Don’t worry, be happy



Every spring, the United Nations publishes the World Happiness Report: a report that measures the level of happiness worldwide.

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And. every year, the same countries top the list of happiest nations: Norway, Finland and Denmark, which time and again turn out to have the happiest populations. But there are also a lot of unhappy people in the world. For instance, about 700,000 Belgian people a year struggle with a mental health problem and Flanders has one of the highest suicide rates in Europe.

Time to take action! 

Being happy doesn’t mean you have to walk around all day long with a big grin on your face or bounce off the walls with excitement every time you get good news. A reserved person can be just as happy as an exuberant person. 

Some experts feel we look at happiness all wrong. One belief that has been around for years is that happiness is genetically predetermined. That’s not quite right. You are not necessarily born as an incredible optimist, you can also learn to become one. There are small changes you can make to your everyday life to increase your happiness:

-       Make more time for the people in your life who are important to you. Have lunch with your best friend, schedule a day of wellness with your partner or take your child to the playground after school.

-       Being kind to others also helps. Give a friendly nod to people you walk past on your way to the bakery. Or smile at the driver next to you when stuck in traffic. Compliment your colleagues on a job well done.

-       Try to recreate that holiday feeling at home. That’s actually easier than you think: have a go at cooking foreign cuisine now and then, most ingredients you will need are now widely available in supermarkets. Or treat yourself to an exotic treatment such as a hammam massage. During this massage, your skin is scrubbed and massaged with hot water and soap. A unique experience.

What little things make you happy?

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