Nothing quite beats holding an actual book in your hands. With all this slim weightless technology, I do love to feel the physical heaviness of those words that someone has taken time, care and patience to put together in order for us as the reader to step inside their imagination for a little while,
Though I must admit, I do not read enough. Suppose this has a lot to do with the modern day age and constantly needing to be ‘doing something productive’ with my days. But since stumbling across ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wiking, my attitude towards it has altered greatly.
Within this book, I learnt much about the Danish way of living, their outlook on life as a whole and what they place value on. It brought things back down to earth, giving clarity and simplicity as a gift to me as the reader. The Danes seek comfort, warmth, natural beauty and harmony amongst one another. They take pride in appreciating the most basic of amenities that are undervalued in most western societies, yet bring more love and happiness than anything materialistic.
It was an absolute joy to be asked by the incredible charity SANE to write a review of Meik Wiking’s latest book The Little Book of Lykke’. As you may know, I am extremely passionate about raising awareness for mental health as well as encouraging others to take care of their body and souls as one, to find contentment and peace for themselves. So this opportunity suited me perfectly as it combined both things together.
First of all you may be wondering ‘what on earth does hygge and Lykke mean?!’ – well good question, because I was exactly the same before I read them!
Hygge (hoo-gah) doesn’t really have a true definition, more it is each individual’s personal interpretation of what it ought to be. Though a couple of my favourite translations are ‘the art of intimacy’ and ‘cosiness of the soul’ as they both capture the sensations you would feel with it.
Lykke means happiness.
Meik Wiking is the CEO is the Institute of Happiness in Copenhagen, where he works on trying to understand more about happiness how to generate it, exploring the cause and effect. You can tell just by the way he has written these books how much he thrives off his research and what is offers to his own life. There is a complete sense of comfort when you read them. It’s almost as though you sat next to a roaring fire crackling away, a warm cup of hot chocolate or tea in your hands with a blanket wrapped around you as you listen to Wiking chat to you about how to search for Lykke.
This second book guides you through the main areas that are explored in research when it comes to finding out what makes us happy;
togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust, and kindness.
What invites you to turn over each page is the knowledge ”we are all first and foremost human” and our instincts will always drive us to search for what makes us truly happy. There are endless ideas put out there of what can make us happy, but what Wiking is hoping to help us to see is that ”happiness is subjective” so it is down to each one of us to find out exactly what those things are for ourselves.
Along the way you are provided with little nuggets of information about the research that goes on in this beautiful part of the world (and also the happiest!). Also there are some lovely pieces of advice from many different walks of life about how to improve or change the way you approach different aspects of your life.
Since reading both books, I have adopted to only having candle light at night, turning my resolution down on any screens and also playing relaxing music to send me off to sleep. I now look to the small but quite often the foundations of my own happiness. Making the time to set aside to see loved ones and share each others company without distraction from anything. Appreciating the little achievements as well as the great. Accepting the short falls that comes along, and learning from them. But mostly I have gained a stronger understanding of what happiness means to me so that from now on I can create a brighter future that is open to brand new avenues for true fulfilment.
Hope that this has inspired you to grab yourself a copy of either of these incredible books and settle down to make your own hub of Hygge and discover was makes you smile.
The release date is September 7th – preorder here.