Book review of “The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well” by Meik Wiking

After reading this book I understood that I`ll never use the Danish way of life. As for their aslant angle of looking, why could not we try it?
This book is written by a Danish scientist who leads the local Happiness Research Institute. Because of his work, Meik wanted to write a book that can help people from other countries and cultures understand Danish culture and recipe to be one of the happiest countries in the world.

And, you know, it really helped me. Before reading it I was skeptical about content – I thought that it will be simple, stereotypical but impossible rules to live a life. Yes, I was right – all tips are simple. Some way they are stereotypical, like “take your favorite book, sit near the window and relax”. But they are not impossible if you look at things as Danish people do.

The author in the informal style explains that there are many recipes on how to live happily because Denmark has its own specific style called enigmatically as HYGGE. If you want to feel hygge (which doesn`t have  a literal translation in any language of the world) what it means in Danish. Let`s just say it means feeling when you are comfortable, warm and safe you need to stop being always in a hurry. Give yourself some time and relook all your aspects of life. If you want to be happier the author gives some tips saying exactly how often you should get together with your friends, what food you should eat,which way you should get to the work, how light should be installed in your room and which furniture design you should choose. The Danish style, the Danish spirit, the Danish way of life. These people know how to live in a small country with bad weather and big will to live happily.

But, what is more, the author does not give any tips about all these things. He just simply describes the Danish daily life, including his own too. He tells how you could live if you wanted to be Danish. If you don`t want to do it – it`s okay. It is all about your own comfort.

And I understood that I can’t live this way. Simply because in Ukraine a working day is from 9 to 6 and we have a tendency to work extra time, when the people from Denmark work from 9 to 5 and never stay after work even for important meetings or tough deadlines. But I can change the details. My thoughts what is important in my life and, of course, start more often take my favorite book and read it near the window when it is raining pitchforks outside. Just because I have this warm feeling in my chest, when I am safe from stormy weather, enjoying a good book and staying in my own small armchair with a cup of hot coffee.

So, I think this book is 9 from 10 stars. I strongly recommend it to read if you want to look at your life from a little bit another angle.

September 24, 2019

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