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Land Rover Magazine Issue 39

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Icelandic surfing, enabled by the new Land Rover Defender | Artisanal globe-making in London with Bellerby & Co | Gallery of stunning drone photography | Author Helen Russell explores the meaning of happiness | Exclusive short story by Jean Macneil

Meraki The Greek

Meraki The Greek principle of improving quality of life by dedication to a hobby or daily tasks

APPY PLACE Want to find a way to be happier? Journalist Helen Russell, author of The Atlas of Happiness, has been on a global journey to discover why reading, opera or repairing broken pots could be just the thing Are you happy? It’s a big question, perhaps bigger than ever before. The way we think about happiness is changing – we’re certainly more aware of our wellbeing and what affects it. Meditation and mindfulness are now part of our cultural lexicon. And, thanks to global surveys such as the UN World Happiness Report, we can even monitor our bliss, year on year. We have the data, but are we any more content? I started researching into happiness in 2013 when I moved to Denmark, then the ‘happiest country on earth’. Inspired by this, I began digging into the science of what it meant to live well and that research became my first book, The Year of Living Danishly. It was eventually published in 20 countries. However, as it rolled out across the globe something interesting began to happen. Messages started coming back from readers around the world, people keen to share their own secrets to happiness. Some of the themes that sprung out were universal – such as making time for social interactions or finding a balance in life. Others were intriguingly unique – such as the concept of kalsarikännit, or ‘drinking at home in your underwear’, something Finns have apparently been using to stay happy for years. I began to document all of these stories and they eventually formed a new book, The Atlas of Happiness. From Australia to Wales via Bhutan, Turkey, Syria and many more places besides, I studied the happiness secrets keeping people afloat worldwide, in countries that top the happiness polls as well as in those that are some way below. I felt it was important to look everywhere because, if we only look at nations already ‘winning’ at happiness, we miss out on a wealth of inspiration. It’s far more impressive if you can find a way to achieve happiness in yourself when there’s precious little around you. If you’ve read the news today or been on social media, it’s easy to get the idea that the world is getting bleaker by the minute, that we’re all more miserable and that these are dark times. But negativity bias means we experience ‘bad’ events more intensely than good ones – and we also remember them more. This made sense in prehistory, when avoiding certain plants or animals could mean the difference between life and death. But we were never built for 24-hour rolling news or social media. We were never meant to be exposed to stories of threat from all around, all the time. Negativity bias unbalances our perception and hides the fact that there is a lot of happiness around. Over the course of hundreds of interviews and six years of study, I found happiness in the most unexpected of places and eventually came to three big conclusions about how we can all improve our levels of wellbeing. This is what I learned. Love what you do First: we have to think about how we spend our days. Most of us spend more time at work than we do with friends and family combined, but how many of us ‘love’ what we do? Denmark has the happiest workforce in the world and they also have arbejdsglæde, a combination of arbejde – the Danish for work, and glæde – the word for happiness. The term literally means ‘happiness at work’ – something that’s prioritised in Denmark. Illustrations: Peter Tarka 53


Land Rover

Land Rover Magazine 39


Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go above and beyond

Land Rover stands for not only the most capable premium vehicles, but a state of mind where a sense of curiosity, exploration and wonder informs all of life’s adventures. Encounter this throughout the latest issue of Land Rover Magazine, from meeting a herd of Ice Age survivors on the Dutch coast with the Land Rover Discovery, to the most innovative sustainable architecture on a Californian journey with the Range Rover Evoque

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