If you want to reduce stress in your life, move to Panama! Panama tied for the #1 spot for the happiest and most positive people on earth according to the Gallup 2019 Emotional Health Report which came out this week.
Gallup interviewed 151,000 people in 142 nations. Instead of a silly question like, “Are you happy?”, they asked specific questions, not over time which is too general and not what people feel “today” which is too close, but yesterday which is finished, yet still clear in their minds. Here are the five questions asked:
•• Did you feel well-rested yesterday?
•• Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?
•• Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?
•• Did you learn or do something interesting yesterday?
•• Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday? How about enjoyment?
Global happiness studies often involve two measures — how people see their lives and how they live their lives. Both concepts are rooted in behavioral economics. How people reflect on their life is very different from how people live their life.
You can see the nations whose people are most positive in this list. Panama ties its cousins in Paraguay for first place. Nine out of the ten highest are in Latin America!
Maybe there’s something to that “laid back” attitude in Panama because it removes stress. I see it every day with happy, polite and smiling people in Panama. In Panama, life is not about keeping up with the Jones’
It is not about money. Of all ten of those nations, only one is included in the World Bank’s list of “high-income nations” and that is Panama. Panama wase added to that group in 2017 and remain there today. Some of the top ten countries not only experience poverty, but also the threat of violence every day as in Central America… yet they are happy!
For Panamanians there is something deep inside them at their core – a sense of family and community – that is intense, even when they aren’t happy with each other, even when they are poor. It is refreshing to live in a country where people are not stressed out all the time.
In contrast, which countries have the most stressed people?