It's a truth Jimmy Buffett followers have believed in for a long while: Happiness is a state of mind.
But the concept of finding your happy place in every day moments — whether it's in the form of 5 o'clock somewhere or the song of the ocean meeting a salty piece of land — is now trending, thanks to a slew of books focused on the Danish concept of hygge.[caption id="attachment_3895" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Author Charlotte Abrahams describes hygge as "the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming."[/caption]
Hygge (pronounced 'hoo-gah') "is about embracing things," explains Emily Robertson, publisher of The Little Book of Hygge. "It’s about the simple, small pleasures that make life great, which perhaps sometimes pass us by."
With Denmark recently being named the happiest on Earth, it's no wonder curious, happy-seeking minds are shining a spotlight on what, exactly, brings its residents such bliss. What they discovered is not only the key to happiness, but a philosophy that is really very simple. "It's a mindset," adds Charlotte Abrahams, author of Hygge: A Celebration of Simple Pleasures, Living the Danish Way. "It’s incredibly generous of spirit and this is what’s attracting people,"says Abrahams.
This recent article in The Telegraph explains, "moments of hygge can be anything: a cup of coffee in front of the fire, cashmere bed socks, dinner with friends, eating ice cream, building sandcastles with your children, reading the Sunday papers, a dog asleep at your feet, hot chocolate or, of course, savoring a glass of red wine."
(We might add: drinking beer by the bonfire, flip flops, happy hour, fishing, watching the sun set and savoring a rum runner ... but the concepts are the same!)[caption id="attachment_3894" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] "Hygge doesn’t demand anything from you," says Abrahams. "Nor does it want you to...try too hard."[/caption]
In the end, it seems, happiness is not about checking all the boxes, eating clean food or rigorously practicing Zen meditation. It's about enjoying the things you already have. And eating cake.