Happiness Tag

  • hygge spread
  • hygge spread
  • hygge spread
  • hygge spread
  • hygge spread

Hygge

Hygge – het geheim van de Deense Lifestyle / Hygge – The Danish Art of Happiness

written by Marie Søderberg, published by Boekerij
genre lifestyle, 224 pages

 

There are several books on the subject of hygge. But I got drawn to this one because of its wonderful cover. Such a beautiful abstract and festive design; a dark blue background decorated with confetti or blossom-like yellow and golden dots and the Scandinavian title written in an elegant but simple handwritten font. A book making such a promising first impression had to be explored.

 


The story in short

I’m sure most people have never heard of ‘hygge’ but for Danish people it’s a part of their DNA. Since we all strive for happiness and Denmark is known to be (one of) the happiest nations on this planet, we’d better pay attention. Especially since it turns out that this so called hygge does play a significant role in their happiness.

Hygge (pronounce: ‘Huuggeh’) is an amalgamation of the Danish climate, the country’s small size, its equality and welfare state and a focus on domestic bliss. Even though there are as many concepts of Hygge as there are Danish, you can say that it’s a lifestyle focussing on finding happiness in the small things in life. Things that don’t cost anything and actually could never be expressed in money. Happiness one feels while being surrounded by friends and family, the sensation of feeling sunlight on your skin, the enjoyment of drinking a cup of tea or coffee; all kinds of moments of happiness that can be found throughout day.

Although Hygge is a universal sensation, the Danish are the founders of the one and only word for it. And having a word for these moments of happiness, makes it so much easier to be aware of them and enjoy them to the fullest. In this book, authored by Danish actress Marie Søderberg, (famous) Danes give their version if what hygge is and what role it plays in their lives.

  

Why you should read this book

This book is an introduction to a more hygge lifestyle, with hygge recipes, hygge diy-ideas and easy steps to make our lives and homes more hygge. It can be read, but because all stories are illustrated with beautiful pictures, it’s also fun to just thumb through the pages and enjoy the hygge atmosphere. It’s one of those books that make a wonderful present to give to loved ones or yourself.

 

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The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project

written by Gretchen Rubin, published by Harper Collins Publishers
genre non fiction / self help, 292 pages

 

The first time I came across this book in a store I had just finished reading ‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion. Having loved reading Simion’s novel I felt drawn to ‘The Happiness Project’ immediately, hoping it would tell a similar story. But it did not.
Actually this is a totally different story and not at all what I expected, but it turns out that I like it even more!

 


The story in short

One morning like many others Gretchen Rubin, a NYC-based writer and mother of 2 young children, has the sudden realization that she’s in danger of wasting her life. She feels like the years are passing her by and decides it’s time for a change. Not because she isn’t happy, but because she knows she can be happier.
Knowing nothing will change unless she makes it change, she decides to dedicate a year trying to be happier and starts her own happiness project. A project that results in a blog, a website and eventually turn into a book. The book that I’ve been reading, several times.

 

“One of the best ways to make yourself happy, is to make other people happy.
One of the best ways to make other people happy, is to be happy yourself.” 

– Gretchen Rubin

 

Gretchen’s happiness project can be divided into 3 stages. First comes the preparation stage, a moment to identify what brings you positive feelings (such as joy and happiness) and what does bring negative feelings (such as guilt, anger and boredom). After that you focus on the making of resolutions, concrete actions that’ll boost your happiness. Goal of the final stage is the keeping of your resolutions.

Since all the great truths about happiness have already been laid out, Gretchen didn’t expect her findings to be new. But as for many changes, the difficulty lies within the action, not within the knowledge. Her methodical approach for putting her happiness ideas into practice in her life (including resolutions, commandments, secrets of adulthood and a scoring chart) makes it very easy to start of on your own project. Conquering your own idiosyncratic faults and limitations, changing your own life.

 

Why you should read this book

Gretchen Rubin shows in a very effective and enjoyable way, how to change your life, without changing it. Reading about her happiness project, her personal insights and experiences, is not only fun and interesting but also inspires you to start your own happiness project or just stick to some resolutions that you’re willing to keep.


To learn more about Gretchen, the Happiness Project and other projects she’s working on, have a look at her website.

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