您现在的位置:首页 > 阅读 > 正文


更新:2020-11-26 14:45:07  |  来源:转载  |  阅读:0

This year’s World Happiness Report againranks Denmark among the top three happiest of 155 countries surveyed – adistinction that the country has earned for seven consecutive years.



The U.S., on the other hand, ranked 18ththis year, a four-spot drop from last year’s report.


Denmark’s place among the world’s happiestcountries is consistent with many other national surveys of happiness (or, aspsychologists call it, “subjective well-being”).


Scientists like to study and argue abouthow to measure things. But when it comes to happiness, a general consensusseems to have emerged.


Depending on the scope and purpose of theresearch, happiness is often measured using obxtive indicators (data oncrime, income, civic engagement and health) and subjective methods, such asasking people how frequently they experience positive and negative emotions.


Why might Danes uate their lives morepositively? As a psychologist and native of Denmark, I’ve looked into thisquestion.


Yes, Danes have a stable government, lowlevels of public corruption, and access to high-quality education and healthcare. The country does have the the highest taxes in the world, but the vastmajority of Danes happily pay: They believe higher taxes can create a bettersociety.


Perhaps most importantly, however, theyvalue a cultural construct called “hygge” (pronounced hʊɡə).



The Oxford dictionary added the word inJune 2017, and it refers to high-quality social interactions. Hygge can be usedas a noun, adjective or verb (to hygge oneself), and events and places can alsobe hyggelige (hygge-like).


Hygge is sometimes translated as “cozy,”but a better definition of hygge is “intentional intimacy,” which can happenwhen you have safe, balanced and harmonious shared experiences. A cup of coffeewith a friend in front of a fireplace might qualify, as could a summer picnicin the park.


A family might have a hygge evening thatentails board games and treats, or friends might get together for a casualdinner with dimmed lighting, good food and easygoing fun. Spaces can also bedescribed as hyggelige (“Your new house is so hyggeligt”) and a common way oftelling a host thank you after a dinner is to say that it was hyggeligt(meaning, we had a good time). Most Danish social events are expected to behyggelige, so it would be a harsh critique to say that a party or dinner wasn’thyggelige.


Research on hygge has found that inDenmark, it’s integral to people’s sense of well-being. It acts as a bufferagainst stress, while also creating a space to build camaraderie. In a highlyindividualized country like Denmark, hygge can promote egalitarianism andstrengthen trust.


It would be fair to say that hygge is fullyintegrated into the Danish cultural psyche and culture. But it has also becomea bit of a global phenomenon – Amazon now sells more than 900 books on hygge,and Instagram has over 3 million posts with the hashtag #hygge. Google trends datashow a big jump in searches for hygge beginning in October 2016.


Nor is Denmark the only country that has aword for a concept similar to hygge – the Norwegians have koselig, the Swedesmysig, the Dutch gezenlligheid and the Germans gemütlichkeit.


In the U.S. – which also places a highvalue on individualism – there’s no real cultural equivalent of hygge. Incomeis generally associated with happiness; yet even though the country’s GDP hasbeen rising and its unemployment rates have been declining, levels of happinessin the U.S. have been steadily decreasing.


What’s going on?


Income inequality continues to be an issue.But there’s also been a marked decrease in interpersonal trust and trust towardinstitutions like the government as well as the media. In the end, moredisposable income doesn’t hold a candle to having someone to rely on in a timeof need (something that 95 percent of Danes believe they have).


At its core, hygge is about buildingintimacy and trust with others.


Americans could probably use a little moreof it in their lives.



1、America’sindividualism, distrust and self-seeking are all ideas that come from specificpeople, with specific philosophies, that caught on. The question is, how do we turn aphilosophical tide, when those who’s ideas are our current dominant ideologystill hold the power, the language and the platforms?


2、That is a goodquestion. I think the lesson from Denmark is that we build trust and communityvia individual contact with other people. So we get away from our devices andinto gatherings with other people in our local communities.Trust comes in partfrom remembering the shared goals you have with other people of a good life,even if we don’t always agree on the details of how to get there.


3、It would seem thedifficulty is in convincing people that something is, or isn’t the cause oftheir unhappiness. Particularly if it has been politicised. Universal healthcare is a great comfort that most people don’t think about, but in the US it’sconsidered (by some) a bankrupting force that will ruin the country. In the UKthere’s an absolute conviction (again by some) that the NHS is sufferingbecause of immigrants over-using it’s services. Both have been statisticallyproven time and again not to be true, but people firmly hold on to theirbeliefs to satisfy their world view.


Michael Moor’s Bowling for Columbine showedthat with gun control Americans will often assume that somehow their situationis unique, and solutions that worked elsewhere won’t work for them, even whenthey do work. I’m not sure how better to convince people a system works than tohave real-world examples, like Denmark, that show a better why of doing things.People will grasp at any fallacy they can to continue to delude themselves. Themain difference I’ve noted is that Danish people are far more willing to tryand improve things, they have the belief things can be improved. In America italmost feels defeatist, things are the best they can be, or they can’t bechanged, when neither seem to be true.

迈克尔·摩尔的纪录片《科伦拜恩的保龄》显示出:在枪支管制的问题上,美国人往往会假设,出于种种原因他们的情况是独一无二的,在别处管用的解决方案不会适用于他们,哪怕它们真的管用。我不确定说服人们某个系统管用,比现实中拥有活生生的例子要好多少,比如丹麦展示出了更好的做某些事的原因。人们会紧紧抓住任何能帮助他们继续自欺的谬论。我注意到的主要区别是:丹麦人民更愿意尝试并改善事物,他们有一种信仰,即情况是可以被改善的。在美国,能感受到的几乎是失败主义,事情已经达到了它们所能达到的最好,或者它们不可以被改变,而这两个没有一个是真的。 (译注:迈克尔·摩尔(Michael Moor),美国著名的左翼纪录片导演,有《华氏911》、《资本主义:一个爱情故事》等作品存世~)

4、This is interesting.The examples of similar constructs were all European cultures/countries. Iwonder if you are aware of similar constructs outside of Europe.


5、There is much to beadmired about Danish culture, there you can take a bicycle ride in the countryand stop by a roadside stand where various fruits and snacks are sold. Noattendant is present, it is all on the honor system. You sext what you want,the prices are posted, you put your payment into a little cash box, typicallysomething on the order of a cigar box, depositing exact change if you have itor making change from the cash box. And this works flawlessly for the mostpart.


6、I dunno, I’m prettydarn happy. I have everything described as ‘hygge’ within my family. Not myfault that others can’t build a strong family and have poor relationships.


And the Danes can keep their God-awful taxrate. I know how to manage my money far better than the government. No numberof studies citing ‘low corruption rates’ will change my mind.