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Recently, measuring the level of happiness of their people has become very popular for certain countries. And then? I have just discovered that I let last Friday pass without realising that it was the day of the year dedicated to satisfaction with life – International Happiness Day.( And then? ). Did you miss it too?

Eurostat has just published the results of a  survey in which Spain scores 6.9.That is good but it is below the European average of 7.1 and a lot below the 8.0 of Denmark, Finland and Sweden. But it is better than Cyprus, Hungary or Portugal. So what is the next step?

The conclusion has been reached that our level of income is not necessarily related to our level of happiness. But I am sure you would all agree that having enough to survive on makes a big difference.Our priorities change.The people in some of the poorest countries are found to be very happy, so, evidently, “ having enough to get by on” is relative.

They also deduced that people are happier when they are young and when they are between 65 and 74, recently retired.I would have thought that these two categories would depend on their state of health and well-being.Those also change priorities.The evidence of man´s intervention, the abuse of  power, wealth, religion, drugs, sexual abuse and discrimination of all kinds, certainly  produces anything but  happiness in a multitude of circumstances.

I am certain that we should all evaluate what happiness is regularly.Maybe how to achieve it daily is simpler than we think. All of us, from the abuser to the most virtuous, could pause daily for a moment face to face with the mirror, to analyse our contribution to yesterday, today and tomorrow.And passing happiness on to others may be simpler too………..a warm touch of the hand, a pat on the back when we succeed after putting in effort, simple things shared, a child’s laughter, the colours and music of nature.

Doctors have often told us that laughter is a most efficient medicine.

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