In recent years, studies conducted to check out the state of happiness all over the world have found that Scandinavian nations Denmark, Sweden and Norway have the happiest people. These happy countries seem to have a set of rules that helps them enjoy life, especially the simple moments.
Despite the long months of darkness and freezing in Scandinavian nations, the people still have many reasons to be happy. In the World Happiness Report, these nations always top the list and this all boils down to four principles that the people live by.
They know how to balance work and family.
Scandinavians know the value of time for the family. Most shifts in Denmark end at 5 p.m and they never go overtime. Sweden, on the other hand, promote a six-hour working day to increase employees’ happiness level and productivity. This way, people have more time to spend with their loved ones to go on picnics, parks, do other fun activities.
They highly value respect toward each other.
In Scandinavian nations, there is this Law of Jante that they follow. It is a set of rules that dictate how people should behave toward others.
– You’re not to think you are anything special.
– You’re not to think you are as good as we are.
– You’re not to think you are smarter than we are.
– You’re not to convince yourself that you are better than we are.
– You’re not to think you know more than we do.
– You’re not to think you are more important than we are.
– You’re not to think you are good at anything.
– You’re not to laugh at us.
– You’re not to think anyone cares about you.
– You’re not to think you can teach us anything.
This is the kind of law that puts a high regard on respect toward other people and this is the law that should discourage people from feeling that they are better than the others.
They set realistic expectations but won’t give up on dreams. More importantly, they don’t compare their lives to others.
Malene Rydahl, author of Happy as a Dane, explained the secrets to genuine happiness of a Scandinavian and it is to have realistic expectations, but at the same time, still determined to pursue goals. It’s also not healthy to compare your lives to others, especially in the age of social media where it’s easy to see people with good things going on in their lives. It’s important to be happy with what you have and stop measuring your dreams and achievements against others.
Introducing… the “hygge.”
In Denmark, there’s this very important yet simple gathering called hygge, in which friends and family will sit by the hearth and enjoy the cold night with scrumptious food and delicious wine. Hygge is all about getting the comfort, support and attention you need from the people who matter the most.
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