It’s #InternationalHappinessDay which signifies a time to celebrate our happiness and how it can be achieved. Don’t worry, this isn’t an opportunity for people to gloat and brag about how happy they are on social media, it is actually a day to to focus on how we can be happier together, so if you are feeling down, you’re not expected to flick on a happiness switch and everything is suddenly sunshine and rainbows – far from it, you can join a supportive community which focuses on “what we have in common, rather than what divides us”. Sign up here.
What I thought was interesting when researching the origins of International Happiness Day was how countries rank on World Happiness Report which, “focuses on happiness and the community: how happiness has evolved over the past dozen years, with a focus on the technologies, social norms, conflicts and government policies that have driven those changes.”
So spoiler alert; worryingly the UK doesn’t even rank in the top 10, we ranked 15th on the list, which isn’t terrible as we have increased our 2018 ranking from 19th place, but we can do better. I have been very vocal about why mental health care in the UK needs to be better, and this statistic highlights this fact.
Another point of interest is that economic superpower the USA, dropped down one place from last year and ranked 19th on the list. There seems to be a correlation between economic growth and a happiness decline in the country. There is also links to the use of digital media in leisure time, which contributes to this statistic.
This is the top 10 happiest countries:
- New Zealand
This is the least happy countries:
- South Sudan
- Central African Republic
Citations: Helliwell, J., Layard, R., & Sachs, J. (2019). World Happiness Report 2019, New York: Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
I will explore in further detail how we can learn from Finland’s happiness and wellbeing policies, but for now; let’s just really think about what we can do in the next year to improve the UK’s ranking.