Disneyland may have earned the title of the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’, but the Himalayan mountain kingdom of Bhutan has claimed that it is the happiest country in the world!
So That’s Really A Thing?!
It is! Bhutan has created what it calls it’s ‘Gross National Happiness Index’ that is a measure of how much the population is able to grow and flourish holistically. It is not a measure of wealth or money, and it goes much beyond just how much people laugh and smile.
The Gross National Happiness Index measures how satisfied people are with their own lives, how little they envy others and how compassionate they are towards those around them.
Bhutan even takes this into consideration when creating new policies for the country. A policy that is not for the benefit of everybody, is not environmentally friendly or does not rate high on the happiness index, will not be passed into law.
How Do You Measure Happiness?
In Bhutan, every 5 years, the Centre for Bhutan and GNH (Gross National Happiness) conducts a survey to measure 9 things including culture, living standards, use of time, good governance and ecology to see how the country is doing on the happiness index. The next survey will happen next year, in 2020.
Is It For Real?
Sadly, the 2015 survey in Bhutan showed that while a lot of the factors measured for the happiness such as education and access to healthcare index gave positive results, some areas like psychological were less than ideal. A lot of people in Bhutan rely on agriculture to survive and Bhutan’s location high up in the mountains means that it is often subjected to unpredictable climate conditions leading to difficulties for the farmers.
The people of Bhutan, led by their Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering however, are committed to their vision of happiness and work hard to maintain their values through hard work, meditation and exercise. They hope to achieve a state in which the economy, the environment and the community are all in a state of contentment and balance.
Written by: Disha Mirchandani. Disha is a former lawyer turned freelance content writer. She is a fitness enthusiast and amateur aerialist with her own fitness photo-blog as well.