Why Denmark dominates the World Happiness Report rankings year after year

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Hygge is typically translated as “cozy,” however a greater definition of hygge is “intentional intimacy,” which may occur when you may have protected, balanced and harmonious shared experiences. A cup of espresso with a pal in entrance of a fireside may qualify, as may a summer time picnic within the park.

A household might need a hygge night that entails board video games and treats, or pals may get collectively for an off-the-cuff dinner with dimmed lighting, good meals and easygoing enjoyable. Areas will also be described as hyggelige (“Your new home is so hyggeligt”) and a typical manner of telling a number thanks after a dinner is to say that it was hyggeligt (that means, we had fun). Most Danish social occasions are anticipated to be hyggelige, so it might be a harsh critique to say that a social gathering or dinner wasn’t hyggelige.

Analysis on hygge has discovered that in Denmark, it is integral to individuals’s sense of well-being. It acts as a buffer in opposition to stress, whereas additionally creating an area to construct camaraderie. In a extremely individualized nation like Denmark, hygge can promote egalitarianism and strengthen belief.

It will be truthful to say that hygge is absolutely built-in into the Danish cultural psyche and tradition. But it surely has additionally grow to be a little bit of a worldwide phenomenon – Amazon now sells greater than 900 books on hygge, and Instagram has over three million posts with the hashtag #hygge. Google developments knowledge present a giant bounce in searches for hygge starting in October 2016.

Neither is Denmark the one nation that has a phrase for an idea much like hygge – the Norwegians have koselig, the Swedes mysig, the Dutch gezenlligheid and the Germans gemütlichkeit.

Within the U.S. – which additionally locations a excessive worth on individualism – there is no actual cultural equal of hygge. Earnings is usually related to happiness; but although the nation’s GDP has been rising and its unemployment charges have been declining, ranges of happiness within the U.S. have been steadily lowering.

What is going on on?

Earnings inequality continues to be a difficulty. However there’s additionally been a marked lower in interpersonal belief and belief towards establishments like the federal government in addition to the media. Ultimately, extra disposable earnings does not maintain a candle to having somebody to depend on in a time of want (one thing that 95 % of Danes consider they’ve).

At its core, hygge is about constructing intimacy and belief with others.

Individuals may most likely use slightly extra of it of their lives.

Commentary by Marie Helweg-Larsen, a Professor of Psychology on the Glenn E. & Mary Line Todd Chair within the Social Sciences, Dickinson School. She can be a contributor at The Dialog, an unbiased supply of stories and views from the tutorial and analysis neighborhood.

For extra perception from CNBC contributors, observe
@CNBCopinion
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Supply hyperlink – https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/16/why-denmark-dominates-the-world-happiness-report-rankings-year-after-year.html

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