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T&T ranked No 5 in world for people with positive attitudes
T&T is the land of sea and sun, pan and calypso, home to many ethnic groups coexisting in one location. And the mecca of Carnival. Now add to that a No 5 ranking in the world for having people with the most positive attitudes— the happiest people, according to a Gallup report. Gallup Inc is a USbased organisation which provides data-driven news based on US and world polls, daily tracking and public opinion research.
The poll showed seven of the ten countries with the most upbeat attitudes were in Latin America. Other than T&T, the countries making it into the top ten were Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, El Salvador, Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Thailand and the Philippines. Gallup asked about 1,000 people in each of 148 countries last year about their state of mind as it relates to the issues of every day life and their coping mechanisms.
A great majority in what are considered underdeveloped or undeveloped territories found ways to keep themselves happy amidst social or personal problems. The people least likely to report positive emotions came from the more wealthy and developed countries.
These countries ranked the lowest on the Gallup poll. The experts voices Secretary of the Psychiatric Association of T&T Dr Varma Deyalsingh said nearness to recreational facilities is a major reason why the people of T&T seem to be more relaxed. "The nice thing about it is that we are on an island surrounded by water. It is easy for us to go to the beaches and other recreational spots to relax," he said.
Deyalsingh said the weather also had a psychological effect on people. He said the mere fact of living in the tropics, where it is mostly sunny, posed a more positive outlook on life. "With our climate, people can spend more time outdoors and get much more done,” he said.
Deyalsingh said in other countries with four seasons people suffer what is termed seasonal affective disorder— a type of depression with a seasonal pattern. He said the people of T&T do not worry very much or fuss over things that should be taken seriously.
"Take customer service for instance. It's not at its best at all in this country. People have grown so used to that, it is highly unlikely someone will get an aneurysm over it," said Deyalsingh. He said T&T’s cultural landscape also had a lot to do with how well people here cope regardless of the situation.
"Look at our coping mechanisms. We are very different from many countries in the world. We have the most holidays listed and many leave their homeland to visit us during the Carnival season. More than that we are lucky to live in a place where multiple cultures exist because of the multiple ethnic groups. Therefore, we have a higher tolerance level than many in other parts of the world. " I truly believe our uniqueness is what really keeps us happy," said Deyalsingh.
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