I realize that celebrating the International Day of Happiness may be the furthest thing from your mind if you are dealing with benzo dependence and withdrawal, but I don’t think it should be. Finding something to be happy about just might be the little thing which can lift your spirits, at least for a day.
In my research, in addition to benzos, anxiety, depression, mental health, and other similar topics, I also spent a lot of time investigating happiness and trying to learn the common causes. For me, climbing out of the benzo misery wasn’t just about easing my symptoms, but it was also about changing my way of life and learning from those who do better — those who are happier.
Thus, I learned a lot about happiness, read several books on the subject matter, and I’ve been following the World Happiness Reportlistings for a few years now. I believe there is a lot to learn from people who consistently rank high on this list.
March 20th is the International Day of Happiness and it coincides with the release of the UN’s World Happiness Report produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. This is a list of the happiest countries in the world. This year’s winner is Finland for the second year in a row.
Top 10 World’s Happiest Countries
It’s easy to see that Scandinavian countries excel in helping their people be happy. In fact, this group of countries appears at the top of this list consistently year after year, often jockeying for position in the top 5. They’re obviously doing something right. But others have some work to do.
So many people in the world look to the superpowers as the epitome of the good life, and yet not one superpower made the top 10. The U.S. dropped from 18th to 19th this year and has dropped five spots since 2017. The U.K. is ranked at 15th, Germany at 17th, and Japan, Russia, and China don’t even make the top 50. Unfortunately, poverty and civil unrest also play a significant factor in the listings affecting countries like South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Rwanda who are at or near the bottom of the list.
In an article from CNN, Katia Hetter reports that addiction appears to be partly to blame for unhappiness in the U.S.
Addictions come in many forms, from substance abuse to gambling to digital media. The compulsive pursuit of substance abuse and addictive behaviors is causing severe unhappiness. — Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Addiction, substance abuse, and in my opinion, physical dependence, can be significant factors in a person’s happiness and this report should be a wake-up call for us all. Once we get through the gauntlet of benzo withdrawal, wouldn’t it be nice if we learned a few tools along the way to actually help us be happier on the other side?
I guess my main point in this post is this: There are countries in this world who repeatedly rank highest in happiness. Shouldn’t we learn from their example?
Happy International Day of Happiness, everyone! Here are a few links if you want to learn more.
Keep calm, taper slowly, and take care of yourself, D :)