It is no secret that Costa Rica is one of the happiest places on earth and one of the major contributing factors to this fact is their social life.
Here's a breakdown of how it affects their everyday life, how we can learn from it and maybe bring home for ourselves some of these positive habits.
1. Self Expression: Costa Ricans place high value on community and social bonds. This strong sense of togetherness is kept present in their "pura vida,” expression, which can be translated word by word as "pure life" but it also means "all is well, all is great". It is deeply ingrained in the culture, it is heard regularly in their conversations, and it promotes a positive outlook on life.
2. Networks: The country has a robust network of friends and family. Social ties play a crucial role in providing emotional support during both good and challenging times, contributing to overall well-being. Meals are important with family or friends. Even afternoon coffee, is not uncommon for many Costa Ricans for it to be a regular daily stop where they share socially.
3- Slow Paced Life: Costa Rica often promotes a healthier work-life balance compared to many other countries. This allows people to prioritize spending time with family and friends. The combination of social support and a slower-paced lifestyle contributes to a low-stress environment.
4. Outdoor Activities: Costa Rica's natural beauty and pleasant climate encourage people to engage in outdoor activities. This fosters a sense of connection with nature and offers opportunities for socializing while enjoying the country's stunning landscapes.
5. Cultural Celebrations: Festivals and cultural events are abundant in Costa Rica, and they provide occasions for people to come together, celebrate, and strengthen social connections. Examples of these are theme parades, religious holidays and sports.
In addition to all this, healthcare and education have both been set up as easily available, which further enhances the overall well-being of the population. When these basic needs are met, it's easier to focus on social connections.
To hear more about the science of happiness through the perspective of a Costa Rican, here's a podcast from the Greater Good Science Center - University of California at Berkely.