Words of Wisdom from The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

Words of Wisdom from The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking had been on my reading ‘Wish List’ for some time. I’m so pleased I finally took the opportunity to read it as it is filled with feel-good gems. Much like the word Hygge itself, this book is like a warm hug, enjoyed best with a warm drink on a cold winter afternoon. In fact, if you’re looking for the perfect winter read, you can’t go past this book. I also love Meik’s warm, conversational tone throughout, and will definitely be seeking our more of his books. Here are my top ten learnings from The Little Book of Hygge

  1. Gratitude is more than an action – it is a mindset

“Gratitude is more than just a simple “thank you” when you receive a gift. It is about keeping in mind that you live right now, allowing yourself to focus on the moment and appreciate the life you lead, to focus on all that you do have, not what you don’t.”

2. Spending time with others is comforting

“Time spent with others creates an atmosphere that is warm, relaxed, friendly, down-to-earth, close, comfortable, snug, and welcoming. In many ways, it is like a good hug, but without the physical contact.

3. Tax is an investment

A comforting thought to keep in mind the next time you pay tax!
“We are not paying taxes, we are investing in our society. We are purchasing quality of life. The key to understanding the high levels of well-being in Denmark is the welfare model’s ability to reduce risk, uncertainty, and anxiety among its citizens and to prevent extreme unhappiness.”

4. Use ‘things’ as a reward for achieving a goal

“Link purchases with good experiences. I had saved money for a new favorite chair but waited until I had published my first book to get it. That way, the chair reminds me of something that was an important accomplishment for me. We can apply the same thing to that special sweater or that pair of nice woolen socks. Save for them—but wait until you have that really hyggelig experience: you want to be reminded of it when you pull them on.”

5. Don’t underestimate the importance of traditions

“And traditions matter to hygge. Traditions remind us of all the other good times we have had with family and friends.”

6. Get a pet

“Cuddling pets has the same effect as cuddling another person – we feel loved, warm and safe, which are three key words in the concept of hygge.”

7. It’s good to feel nostalgic

“Happiness research suggests that people are happier with their lives if they tend to hold a positive, nostalgic view of the past. Nostalgia is a universal and ancient human emotion and, today, academics across the world are studying how it can produce positive feelings, boost our self-esteem and increase our sense of being loved by another. This means that long-term happiness can depend on your ability to form a positive narrative of your life.”

8. Take photos to learn about light

“’Photography’ means painting with light, and doing it increases your understanding of light and your ability to see and appreciate it.”

9. Do it because it’s fun

“One of our issues as adults is that we become too focused on the results of an activity. We work to earn money. We go to the gym to lose weight. We spend time with people to network and further our careers. What happened to doing something just because it’s fun?”

10. Money doesn’t guarantee happiness

“one of the most consistent patterns in happiness research is how little difference money makes.”