As the Internet’s principal purveyor of cool reading glasses for men and women, we’re often asked “what’s cool these days?”
Copenhagen has been cited as the happiest city in the world by the Earth Institute of New York’s Columbia University.
We believe that happiness is cool.
Copenhagen is also recognized as one of the best places on earth to live, which is cool too. The most visited metropolis in Scandinavia, Copenhagen is known for its unique fine architecture, wonderful restaurants, casual cafés, shopping—and near stress-free lifestyle.
You might ask “what makes Copenhageners so happy? The factors are many. An important one is transportation. Half the city’s residents get around on bicycles. That bicycling translates into less stress and a more joyful existence. When riding a bicycle, one interacts with others. That adds around 7 hours of interpersonal interaction per day which cannot be done in a fast-moving closed-in car. Human interaction promotes happiness.
In all of Denmark, no occupation is viewed as inferior to another. Trash collectors are viewed as equals to school teachers and they even work fewer hours for the same wage. Virtually no one feels lesser than, or superior to, another. That’s another stress reliever
Ambition, unlike in the United States, is not rewarded. Copenhageners work, on average, 12 fewer hours per week than Americans and they live with a clear balance between work and home life.
Further reducing stress, promoting interaction, and producing happier people, “co-housing” communities abound. Buildings in such communities look like apartment buildings but instead of “neighbors” and “friends,” residents serve greater roles in each others’ lives dividing meal preparation, child care, and other responsibilities that can be shared.
A full year off with pay is provided to women after giving birth so they may nurture their babies.
With extremely low rates of crime, the Danish trust each other as well as their government, another stress reliving happiness producer.
There’s reason for the trust placed in their government, too. Though their taxes are high, every citizen is provided free health care, free education through college, and a comfortable retirement. They’re free to pursue their passions and personal interests.
Copenhagen’s answer to American road rage is courtesy. In a typically American tense automobile situation, it’s more likely a Copenhagen driver will exit his car on a narrow street or in slow moving traffic and ask the other driver, “Am I in your way? May I pull off to the side of the road to let you though?” Drivers always respond to each other with courtesy.
Science has demonstrated that stress reduction is cool. Columbia University has established lower levels of stress mean a higher degree of happiness. And happiness, you guessed it, is cool. Real cool.