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'Low expectations are key to happiness'

Having extremely high expectations for yourself or others may not be such a good thing after all

india Updated: Dec 22, 2006 18:48 IST
ANI

Having extremely high expectations for yourself or others may not be such a good thing after all, for a new study has found that the real key to happiness lies in not expecting too much.

The study, which appears in the upcoming issue of the BMJ, was conducetd by a team of researchers who set out to find out why life satisfaction in the Scandinavian country of Denmark substantially exceeds that in Sweden and Finland, the two countries most similar to Denmark.

The researchers noted that two explanatory factors, among others such as family life, health and a prosperous economy, give an insight into why the Danes are such a happy people.

The first factor, the researchers noted, was that winning the 1992 European Football Championship put Danes in such a state of euphoria that the country has not been the same as it has been experiencing a high level of life satisfaction after 1992.

Second, and more importantly, the researchers noted that while Danes are very satisfied, their expectations for the coming year are rather low, as well as being realistic.

In contrast, Italy and Greece, which rank low on life satisfaction, rank high on expectations for the year to come, together with Swedes and Finns.

Thus, the researchers concluded that when it comes to being satisfied, the lower the expectations, the happier a nation and a person can be.