Where’s the happiest place on Earth?

World-Happiness-Report-2015-cover

Switzerland! The third World Happiness Report was published yesterday and Switzerland ranked top of the country list for happiness. You can see the top ten with the US and UK in this graphic (from The Guardian):

Happiness-chart

Iceland came in second with Denmark down to third place. The UK have moved up one place to 21st and the US sits in 15th out of the 158 countries included. The five least happy countries are Togo, Burundi, Syria, Benin and Rwanda.

Around 2,000 people were asked questions on different areas of their lives, such as social support and freedom to make life choices. They were asked to rank their answers on a scale of 1-10 with the best possible life at 10. The data from these answers, as well as information like healthy life expectancy and GDP per capita, was then used to rank the countries.

Assessing a country’s population by how happy they feel is a relatively new idea still, but one that is being taken more seriously as time goes on.

The report found that in western Europe women are slightly happier with their lives than men until about 50 years old when they swap, and men feel happier. Women also smile and laugh more, particularly in the teenage years! One of the chapters of the report concentrates on children, under-18s now make up one third of the world’s population. The report shows that investing in children’s wellbeing is essential for future world happiness.

Looking at the neuroscience of happiness the report concluded that “Well-being has been found to be elevated when individuals are better able to sustain positive emotion; recover more quickly from negative experiences; engage in empathic and altruistic acts; and express high levels of mindfulness.”

There’s so much information in the World Happiness Report, hopefully world leaders will take it all on board. Do take a look here if you want to read more.

The World Happiness Report is published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).  It is edited by Professor John F. Helliwell, of the University of British Columbia and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research; Lord Richard Layard, Director of the Well-Being Programme at LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance; and Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Director of the SDSN, and Special Advisor to UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon.


Happy Paper Club April box is revealed!

The April Happy Paper Club box has landed with pretty much everyone, I think, so I can reveal exactly what’s inside!

 

Inside each box for April is:

:: an A5 meal planner pad
:: a greeting card with envelope
:: a sheet of 15 Happy Post Day stickers
:: a pencil
:: a bag of wildflower seeds, exclusive to Happy Paper Club
:: an uplifting quotation mini print
:: a welcome letter from me!

Subscribers with their birthday in April found a little extra treat in their box too! Plus, those who subscribed for six months or took out a monthly subscription also received their membership card with discount code.

Here’s what a few people have said about their April box:
“Super selection of goodies in my #HappyPaperClub box; such a lovely idea” – @missfeebs
“Another gorgeous selection of goodies including some wildflower seeds which has inspired me… Thank you @thegreengable can’t wait for next month’s!” – @quirkyhannah
“Super excited to come home to happy post tonight… my first #happypaperclub from @thegreengable love it, especially the meal planner” – @theDaphneRosa
“I am one happy meal planner after discovering this in my #happypaperclub package this month :-) thank you” – @k_phillipson

If you’ve received your box don’t forget to post pics on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #happypaperclub. You can find me at @thegreengables on Facebook and @thegreengable on Twitter and Instagram.

If you’d like to receive Happy Post every month you can find out all about Happy Paper Club here. You can also see what was in the March box here.

The next boxes will become available on Friday 1 May, there’s a finite number so once they’re gone, they’re gone! Sign up to the newsletter below to be the first to know when the boxes are available.

Stay in the know and get a free set of printable stationery

Happiness is… vol. 22

I missed a couple of weeks posting my happy things, but that’s because I was busy enjoying happy things! I’m back this week with another little bundle of moments that made me smile…

Happiness-is-22

:: Sunshine. Just sunshine. Never ever fails to lift my spirit
:: Seeing Emily Quinton again at the launch of her book, Maker Spaces, at West Elm, lovely to see other talented folk selling their creations at her pop-up shop too
:: Rather than instantly scoop them up I stopped for a moment to notice how pretty fallen tulip petals can look
:: I’ve got my favourite smoothie recipe down now but need a smaller jar to take it to work!
:: Happy Paper Club April boxes have been arriving with subscribers and I’ve so thrilled with how happy people are with the contents

What little snapshot moments brought a beam to your face last week? Whatever it was that made you smile I’d love you to share them with me in a comment below, or link me up on twitterinstagram or facebook.

Stay in the know and get a free set of printable stationery

No animals were harmed in the writing of this blog post

I’m all for living an easy life. So when an organisation makes it super easy for me to shop for everyday stuff, like shampoo and soap, that are guaranteed to not be tested on animals, I’m all for it!

