The latest survey recently came out with ratings for the “happiest” countries. The Scandinavian countries once again coming out on top with Norway replacing Denmark at number one. Although Britain had risen to 19th place it is still not a good indictment of our country.
Happiness is subjective but the fact that Denmark has consistently been in the top 3 over the past 5 years suggests they are doing something right as a nation. One explanation is “hygge” pronounced “hoo-ga” with the closest explanation as being one of coziness.
The sense of being together and belonging creates coziness. It’s when we allow ourselves to relax in a state that feels warm and comforting that we can recognise a sense of happiness. These moments and opportunities do not always need money to be achieved. In fact it has been proven that over the decades although our income has increased our levels of happiness have not.
It is our responsibility to seek out our own happiness and when we are in this emotional state we can affect other peoples’ levels of wellbeing and happiness too.
So how can we experience hygge? First of all we have to be mindful to it. Appreciate the moment; savour the sense of whatever we are doing in order to absorb those warm feelings. If our minds are closed or focused on what’s not right or what is wrong then we will miss those times of happiness. I have mentioned before about “destination addiction” – Andy Cope, if we are constantly thinking that we will be happy, relaxed, chilled only when it is Friday or on holiday that we are missing out on the present.
We can all make our own hygge. Connect with people, whether that is family or friends, at home in the work place or out socially – talk to people. It has been proven that being with people that are supportive, fun, encouraging greatly improves mental wellbeing.
Take up hobbies and do things just for fun. Be a child again – put on the wellies and splash through puddles!
Here are a few of my hygge moments:-
Walking along the Pembrokeshire coastal path looking out over the Irish Sea.
Snuggling up to watch a good film on a dark and wet winter afternoon.
Being aware of the garden bursting into life in Spring.
Being part of a team, working together to achieve a goal.
The list can go on and on! For the rest of the year seek out, be mindful and saviour your hygge moments. Place them in your memory jar so you can recapture the feeling of happiness.
I would love to hear about your hygge moments.