Which will make you happier — short-term entertainment and pleasure by taking a vacation or investing in the long-term by purchasing a hot tub? The 2017 World Happiness Report offers some insight:
- Norway won the title of the world’s happiest country in 2017, nudging Denmark out of the top spot, where it had been for the past three years.
- Iceland was named the third happiest country in the world. We’re guessing hot tub ownership must be hot in Iceland, where the weather is chilly!
- Spots 7-10 were taken by Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand and Australia and Sweden.
- The United States fell from 13th place to 14th.
What makes us happy?
What the happiest countries have in common is the importance of community over possessions. Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark. He says, “What works in the Nordic countries is a sense of community and understanding in the common good.”
Co-author Dr. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, along with other academics, is of the opinion that first world residents experience “the loss of community, the decline of social trust, and the rising anxiety levels associated with the vagaries of the modern globalized economy.”
His observations are reflected in the findings of psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, who directed the Harvard Study of Adult Development. This study, drawing from two Harvard others including the Grant Study and the Gleuck Study, which followed two groups of white American men for 75 years, is the longest and most comprehensive overview of adult humans.
The most significant conclusion made in both groups was that men who felt close to family, friends and community experienced a greater level of happiness than those men who lacked personal relationships.
Compounding the weight of these surveys are the findings of dozens of reports from the Social and Personality Psychology Compass, which concluded that loneliness can cause decreased mental function, sleep and well-being, contributing to an increase risk of illness and death.
Within the factual context of human sociology and our love of community, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the millennial generation values experiences with loved ones and friends over material possessions.
Happiness, Hot Tubs, and Relationships
While moving to a Nordic country might not be feasible, you can capture the essence of Nordic happiness by purchasing a hot tub. A hot tub serves as a venue for sharing experiences and stories with your loved ones and friends. Just see what Hot Spring owners have to say about their beloved spas!
“The thing I love most about it is spending time in it with our 3 teenagers. It’s truly quality time. There are no electronics or distractions, so we have great conversation.”
“We wanted a hot tub for our vacation home and chose a Hot Spring Rhythm® because it accommodates 7 people. It has been perfect for our large number of house guests: the adults enjoy relaxing in the 4 deep seats (each has a different jet pattern) and the kids and their parents love having a large pool in the backyard (the waterfall is a hit).”
“We enjoy relaxing in our Hot Spring hot tub almost every evening on our deck. The stars in the mountains are amazing! It is a perfect “together” time for us. The grandkids enjoy it, too.”
The reviews above are from American owners of Hot Spring spas, who know full well the physical, social and emotional benefits of time spent in a hot tub.
The Shortest Route to Happiness May Surprise You
A family vacation is something to save for, and something to look forward to all year for good reasons:
- Distraction-free connection with loved ones
- Socialization with friends
- Time to reflect on short and long-term goals
- New perspectives and new surroundings
While vacations are certainly enjoyable, their benefits, effects, and enjoyment can be short-lived. Here are some differences — pros and cons — between the benefits of owning a hot tub versus taking a vacation:
Hot tub: High quality HotSpring hot tubs are perfect for daily use and can last well over a decade.
Vacation: Vacations, while incredibly memorable, are short.
Hot tub: Owners have the opportunity for daily relaxation, both physical and mental.
Vacation: Brief time period for overall wellness benefits.
Hot tub: Spas serve as a venue for frequent social bonding.
Vacation: Vacations offer new experiences for all involved, but at expensive costs.
Connection to Loved Ones
Hot tub: The design of spas allows for loved ones to enjoy close company.
Vacation: Vacations allow friends and family to unwind without distractions.
Hot tub: Hot tub ownership is a great excuse to dedicate time each day to relaxation.
Vacation: While some vacations are relaxing, others are exciting, with so many attractions to see.
Hot tub: Warm water is excellent for inducing relaxation, a must for self-reflection.
Vacation: New sights and sounds make space for self-reflection, but that space can vanish when one resumes home life.
Time in Nature
Hot tub: It is important to spend time outside on a daily basis. Fresh air, warm sunshine, and visions of greenery does the mind and soul good.
Vacation: You’ll never forget a trip to the Grand Canyon or Rocky Mountains, though the time spent there will be fleeting.
There’s no doubt about it; hot tubs win the long-term race with their ability to provide physical and mental rejuvenation on a daily basis. For those looking to enjoy their homes, loved ones, and community environments and experience overall greater levels of happiness, the hot tub is the way to go.