This year Denmark again occupy first place in the list of the world’s happiest countries. Spain, by contrast, comes in at 37. Why are the Danes so happy? Can we learn something from them?…
One of the defining elements of Danish life is the concept of hygge. It’s one of those impossible to pronounce or translate words. It means a sense of comfort, good atmosphere, something cozy, feel good with yourself and with others, enjoy the good things of life, alone or with.
The more hygge that there is a long table with family or friends, a picnic in the park or a barbecue in the garden. If you think, the Spaniards there who we win this type of hygge. Only that we practice it going tapas, making a rice in the field or riding a moraga on the beach.
Another thing hygge can be certain dishes or drinks. For example, the bowl of porridge, breakfast par excellence of Danish children. The Spanish hygge would then be a good omelette, from your grandmother or your mother. With or without onions.
But drinks chapter offers perhaps the best track for understanding this peculiar Danish concept. Hygge is supposed to feel after one or two beers. This is the exaltation of friendship Spanish for life!
The decoration the houses and restaurants is another area where the hygge manifests. To create that cozy atmosphere the important thing is that there is plenty of space between people, that furniture are not all equal and have candles, lots of candles, especially in winter. By the way, the Danes are Europeans who buy more candles. From this point of view, we can say that in many houses of Spain not walk wrong physical closeness between people, nor of disparate furniture. We are only missing the sails.
An extreme example of hygge are laundromats / cafes. Beautiful, comfortable, nicely decorated, are sites where the tedious task of washing and drying clothes can be transformed into a pleasant Saturday morning, in which you empalmas breakfast with the meal chatting with friends, while clothing turns in the drum. In this we must improve, because laundry just not implemented here, despite the comfortable and economic are. Perhaps If couple it a good tapas bar…
Well, because there seems to be so difficult to be the happiest country in the world. Some candles and put a Danish name to something that Spaniards already do. Oh, and be aware of this. Because if you look at the objective data, such as GDP or the life expectancy, the Danes and Spaniards we equalized. It does not mean that we have the same GDP or life expectancy, just that each country’s wealth carries the same weight in the happiness of their inhabitants, according to the methodology followed to prepare the ranking.
In other words, they are not happier than us by richer. Where they begin to earn the Nordic is in the perception of freedom to make vital decisions, the perception of political and economic corruption and generosity.
I will say that, objectively, in Spain there is much corruption. In reality we do not know if there is much or little, which measures the rate of corruption is not the true situation, but what people think about it. What is undeniable is that there is more that we would like to have and this makes us less happy.
But what I say the perception of freedom? Do you really think we have no freedom to make decisions about our lives? That we ourselves put us brakes or we set up more barriers which means one thing in the opportunities: which is in our hands to do it.
And the? generosity?.. How to measure this aspect is to ask participants in the study if you have made a donation to an NGO in the last month. Seems to be that the Danes do it much more often than we.
Maybe that we can not fix things that don’t like us in our lives. Maybe our perception on corruption to faithfully reflects the reality. But if we want to be a little more like the Danes, there are two things we all can do: be more solidarity, donating a little every month. Oh, and buy more candles.
I will say that it is not so easy. But if a pencil between your teeth can make you feel happier, Why not can they make you more happy candles and make a donation?..