I wrote about a new initiative from Pfizer (getold.com) back in July 2014 that posts issues on positive aging. I checked the site recently to see if it was still active. It is and looking good.
Here is one of their latest articles.
by Shelley Levitte
April 10, 2017
Denmark regularly earn one of the top spots on the World Happiness Report, an annual survey on the state of global happiness that ranks more than 150 countries. The Danes’ successful pursuit of happiness has a lot to do with the concept of hygge.
Pronounced HOO-ga, the Danish word doesn’t have a direct translation in English. It’s an amalgam of coziness, comfort, conviviality and contentment.
Hygge often involves the company of good friends and time spent at home with soup bubbling on the stove and unscented candles burning (the typical Dane burns 13 pounds of candle wax a year). Hygge is the subject of more than 20 new books with titles like Hygge Habits and How to Hygge.
Though it has become the latest lifestyle trend, hygge dates back hundreds of years and originates from the Norwegian word for “well-being.” Alex Beauchamp, who grew up on a small farm in Denmark, now lives in Topanga, California, and blogs at HyggeHouse.com, says that Danes created hygge because they were trying to survive the boredom, cold and sameness of the long Scandinavian winters, where darkness lasts up to 17 hours a day. “Hygge was a way for them to find moments to celebrate or acknowledge and to break up the day, months or years,” Beauchamp writes.
Here are five ways to add more hygge to your life.
- Gather with others. According to Meik Wiking, CEO of the Copenhagen-based Happiness Research Institute and author of the bestselling Little Book of Hygge: Danish secrets for Happy Living, Danes are the most social of all Europeans, with four out of five socializing with friends, families or colleagues at least once a week. “While you can hygge by yourself,” Wiking writes, “hygge mostly happens in small groups of close friends or family.” Hyggelig evenings often takes place in someone’s home rather than at a restaurant, with everyone taking part in cooking and cleaning.
- Create a hyggekrog, or a nook. It’s the place in your home where you can settle in with a good book and a cup of coffee or tea. Your hyggekrog doesn’t need to be fancy. Just a corner of a room, with a comfy chair or a few cushions, soft lighting and a warm blanket.
- Live with a light heart. Beauchamp says, “Play more. Remember what it’s like to be seven. Have more questions than answers and don’t put everything into words. Sometimes just feel things and be. Be quiet more often.”
- Make something. Knit a hat or a scarf; cook a stew; bake a loaf of bread; paint; draw; build a fire. Crafty activities allow you to slow down, savor the moment and stay centered in the present. Don’t worry about the results of your creativity; the more rustic and handmade it looks, the better.
- Stock a hygge emergency kit. When you’re having a rough day, are feeling too tired to socialize or just need some soothing time alone, you’ll have what Wiking calls “a fast track to hygge.” He suggests filling a box or cupboard with comfort essentials like candles, quality chocolate, a favorite book, treasured letters, a photo album and a notebook and pen.