Finland has overtaken Norway to become the happiest country on earth, according to to a UN annual report issued on Wednesday that found Americans were getting less happy even as their country became richer.
Burundi in east Africa, scarred by bouts of ethnic cleansing, civil wars and coup attempts, came bottom in the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s (SDSN) 2018 World Happiness Report which ranked 156 countries according to things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.
The study also reveals that the US has slipped to 18th place, five places down on 2016. The top four places are taken by Nordic nations, with Finland followed by Norway, Denmark Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.
Taking the harsh, dark winters in their stride, Finns said access to nature, safety, childcare, good schools and free healthcare were among the best things about in their country.
Nepal was 101 where as Pakistan was ahead than Nepal with 75th among Sounth Asian countries followed by Bhutan with 97. Likewise, Bangladesh 115th, Sri Lanka 116th and India was 133rd.
Britain was 19th and the United Arab Emirates 20th.
The UN, for the first time since it was started in 2012, also examined the happiness levels of immigrants in each country, and found Finland also scored highest.
Finland took top honors in that category too, giving the country a statistical double-gold status. The foreign-born were least happy in Syria, which has been mired in civil war for seven years.
“The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born,” said Professor John Helliwell of Canada’s University of British Columbia.
One chapter of the 170-page report is dedicated to emerging health problems such as obesity, depression and the opioid crisis, particularly in the United States where the prevalence of all three has grown faster than in most other countries.
While US income per capita has increased markedly over the last half century, happiness has been hit by weakened social support networks, a perceived rise in corruption in government and business and declining confidence in public institutions.Follow @gorkhapost
Excess use of social media may lead to depression and loneliness
Excessive use of social media like Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram could lead to depression and loneliness as this habit is associated with poor well-being,researchers have warned.
A new study, being published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, showed that limiting screen time on these apps could boost one’s wellness.
The study has tried to look into the causal side of things, and see whether people may actually feel better when they cut down on social media.
“Our findings strongly suggest that limiting social media use to approximately 30 minutes per day may lead to significant improvement in well-being,” the authors concluded.
“When you are not busy getting sucked into clickbait social media, you are actually spending more time on things that are more likely to make you feel better about your life,” said Melissa Hunt, associate director of clinical training at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.
For the study, researchers from the varsity, included 143 undergraduate participants. The team designed their experiment to include the three platforms most popular with the participants.
They monitored the students for a week to get a baseline reading of their social media use, and gave them questionnaires that assessed their well-being according to seven different factors: social support, fear of missing out (aka FOMO), loneliness, autonomy and self-acceptance (a measure of psychological well-being), anxiety, depression, and self-esteem.
They collected objective usage data automatically tracked by iPhones for active apps, not those running in the background, and asked respondents to complete a survey to determine mood and well-being.
“Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness. These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study,” Hunt told Science Daily.
The researchers chose to limit social media, rather than have subjects stop using it altogether, because it was a more realistic option, she noted.