The Uppers inspiration for February: The happiest men in the world – Meik Wiking
Have you ever heard about the happiness researchers? And do you know who is the happiest person in the world? And the country considered as the happiest? Well, we would like to present you Meik Wiking – the founder and CEO of The Happiness Research Institute, he is ¨nominated¨ as the happiest person in the world, coming from Denmark which is the happiest country all around.
Meik founded the Happiness Research Institute after losing motivation in his many years working for a sustainability think tank. “It was a leap of faith,” said Meik, “and many people were very supportive, but lots were just confused.”
The Happiness Research Institute is an independent think tank. Their mission is to inform decision makers of the causes and effects of human happiness, make subjective well-being part of the public policy debate, and improve the quality of life for citizens across the world. They actually do a big job there, don´t you think? ☺
Moreover, on the 1st of September of 2016 Meik published a book called ¨The little book of Hygge¨ where he shares his secrets of happiness and analysis all the indicators that influence on our state of mind and well-being. There isn’t an exact translation for the Danish word hygge (pronounced HOO-GA), but you’ve definitely felt it before—maybe while playing a board game with friends on a snowy night, or curled up in front of a fireplace with a cup of tea and a really good book. Hygge has been described as “coziness of the soul”.
In his ¨Little Book of Hygge¨ Wiking outlines practical ways to embrace the buzzy philosophy and its key ingredients: togetherness, presence, indulgence, relaxation, and comfort. “Hygge is basically like a hug, just without the physical touch,” he says. What it really comes down to is making the most of little, daily pleasures, especially when it’s dark and freezing outside. Below are six of Wiking’s tips for adding more hygge to your everyday life.
- Create a cozy atmosphere
“Danes are obsessed with interior design because our homes are our hygge headquarters,” says Wiking. The one thing every hygge home needs? A “hyggekrog,” or a cozy nook where you might enjoy your coffee and newspaper. You can also bring hygge to your space through candlelight, nature, and rich textures.
- Stock a self-care emergency kit
Instead of coming home after a particularly rough day and veging out in front of Netflix, try a self-care ritual that increases the R&R you get from your downtime. Wiking recommends creating a kit that contains comfort things like candles, quality chocolate, herbal tea, a soft blanket, warm wool socks, a page-turner, or a notebook and pen, or a photo album. All of these things allow you to wind down in a more mindful way.
Learn a craft
Knitting is super hygge, since its slow, steady rhythm is calming for many people, says Wiking. It helps you focus in a laid-back way. But if you can’t see yourself with knitting needles, there are plenty of other hygge pastimes. “Crafts in general are hygge, especially if you do them with a friend,” says Wiking. Try painting, making a collage, or quilting during a night in.
Make a hygge treat
Hygge foods are all about pleasure. Think cookies, cake, and pastries. Slow, rich food—like stews and chili – are also hygge. Even more hygge than eating these foods is making them with friends and family. “When everyone gathers and cooks together instead of one person hosting, it maximizes the hygge. It’s a relaxed and informal evening,” says Wiking.
Start a new tradition with people you love
Togetherness is a big part of the hygge concept. To facilitate more time with friends and family, create a new tradition that involves a hygge activity (that is, one that encourages everyone to connect and feel comfortable). That could mean organizing a game night, renting a cabin, going apple-picking, or taking a ski trip. “Any meaningful activity that unites the group will knit everyone more tightly together over the years,” says Wiking. “Hygge is making the most of the moment, but it’s also a way of planning for and preserving happiness”
Hygge and gratitude go hand in hand. The philosophy entails feeling thankful for the little things, like a bike ride on a beautiful day, or a cup of hot chocolate, or re-watching your favorite movie. “Research shows that people who feel grateful are not only happier but also more helpful and forgiving and less materialistic,” says Wiking. “It’s all about savoring simple pleasures.”
Have a Hygge week and bring a coziness to your soul! ☺