On the Cruelty Free International website gocrueltyfree.org you can easily find out if your favourite brands and retailers are manufacturing and selling products that have not been tested on animals.

Go-Cruelty-Free

Now, in the European Union it has been illegal to test cosmetics and toiletries on animals and sell the products in the EU since March 2013. But, here’s the big but, it is still allowed in many countries outside of the EU, as they say:

“Even now the European ban [on animal testing for cosmetic and toiletry products and ingredients] has come into force, the Leaping Bunny continues to be the only way consumers can be sure they are buying truly ‘cruelty-free’ beauty products. The ban means that companies are unable to animal test new cosmetic products and ingredients on sale in the EU. However, companies can still carry on animal testing cosmetics outside the EU where these cosmetics are also sold outside the EU. Before new products can go on sale in China, they must be submitted for testing to the Chinese authorities, which normally involves a range of animal tests.”

So what does that mean for us in the UK?
For example, in the UK you might buy a bottle of shampoo produced by a global company who manufactures and sells that shampoo inside and outside the EU. The shampoo that you purchase won’t have been tested on animals, as it’s against EU law, but the same shampoo, and other products, from the same company could be tested on animals outside the EU and sold to consumers outside the EU. If you’re on holiday in America or Asia the toiletries you buy could have been animal tested.

Cruelty Free International tells us that the Leaping Bunny logo (as shown above) is a global standard and applies to all of the operations and sales of companies, not just those for the EU. So if your shampoo, or other toiletries, cosmetics or household products, displays the Leaping Bunny logo on the packaging, you can be sure that the product was safely tested without the involvement of any animals anywhere in the world.

So how do I find out about the brands I buy?
On the Go Cruelty Free website you can search for your favourite brands, to see if they’re certified. You can also download their Little Book of Cruelty Free as a pdf or request a copy of the booklet to be posted to you. It really is a little book, I keep mine in my wallet so I can whip it out to check a brand before I buy.

You’ll be pleased to know that buying cruelty-free doesn’t mean spending more. There are several supermarkets, high street retailers and brands who are certified, so if you purchase their own brand products you know you’re choosing cruelty-free, such as:
The Co-operative
Morrisons
Waitrose
M&S
Sainsbury’s
Superdrug
The Body Shop
Neal’s Yard
Paul Mitchell
Liz Earle
Burt’s Bees

I hope you’ve found this post useful, I have no affiliation with Cruelty Free International or any of the brands mentioned, I just think this is a super useful resource and wanted to share it with you.
I’d love to know what you think so feel free to leave a comment below!

Stay in the know and get a free set of printable stationery

Write your own good news headline

Have you noticed how the news often leads with a negative headline? So, if a survey asking people if they’re happy finds that 80% are happy and 20% are unhappy, you can be sure the news headline will concentrate on the minority of unhappy people. Even though 80% of those questioned said they’re happy! It’s important to find out how the 20% can be helped to feel happier, but rather than making the headline focused on the negative, why not begin by celebrating the positive?

Joy-stealers 1We all write our own headlines for our own lives every day, and too often we choose to focus on the negative rather than the positive. For instance, you started the day wanting to complete all 15 tasks on your to do list but by the end of the day there were still three items to go. You ticked off 12 tasks, plus whatever else you did that wasn’t on the list, that’s nothing to beat yourself up about!

You get cross at yourself because you intended to go to the gym four times in a week but you only managed it three times. Instead of focusing on the one time you didn’t go, how about recognising the fact you worked out three times that week?

You think you eat too much chocolate so you plan to go a whole week without any. On the sixth day you chomp through a bar and then berate yourself for your lack of willpower, even though you went five consecutive days without any chocolate!

Just because you didn’t get to the gym, finish your to do list or abstain from chocolate on one day doesn’t mean you’re rubbish, a failure, have no willpower or can’t reach your goals – far from it! You’re just not perfect, and who is?

Recognise what you did achieve, the progress you made and resolve to try again the next day or week. Write yourself a positive headline.

How-you-carry-the-load

PS Happy Paper Club is open for orders and subscribers! Due to last month’s popularity I’ve allocated many more boxes for April but they won’t last for long! You can read reviews of the March box and find out what was included in the box in this blog post. And if you like the idea of having cheery papery goodness delivered to your door go to Happy Paper Club now!

Happy-Paper-Club-announce

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