The Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Norway and Sweden as well as the Nordic countries Finland and Iceland consistently rank highly in surveys of quality of life around the world. What’s the secret?
The CEO of The Happiness Institute in Copenhagen, Meik Wiking, also a New York best-selling author, is so confident he has the answer, so he’s even produced tutorials about how you can be happier.
There are six factors that affect happiness, he claims, and sincerely wants individuals to master them all.
The World Happiness Report
The UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network has since 2012 released the World Happiness Report every year, backed by the Ernesto Illy Foundation.
But what exactly does these Nordic countries do differently that makes its citizens so happy? According to Wiking (what an appropriate name) ‘these happy Scandinavian countries ‘are doing something right in terms of creating good conditions for good lives.’
Good neighbors supporting each other
The short answer might be that there is a greater neighborly support between citizens and state support programs for those in need than in most other countries. People feel they have a community they can count on.
Related: The Scandinavian Model
Scandinavian people have an average high income, long life expectancy and good government support services. As a result, individuals are more likely to return a stranger’s wallet in the Nordic countries. The editors of the report call this ‘social support’.
Climate and positive working environments support Scandinavian countries’ happiness level
Job security and positive working environments are other factors. “People become unhappy in the workplace where there is a culture of easily hiring and easily firing,” says one of the report’s editors, Jan-Emmanuel De Neve. Unemployment insurance – and work experience schemes to get people back into jobs – plus child support also contribute to wellbeing.
Related: What Makes Scandinavians so Happy?
The colder weather and long nights associated with Scandinavia might also help bring communities together.
Practical advice on living a happier life
So perhaps a Masterclass consisting of 42 courses can empower you with practical tips and quick wins to make yourself, your loved ones, and even the world happier.
What’s the Secret Behind the Happy Scandinavian Countries? written by Tor Kjolberg