Not only is today the first day of spring, it is recognized as Happiness Day around the world. What makes you happy?
For me, it’s
- Long time friendships
- Walks on the beach
- Scubadiving, and chance dolphin encounters
- Smiles, cuddles and purrs from my fur babies
- The aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans
- The taste of dark chocolate, so smooth and luscious
- A waterfall rushing over my skin
- The day I married outside my husband on the grounds of a beautiful mansion, the sunset, and the smells of a spring day.
This past weekend, CBS Sunday Morning televised a segment on the world’s happiest countries.
Apparently, Denmark has topped the charts for years. Their happiness factor stems from a state of mind called ‘hygge’ (pronounced hooga). Hygge, according to the Huffington Post is “drama-free togetherness time”. Danes believe that hygge is “we time, not me time”.
Some look at hygge as a barrier from the outside world – no conversations about politics, family issues, no complaining, no negativity, and no bragging. It’s a light-hearted interaction where people enjoy each other’s company over a meal or time together. It’s often considered shelter from the outside world.
But what would happen if we shut out social media for one day? We could compare our experience to being on a desolate island or a cabin in the woods, with no contact to the outside world.
My ‘hygge’ is evident in the list I shared above.
Here are five rules for hygge, taken from the Jessica Alexander’s, Huffington Post article “The Secret to Danish Happiness”.
- Come as you are.
- Forget the controversy.
- Think of yourself as a team member.
- See hygge as a shelter from the outside.
- Remember it is time limited.
Hygge is “a moment in time where everyone takes off their masks and leaves difficulties at the door, in order to appreciate the power of presence with others”.
My ‘hygge’ this weekend was spent with my husband strolling the halls of the Edgar Degas exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum in quiet solitude, savoring A butterscotch and hot fudge sundae at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, eating Mexican food, and sipping a Kaldi’s mocha cappuccino.
And with my pooches, meandering our three acres, discovering the sights, the sounds, and the smells of nature.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you do, and what you say, are in harmony.”
~ Mahatma Gandi
Now go have a good day and spread the love!