The release of the 2019 World Happiness Report again confirms that impression with four Nordic countries in the top five happiest nations. Finland, which headed the table last year, came top again, followed by Denmark, Norway (top in 2017) and Iceland. World Economic Forum’s article explained the results:
“The survey, conducted by Gallup, uses a three-year rolling average of survey responses around six factors: GDP per capita; social support; life expectancy; freedom to make life choices; generosity; and corruption levels. Finland scores well on all factors but particularly strongly on generosity. The authors say that helping others makes you feel better, but only if you choose to do it. Almost half of Finns donate regularly to charity, and almost a third said they had given up time to volunteer for a charity in the previous month.
The Copenhagen-based Happiness Research Institute points out that Finland tops the happiness list despite not having the highest GDP of the Nordic countries. It is the country’s social safety net combined with personal freedom and a good work-life balance that gives it the edge.”
Finnish professor specialized in studying happiness, Mr Markku Ojanen stated in a recent interview, that there is a rise in happiness studies and the approaches and new aspects are identified all the time. Finns in his studies have estimated their happiness at 70 in a range from 0 to 100. “Though Finns would have a lot to learn on how to be happy in a moment,” he mentions.
So how can we actively enhance those elements which will make us happier? Mr Ojanen brings forth a couple of specific examples:
1. It is mostly about the fundaments in life
One is generally happy when the basics in life are in place. People tend to endure all kinds of difficulties and sorrows relatively well. “Evolution has trained and directed us towards a generally positive mindset,” Mr Ojanen explains. Hovi Care is a positively charged environment with life and laughter. In other words, fun in the daily activities. Hovi Care’s weekly program covers all of the important aspects in senior care: physical wellbeing and health, social interaction and mental health. When these elements are looked after, one has an opportunity to live a happy life.
2. How can we foster happiness in our care environment?
According to Mr Ojanen, the values that help create happiness are democratic decision making, safety, equality and trust. That is Hovi Care has a lot of emphasis on transparency of our operations. The family members of the elderly in our care need to rely on us delivering high quality care of the seniors in the family while they are attending to their business. Trust and sense of safety for our clients is created by our care personnel: how do we make each one feel important and how do we take into account senior’s individual wishes.
3. Community is a key to happiness
Relationships are important and when more time is spent with important people, it will make the day happier. So if one is an important part of a group, people tend to feel happier. That is why Hovi Club is all about bringing the elderly together, so that everyone can have an interesting conversation, can meet new people and make new friends.
Photo: Riitta Supperi/Keksi/Finland Promotion Board