1
Aug

Chasing Happiness

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World Map of Happiness: Adrian White, a British analytic social psychologist at the University of Leicester, has published the first world map of happiness, ranking 178 countries in order from happiest to least happiest. More than 100 studies that involved 80,000 people were used to determine the happiness rankings. In his research, White found that health is the best predictor of happiness. The healthier people are, the happier they are. The next two predictors of happiness are wealth and education.

The 20 Happiest Nations In The World:

1 – Denmark
2 – Switzerland
3 – Austria
4 – Iceland
5 – The Bahamas
6 – Finland
7 – Sweden
8 – Bhutan
9 – Brunei
10 – Canada
11 – Ireland
12 – Luxembourg
13 – Costa Rica
14 – Malta
15 – The Netherlands
16 – Antigua and Barbuda
17 – Malaysia
18 – New Zealand
19 – Norway
20 – The Seychelles

Other Notable Happy Countries:

23. USA
35. Germany
41. UK
62. France
82. China
90. Japan
125. India
167. Russia

The Three Least Happy Countries:

176. Democratic Republic of the Congo
177. Zimbabwe #178. Burundi

Paper Dolls.jpgDeaf People and Happiness: It is interesting to us that neither family, friends, relationships, or community is among the top three predictors of happiness in the above study, nor were they cited as being significantly correlated with happiness. Even if you are in the best health, have all the money you need, and have a great education, if you don’t have any close friends or family in your life, would you really be happy?

For Deaf people especially, our connections in the Deaf community and our shared experiences with each other are often cited as among the most treasured aspects of our lives. Just as Deaf people in the past gathered regularly in Deaf clubs, we see Deaf people today making it a priority to gather with each other online and in other places. Many Deaf people’s websites are evolving into blogsites, for example, making them popular interactive spaces for meeting, sharing stories, debating, and connecting. Another illustration of how much the Deaf community means to people is evident in the thousands of people who traveled to Deaf Way I and II. The smiles on people’s faces were all you needed to see to know that community and friendship relate to happiness, just as much as health, wealth, and education.

An Impossible Dream?: Not everyone thinks that happiness is attainable, however. A new book, Going Sane: Maps of Happiness, suggests that perhaps the reason so many people are looking high and low for happiness without much success, is because happiness does not really exist as we think it does. The more we chase an idealistic vision of happiness, the more disappointed we will be with life. Happiness, instead, comes in finding and accepting the good things we do have in our lives.

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