beer!

                              15. Germany

                              Germany

                                Another central European country where a fondness for the arts, history and music is not considered elitist. It is just a normal part of cultural life and tradition. High standards of living plus excellent organization in everyday life make Germany a great choice. Add in some great beer, trekkers’ paradise (with even trails for nudists), Christmas markets and beautiful fairy tale towns and you have a wonderful place to live.

                                16. Australia

                                Australia

                                  A great place to be young, healthy and in the fresh air because of such a pleasant climate. This may explain why life expectancy here is 82. The economy has benefited from mining and is resilient in spite of recession. Friendly people, amazing wildlife and spectacular scenery make Australia one of the most attractive countries on the planet.

                                  17. Singapore

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                                  Singapore

                                    Singapore is probably the most orderly city state in the world. Astonishing verdant city landscapes which are not just pretty and ornamental. Singapore is leading the way on green initiatives as regards energy, water conservation and the environment. Then you have great food, safe urban areas and the people are friendly and welcoming to foreigners.

                                    18. Portugal

                                    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

                                      A golfer’s paradise!  Boasting some of the most spectacular courses in the world and fabulous coastal scenery, Portugal is really very beautiful and has a great climate to go with it.  The crime rate is low and the pace of life is relaxed. Eating out is satisfying and inexpensive.

                                      19. Qatar

                                      Qatar

                                        One of the richest countries in the world where petrol may cost less than water. There are people waiting on you as you fill up with petrol, eat out and have your house cleaned. It is a great place to be spoiled. As Qatar prepares for the 2022 World Cup, (UN estimates 500 immigrants arrive daily!) there may be problems with disruption of services.

                                        20. Bhutan

                                        Bhutan

                                          Who invented ‘happiness’ as an indicator that you can live well? Probably the Bhutan government who coined the phrase GNH (gross national happiness) which was to highlight that material possessions such as a car full of petrol or cheap supermarkets cannot make people happy. Much better to concentrate on the health, well being and education of the people. What better place to do this than the tiny Bhutan Buddhist kingdom tucked away in the Himalayas between India and China. The country was a monarchy up till recently and faces challenges in increasing urbanization and establishing a truly democratic government.

                                          Featured photo credit: War and Peace/ Prasad Kholkute via flickr.com

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                                          Robert Locke

                                          Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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                                          Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                                          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                          Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                                          You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                                          Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                                          1. Work on the small tasks.

                                          When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                                          Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                                          2. Take a break from your work desk.

                                          Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                                          Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                                          3. Upgrade yourself

                                          Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                                          The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                                          4. Talk to a friend.

                                          Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                                          Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                                          5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                                          If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                                          Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                                          Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                                          6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                                          If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                                          Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                                          Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                                          7. Read a book (or blog).

                                          The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                                          Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                                          Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                                          8. Have a quick nap.

                                          If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                                          9. Remember why you are doing this.

                                          Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                                          What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                                          10. Find some competition.

                                          Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                                          Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                                          11. Go exercise.

                                          Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                                          Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                                          As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                                          Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                                          12. Take a good break.

                                          Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                                          Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                                          Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                                          Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                                          More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                                          Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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