"over the last 30 years, the citizens of Denmark have scored higher than any other Western country on measures of life satisfaction, and scientists think they know why.In the Dec. 23 issue of the medical journal BMJ, researchers review six possible explanations, and conclude that the country's secret is a culture of low expectations."It's a David and Goliath thing," said the lead author, Kaare Christensen, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense."If you're a big guy, you expect to be on the top all the time and you're disappointed when things don't go well," Christensen said. "But when you're down at the bottom like us, you hang on, you don't expect much, and once in a while you win, and it's that much better." [...]
They also eat fatty foods, drink a lot; genetically, are not significantly different from their gloomier Scandinavian neighbors.
But on surveys, Danes continually report lower expectations for the year to come, compared with most other nations. And "year after year, they are pleasantly surprised to find that not everything is getting more rotten in the state of Denmark," the paper concludes."