Is Happiness the new GDP: The Battle to become the World’s Happiest Country

The annual ‘Happiest Nation on Earth’ awards conducted by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network were published recently and guess what – no surprise – it was again won by a Scandinavian country. And this time around was Finland being awarded the accolade.

Less verbal than the UN but resolute in their belief that this title is exclusively theirs, is a little country in Asia called Bhutan, home to only around 800,000 people. And they have the stats to prove it since they’ve been measuring the happiness of their people for the past 10 years.

Just how do you measure happiness?

It takes a bit of time. Bhutan uses its own nation-wide measure: Gross National Happiness. Unlike the World Happiness Report, Gross National Happiness uses 33 different indicators and collects data from personal interviews.

Research for the UN’s Global Measure of Happiness is collected through phone interviews by the Gallup World Poll. So as the saying goes, same thing, different colour.

All this got me thinking about what is actually being measured. Is the use of the word ‘happiness’ a misnomer? Could contentment be the emotion being measured? Contentment – the state of happiness not based on materialism and success but on what you have albeit not all you would want in life.

The solution: what makes people happy?

But whilst the Bhutanese have the tape measures out trying to determine happiness and the Polls are Galloping around seeking their version of happiness, I believe there’s no mystery to the secret to finding both – it’s called TRAVEL!

Introducing: The ‘Wellbeing Barometer’

Years of working in travel have shown me the volumes of happiness and contentment travel brings. It’s not only the trip itself which brings the sense of well being but the anticipation of the trip definitely gets those Endorphins pumping. And later, arriving home with a bagful of kaleidoscope memories, one things is certain – your Well being Barometer measuring levels of happiness and contentment will be in perfect calibration!

Don’t neglect your Well being Barometer – release the Endorphins today by calling us to plan our next holiday!

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