The secret to be happy, according to Meik Wiking, is hygge. But what does this mean?


“The Danish word hygge is one of those beautiful words that doesn’t directly translate into English, but it more or less means comfort, warmth or togetherness.

Hygge is the feeling you get when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, in warm knitted socks, in front of the fire, when it is dark, cold and stormy outside. It that feeling when you are sharing good, comfort food with your closest friends, by candle light and exchanging easy conversation. It is those cold, crisp blue sky mornings when the light through your window is just right.

Denmark is the happiest nation in the world and Meik puts this largely down to them living the hygge way. They focus on the small things that really matter, spend more quality time with friends and family and enjoy the good things in life. The Little Book of Hygge will give you practical steps and tips to become more hygge: how to pick the right lighting, organise a dinner party and even how to dress hygge, all backed up by Meik’s years’ of research at the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.

This year live more like a Dane, embrace hygge and become happier.”

Why should you read this book?

The Little Book of Hygge, by Meik Wiking, was a pleasant surprise. To be honest, I thought it would be one of those pretty books with nice photographs and little text. And it is indeed a book with nice photographs and little text, but it’s relevant, instructive and interesting.

Everyone wants to be happy. That’s sort of a fact. The Danes have been considered more than once one of the happiest people in the world. Hence, Wiking disclosed the secret, explaining why the citizens from Denmark feel so happy and fulfilled. According to the researcher of happiness, hygge is the key. It doesn’t matter how you pronounce it (I googled it though and it’s a lot different from what I was saying initially. Go figure…! ), but the concept behind the word: ‘the art of creating intimacy’ or ‘cosiness of the soul’.

Fireplaces, books, family, friends, love, pastry, warm clothes, candles, comfort and even lamps are crucial to lead a hyggelig life. It isn’t inherent, but something you look for. You have to make the effort to build this singular atmosphere and to feel peaceful, relaxed and connected to your inner self. You can do it at home, at work and at the coffee house. Above all, hygge implicates the ability to live and enjoy the present, forgetting our stressful life. Wiking even emphasized our habit of rushing to the final chapters when reading a book. We must delight ourselves with it. This is only an example.

The author also presented several interesting surveys and charts, which I found to be quite curious. Did you know Danes don’t usually like scented candles? I mean, why not?

Of course this isn’t dogmatic. Perhaps you don’t feel happy reading novels or wearing cosy outfits. It is fine. But, personally speaking, I relate to the Danish lifestyle; because of that, I savored every page of this cute book.

Book Details:

English Edition:
Publisher: Penguin Life
Published on: September 2016
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
Price: £9.99

Edição Portuguesa:
Editora: IN
Data de Publicação: Janeiro de 2017
Formato: Capa mole
Páginas: 288
Preço: 15,99€

4 stars

Meik Wiking Penguin Life The Little Book of Hygge

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