Genetics could be the key to as why Danes are the happiest people in the world, according to new research from the University of Warwick.
Economists have found the closer a nation is to the genetic makeup of Denmark, the happier that country is!
I have always said that I find Danes to have less mood swings, and generally a more stable mood. (Which some people have commented make Danes seem a bit stale, boring and a bit mundane)
Now it seems my suspicions are correct, researchers say that certain gene mutations influences the reuptake of serotonin, which is believed to be linked to human mood. They say Danes have a special gene mutation that causes them to have less mood fluctuations and therefore are very happy.
The thing is that Danes are not happy…..They are content with their lives. (satisfied with their lives!)
Happiness as we know it is spectacular and vibrant, it makes our heart beat faster, our eyes shine and it gives us lots of energy. It is a fleeting experience, a feeling that takes over the body and it gives is pleasure and joy.
Contentment, on the other hand, is perceived as a bit tepid and colourless and everlasting. It is more prosaic and even if we feel comfortable being content, we certainly don’t reach seventh heaven.
Contentment even has a bad reputation: to be content is seen to be lazy and complacent, it apparently stops people from getting on and improving.
For example when Danes are asked if they like something, they often say, ‘ikke sa darligt.’ – it’s not so bad!
This lack of emotion and coolness works together with Danish contentment – nothing to get excited about – either good or bad.
In the US, I was actively discouraged to be content. I spent my time pushing to want more and better things and was never to be content with what I had.
On the other hand, I remember experiencing great joy and excitement when things went my way. But terrible depressions when they did not.
To me if this Danish gene exists, it is not a happiness gene but more of a mood stabilizer gene. What do you think?….