Davos elite discover secrets of a happy life

Davos elite discover secrets of a happy life
Delegates to the World Economic Forum in Davos were given some hints on a happy life on the final day of the gathering. (Reuters)
Updated 27 January 2018

Davos elite discover secrets of a happy life

Davos elite discover secrets of a happy life

LONDON: Being a master of the universe can be stressful work, but the global business elite were given some surprising tips on the secrets of a happy life on the final day at Davos.
Religion, equality and security are key factors in contributing to the contentment of the world’s happiest populations, according to National Geographic fellow and bestselling author Dan Buettner.
Citing a Google study he designed to correlate people’s happiness with their searches in 200 cities around the world, he said that dog owners proved happier than people with cats while those looking up action movies and comedies were cheerier than those searching for romance films.
In measuring happiness on a global level, life satisfaction, daily emotions and purpose are the key gauges but factors vary according to country, culture and community.
Northern Denmark, which has the highest scores globally for equality, trust and tolerance, is home to the happiest cohort of over-60s in the world. This is partly due to a social system that supports people in pursuing their passions and taking time for hobbies, as opposed to championing raw ambition.
Around 30 percent of Americans love their job compared to 80 percent of Danes, who excel at pursuits such as furniture-building, design and architecture, Buettner said.
In Asia, Singaporeans are the continent’s happiest for different reasons. The country has one of the highest GDPs in the world and its people have some of the longest life expectancies. In addition, its tough stance on crime creates a strong sense of security and different ethnicities live in “remarkable harmony” compared to other multicultural communities, he explained.
Longevity, meanwhile, is based less on genetics and more on lifestyle. According to a Danish study of twins, “Only about 20 percent of how long you live on average is dictated by your genes, the other 80 percent is dictated by lifestyle and environment, and just a little bit by your health care,” Buettner said.
It is in the Costa Rica central valley, where family and religion are valued about all else in life, that longevity and happiness come together. “No matter where you go in the world, religious people report higher levels of happiness than their non-religious counterparts,” he added.