He may have been dethroned this year by Norway in the ranking of countries where lives the happiest, Denmark nevertheless remains a welcomed enclave for his people. Some have attributed this sense of well-being at hygge, this typical Danish concept which encourages intimacy and connection to others.
If course, curl up under a blanket in front of the fireplace to read L'Amie prodigious Elena Ferrante is a simple little happiness to enjoy, it would be simplistic to blame only the "happiness Danish" the hygge.
As explained Malene Rydahl in his best-selling Happy as a Dane (Ed. Grasset), happiness is grown in Denmark as a philosophy of life. Promotion of self-confidence, education, solidarity, autonomy, equality, modesty, balance between work and family life or of gender equality: many values shared by the people of Denmark, who, unlike others, does not tend to individual happiness but to the collective well-being, while nourishing realistic expectations.
"While keeping the ambition to make sense of our lives, 'life to the Danish' reveals that realistic expectations help us to live better, says Malene Rydahl. And rest assured, be realistic does not mean to be devoid of ambitions. [...] If set achievable goals is a good start to be happy. This does not mean giving up his dreams, but be realistic in relation to the necessary time or the price to pay to get there."
The Danes are not the only ones to see in this precept of less is more a philosophy of life. Norwegians, Finns and Swedes have also joined through a code of conduct that dictates the way of life in these Nordic countries. Entitled "The Law of Jante"This code of happiness has been theorized by the Danish-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose. In his book A fugitive crosses his tracks released in 1933, he describes the implicit rules governing his small hometown in Jutland. Here they are :
You must not believe you're someone special!
You must not believe that you are worth as much as us!
You must not think you're smarter / wiser than us!
You do not owe you imagine that you're better than us!
You must not believe that you know better than us!
You must not believe that you are more than us!
You must not believe you're capable of anything!
You must not laugh at us!
You must not believe anyone is interested / worried about you!
You must not think you can teach us something!
These statements still underpin much of the company Scandinavian countries. On the Psych Central Blog, Canada Lindsay Dupuy therapist says it's implicit conduct of these ten rules of life participating in the Danish happiness as they learn to be satisfied with what life offers us. In the following, "you aim to live a very average life, she says. With such a mindset, you're likely to be pretty happy when life offers very average things. If life brings you something that goes beyond the average, you will probably feel pleasantly surprised and, in most cases darn happy."