Denmark is a kingdom country in Europe, the smallest of the Nordic countries. Here are some fun facts about Denmark: it rains and snows every other day; it is an archipelago comprised of more than 100 islands and it is the oldest monarchy in the world.
Oh, and one more thing… it is one of the happiest countries in the world.
How did Denmark deserve this awesome “title” so many times and why?
Helen Russell, a journalist from Great Britain, living in Denmark, wrote a wonderfully picturesque piece for Stylist magazine, portraying her personal experience of life in Denmark.
She lived in London with her husband and were trying to start a family. Even though they had planned to set permanent roots there, her husband was offered a job in Denmark.
Not sure what to expect, they did a bit of research and were overwhelmed with what they discovered:
For one, in Denmark, if you decide to have a baby, the country will grant you 52 weeks of parental leave, with full pay!!
And once the little one is ready for child care and the parents want to get back to work, don’t fret, because children have a guaranteed place in a state run day care which is 75% subsidized by the country.
And that’s not all. The minimum wage in Denmark is around 20 dollars per hour and workers’ rights are a top priority.
Since the winters in Denmark are long and cold, Danes spend most of their time indoors and particularly value their homes and their coziness. They even have a special word for relaxing and comfort in one’s home – it’s called “hygge”.
Even though it might seem like outdoor activities are limited, Danes certainly love their bikes and their capital Copenhagen is unrivalled in the world as a cycling city.
In Denmark, trust comes first, people trust each other, they trust their government, their employers, the schools their children attend. People truly believe they are safe and they are – it is a well-known fact that crime and corruption in Denmark are very low.
Danes have a 37-hour work week and they usually get five weeks off for their annual holiday.
Despite the fact that the taxes are pretty high, Danes are only too happy to pay them because they have social security, a universal pension and a universal healthcare system.
Sounds like they live in a totally different universe than ours, doesn’t it? No wonder they are one of the happiest people in the world.
Ms. Russell had the opportunity to experience life in Denmark first hand and she and her husband decided to stay there permanently. Who wouldn’t, right? She even claims that she is a much happier person since she moved there.
If you show people that you trust them, they will trust you back. You will be much happier, more relaxed, less stressed and that positive energy will spread like wild fire. Trust your neighbors, your friends, your boss and get ready to be pleasantly surprised by the changes you will experience in your life.
- Try to Get “hygge” Whenever You Can
Relax, enjoy the simple things in life – having a cup of tea on the porch, at the window, smelling the fresh laundry, eating a piece of cake. You know what they say, “you must look after number one”.
- Don’t Overwork Yourself – Try to Leave Work on Time.
Once that clock strikes 5, grab your coat and get home to your family or go out with friends for a drink.
- Take a Cue from the Danes and Start Being More Active
Go running, visit the nearest lake and go for a swim… use your bike to get to work, if that’s possible, play basketball or whichever sport you like once a week, and so on… it has been proven by science that exercise releases the “happy” hormones and reduces stress levels.
- Turn Your Home into a Beautiful Sanctuary
Everyone deserves a home adorned with trinkets and chunks of life that make them happy. Danes seem to thinks so and their homes are particular beautiful. Their keen eye for art and design can be seen in their everyday surroundings, and it is another reason why Danes are one of the happiest people in the world.