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Psychologist from Finland reveals why they are world’s ‘happiest country’

Psychologist from Finland reveals why they are world’s ‘happiest country’

Frank Martela explains how Finland maintains its happiness

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the world’s happiest country?

For years, Finland has been known and officially named as the happiest country in the world, but it’s not a natural occurrence.

According to a Finnish psychology researcher, a lot of work has gone into earning the title.

Finland is known as the happiest country in the world.

Frank Martela, who is also a philosopher, wants to set the record straight about how hard Finnish people graft to maintain their peace.

Martela said to CNBC Make it: “It would be more accurate to say that Finland is the country that has the least unhappy people in the world.”

He went on to explain that there are three ‘crucial’ concepts Finnish people hold dearly to their beliefs which lead to happiness. They are:

  • A strong sense of community
  • Doing good deeds
  • Finding your purpose

A strong sense of community and relatedness is one of the most important factors.

He said: “Having people around you who care about you, and whom you care about, makes people happy. Luckily, that can be true even in very dire material conditions.”

As far as doing good deeds for one another being a mood-booster, this could actually be backed by science.

The Ohio State University conducted a study in 2023 which found that negative emotions such as anxiety, depression and stress could be dispelled simply by doing acts of kindness.

Martela explained: “When you help someone, when you [have a] positive impact on others, your own happiness and sense of meaningfulness increases.

“In situations of crisis, opportunities to help each other are typically plenty, and this helps also to build a sense of solidarity.”

The last belief- finding your purpose- is something that can also aid society as a whole as well as your personal satisfaction.

According to Frank Martela, it's down to three key beliefs.

He said: ″[A] strong sense of purpose also makes it easier to tolerate bad conditions. In fact, focusing on changing those conditions is one obvious source of purpose that could animate the person and help to find meaning in their present situation.”

Now, these three things aren’t the only contributing factors to Finland’s happy society.

Martela also noted that the government contributes to his country’s high morale: “Well-functioning governmental institutions. I tend to say that governments can’t make people happy, but they can remove many sources of happiness.”

Things like affordable healthcare, fair wages and a smooth-running country could help your happiness.

Martela explained: “How your country is running has a huge impact on your happiness.”

Ahem…it looks like we’re out of the running now that we’ve entered a recession.

He went on to warn that there is ‘no amount of mindfulness or gratitude diaries or other popular interventions’ which can bring back a negative national mood.

So, there you have it folks! Take these concepts with you and start to reap the benefits of the Finnish-guide-to-happiness.

Featured Image Credit: Oleh_Slobodeniuk/andresr/Getty Images

Topics: Health, Mental Health, NHS, Travel