It could be argued that happiness is all we need in life. That’s why we work; so we can do the things we enjoy.
The World Happiness Report has named Denmark the happiest country in the world once again for the third time in four years since the report started.
So, what makes them the happiest people in the world?
First, happiness can be defined in several ways and according to the World Happiness Report is linked to social equality and community spirit rather than money.
In winter months, Denmark can experience up to 17 hours of darkness. Depressing, right? But the Danish culture puts a positive spin on the harsh environment that they experience. They do this by embracing the culture of coziness through practicing hygge.
They turn lemons and spices into mulled wine and embrace the harsh environment by lighting candles to set a vibe of warmth and safe-ness.
Hygge is considered a weapon in combating the dreary darkness and harsh weather they experience for more than half the year. The concept of embracing coziness and indulging yourself can help people forget about the long winter ahead.
During the Christmas season, the streets are full of twinkling lights and the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen are turned into a winter wonderland.
Hygge is an integral part of Danish national identity and is a concept that they practice daily according to “The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well” by Meik Wiking.
Although, hygge is a huge factor in explaining why Danes are the happiest people in the world there are other elements which contribute too.
Gender equity is a priority. Denmark is among the top 10 countries who regularly measures gender equality.
Cycling. Bikes account for 50 percent of its residents’ trips to school or work.
Health care is a civil right and a source of social support. Danes expect and receive health care as a basic right and they know how to effectively use their health care systems.
Denmark supports parents. Danish families receive a total of 52 weeks of parental leave. Mothers can take 18 weeks and fathers receive their own dedicated 2 weeks at up to 100 percent salary.
If you are curious as to how Danish people achieve such happiness and balance, check out the book Keep Calm & Hygge : A Guide to The Danish Art of Simple & Cosy Living