Tips to Improve your happiness from around the World - April 2012
Places around the globe where people are 'lightest of heart' have some insight into feeling happier.
1. Don't complain (too much) about high taxes
- Though you may grumble somewhat, do so only briefly. Denmark is a case in point; almost half of its annual budget goes towards levelling its residents' "playing field". Noted as one world's wealthier nations per capita, it is ranked the highest for well-being. The Danes' happiness is about satisfaction and living with good health care, public education and strong family support services. Economic security adds to a greater sense of security.
2. Finish work at 5:00 pm and take all your holidays.
- Studies claim that once income rises above $60,000 a year, more money does not = long-term happiness.
3. Appreciate your freedom
- Political and economic freedom to go out and get a loan to start a business are two points that many North Americans take for granted. Get out and vote!
4. Support walk-ways and bike lanes
- The “walkability “ and ease of getting around a city promotes health and well-being and healthier, happier people.
5. Stay cozy in the colder months
- The Danes have a strategy to deal with the shorter, winter days called “hygge” which means the “art of relaxing in a warm and cozy environment”. Light candles and make your home a comfy retreat from the outdoors. In Canada it’s know as “voluntary hibernation”.
6. Say “no” to drive-through restaurants
- Though this may seem to be somewhat prohibitive, choosing alternatives to drive-throughs promotes healthier choices.
7. Keep shopping hours to a minimum
- Purchasing a new item may give you an “acquisition high” but it is usually short lived. Instead, limit shopping hours to free up more time to pursue more rewarding activities like volunteering or exercising.
8. Live a quiet, safe neighbourhood
- Research has shown that a barrier to exercise is perceived danger. People generally adapt well to many things, but not to noise. Your mood can affected by the dog barking in the apartment next door.
- Chat with friends over a cup of tea or a glass of wine - some happiness tips are obvious!
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