we are just so happy here in Denmark

Yet again an article has talked about about the ‘happiness of danes’. I have to say I’m pleased that I live amongst the happiest people in the world, it ends up making you feel quite content.

Yes it is true that maternity/paternity leave is good here, the standard of living is high (especially due to a strong economy right now) and people feel secure because of the high unemployment benefits and a generally uncorrupt bureaucratic system. The pressure to ‘work to survive’ doesn’t really exist and when the sun comes out, its generally accepted that you can go out and enjoy it. Thats life, great isn’t it!

I just suspect that the reason behind ‘happiness’ is a bit more complex that that. Happiness is an affected state of mind caused by many things, love, money, self-satisfaction and these days probably dependant on the amount of anti-depressants people take. Last but not least, it is largely determined by expectation. If you set low levels of expectation, for instance in the number of work hours, in academic achievement, in the need to be healthy, thin and to accomplish things efficiently, then things are a lot happier and a lot less stressful. If you drop out of school, become a single mum, can only afford budget foods and smoke a heap, thats also okay. Maybe there is just too much expectation out there in the big ‘unhappy’ world.

More than anything else, I think mantality has more influence on the state of ‘happiness’. I have noticed that most Danes in general have a very strong sense of nationality, community, and virtually fall over backwards if something negative is said about their country. Its almost a betrayal to themselves and fellow countrymen to talk down about their lives to others, it would never cross their mind. Thats sometimes a hard thing for outsiders to swallow and understand, especially if you are used to thinking that the grass is greener all the time….here in Denmark the grass is the greenest if you think like a Dane 🙂

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