—–sharing two simple concepts from countries with high happiness scores.
In today’s fast paced society, I happen to stumble upon two philosophies which I think could help us to become happier people. I have applied their principles in some way unknowingly and have since consciously been using them to attain calm and balance with much success.
First, the concept of Hygge, pronounced as (Hoo-ga)
This concept originates in Denmark. The danish people must be doing something right if Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world.
Now this Hygge is quite abstract. It is not just a state of well being but a feeling of comfort and coziness in your lifestyle.
It is taking pleasure in simple things and laying off the constant go.
How does the danish people find their hygge moments?
Some of the ways they mentioned include mundane things like;
- Long walks in nature
- Cooking or even eating. a certain dish
- Clearing the clutter
- Turning the lights down and candles seem to be a constant feature in their homes
- Use of more wood in their homes instead of glaring , loud. colors- think IKEA.
- Self- pampering with skin care and grooming
But the essential thing is really to get into the action and be in the moment.
I have been indulging in some hygge moments without realising it.
For sometime now, whenever there is a pocket of an hour or so between appointments everyday, I would go to a cafe to enjoy my cup of coffee and then read some uplifting book. I realise that this simple act has made me very happy. It has increased my positive vibes and sense of well-being. Now I truly relish hygge moments and even would create them.
Last weekend, I was looking through my boxes of photographs, discarding many and filing the rest . In the process, the pictures evoked a lot of good times of my travel and that feeling I now diagnosed as a hygge moment.
Yesterday, I felt this special moment when I was stirring the cut celery into the porridge. I watched that serene blend of white and green, top off with some pink shrimps and crunchy squid spinning in my porcelain bowl as I stirred. It was an eclectic moment eating that for lunch.
Not to mention the exquisite taste from making food with love.
The other mindful concept is Lagom. Lagom originates from Sweden , another happy country.
It talks about the idea of adopting a middle ground- not too little, not too much- the art of balancing one’s life. Not over indulging in materialism nor bad habits. The practitioners of Lagom in Sweden are mindful of striking this balance .
You can have Lagom in your lifestyle, your behaviour, home furnishings and food, etc even your clothes.
Singapore lacks Lagom- there is a culture of over-work and constant hectic pace. We are an ongoing train. People move, speak and eat fast, chasing deadlines and lofty goals often at the expense of personal peace. We may have a high standard and a high cost of living but we would do well to incorporate this philosophy into our daily lives .
While enjoying my hygge time in a cafe the other day, unraveling the secrets of a best selling thriller over coffee, I witnessed one lady talking to the air at the table opposite mine. Sadly, I think that it is just the stress of life that had made her snap. Let not this happen to any of us.