Sunday, March 20, 2016

Ukraine, sandwiched between Kenya and Ghana...

Ukrainians turn out to be among the world’s saddest nations, according to results of the latest United Nations World Happiness Report.

Over the last three years, Ukrainians’ happiness level plummeted as their country moved down 36 positions in the survey.

Ukraine, sandwiched between Kenya and Ghana, took 123rd place among the 157 countries in 2016.

Experts link such a significant decrease in the level of happiness with the turbulent events Ukraine experienced over the past years – Russia’s war against Ukraine, lack of positive changes in government and decline in living standards caused by a weakened economy.

The report includes research from scholars, public activists and leaders of non-governmental organizations. The rankings are based on six variables: gross domestic product per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, charity and corruption level.

The report was released several days before the World Happiness Day which will be celebrated on March 20.

But Andriy Boychenko, the head of the sociological department of Kyiv-based Razumkov Center, a think tank, told the Kyiv Post that current conditions don’t play so much of a role as the prospects for a better future.

“To be happy, the current situation is not as important for a person as having hope for better changes, or at least expectations for improvements,” Boychenk said. “Today there are very few people in Ukraine who are expecting positive changes.”

Psychologist Valentyna Efimova says that Ukrainians have little chances to feel happy nowadays. Many cannot afford healthcare, lots of Ukrainians are not involved in sport activities as people live under constant psychological stress, without confidence in future betterment.

One way to feel happier is to watch less television as most of its content often causes anxiety and fear, Efimova says.

“Try to find ‘little joys’” such as appreciating good weather, someone’s smile or a compliment, she suggests.

In 2015, 64% of Ukraine’s citizens experienced some sort of stressful situation, according to the results conducted by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in 2015. Two years earlier the level of stress among respondents was 15 percent lower. Overall, serious illness, feeling of helplessness and job loss are the most frequent causes of stress among Ukrainians.

- source

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