World Wise Beauty Presents the Winter 2017 ‘Book Wise’ Pick and it Promises to Keep You Warm From the Inside…Out

Feb 18, 2017 by

HyggeBookCover

 

BOOK WISE Winter Pick: The Little Book of Hygge –The Danish Way to Live Well

 

CATEGORY: Wellness/Non-Fiction

 

CULTURE SPOTLIGHT: Denmark

 

AUTHOR: Meik Wiking

 

OF NOTE: Book was a best-seller in the UK and just released in America in January,

 

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________

It is with great pleasure to select the ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ as the WWB ‘Book Wise’ Winter Pick! The timing couldn’t be better, as we all can use more ‘hygge’ in the winter. I came across the word Hygge back in June 2016 when interviewing Dr. Tim Lomas, who launched the Positive Lexicography Project, an online glossary of untranslatable words that describe positive traits, feelings, experiences, and states of being that had no direct counterparts in English.

Check out his project via the link above and the WWB Q&A with Dr. Lomas here. The author of ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ also spends time on special words and their meaning and even shares a Hygge dictionary in the book.

So for those who are wondering what the heck is Hygge? I will share a few lines from the the author’s introduction of the book….

“Hooga? Hhyoogah? Heurgh? It is not important how you choose to pronounce or even spell ‘hygge’. To paraphrase one of the greatest philosophers of our time ‘Winnie the Pooh’–when asked how to spell a certain emotion “You don’t spell it–you feel it.” ~Meik Wiking

 

 

Let’s indulge you anyway with a quick definition and you’ll be all caught up with our new favorite word.

 

 

DANISH: Hygge (n) : a deep sense of of place, warmth, friendship and contentment

 

On a personal note, a very dear friend from the UK sent me this book for Christmas and I was tickled. It was the best Christmas gift ever, especially because I know she is also a lover of all things Hygge, and we share simpatico (another great word!) in this area. I should be careful about using the word ‘things’, as the author will tell you, Hygge is about an atmosphere and experience rather than things. Yet a beautiful little teapot sure does contribute to the hygge in a room!

If you have been following this blog, you know that I am a lover of wellness wisdom and books. Anytime I can glean wisdom or ideas from other cultures particularly in the wellness arena, I am eager to share them with you.  The Little Book of Hygge was written by none other than the CEO of Happiness! Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark and has the best job in the world, wouldn’t you say? How cool is it, that there is an actual institute studying happiness! It all sounds fun, but this is a serious institute studying the causes and effects of happiness, and how to improve quality of life for its citizens. If you aren’t aware, the Danes rank number one as the happiest culture in the world. That doesn’t mean we can’t catch up to them though! As the author reminds us in his book…Hygge is for everyone. If you aren’t inspired yet to read this book, then I suggest you go on your curmudgeon way, because I am about to share the 10 important values from the HYGGE MANIFESTO included in the book…

HYGGE MANIFESTO

1- Atomosphere–Turn down the lights

2- Presence–Be here now and turn off the phones

3- Pleasure —Coffee, chocolate, cookies and cakes ( oh my!)

4- ‘We’ over me--share the tasks and the ‘airtime’!

5- Gratitude–take it in, this might be as good as it gets

6- Harmony–it’s not a competition, we already like you. There is no need to brag about your achievements!

7- Comfort– Get comfy. Take a break. It’s all about relaxation

8-Truce–No drama, let’s discuss politics another day

9- Togetherness–Build relationships and narratives ” Do you remember when we…”

10- Shelter–This is your tribe. This is a place of peace and securityes here

What a wonderful manifesto and all this gets baked into a very happy Danish culture. Not hard to understand why they are so happy with social values like these. I did really respect the author for including a section in the book on the dark side of Hygge. He points out the downside of the close, tribal, and social landscape found in Denmark, is they don’t welcome newcomers very well. This syncs with N0. 10 of the manifesto  ( the sense of peace and security one feels within your own tribe). We all want to belong, but I happen to believe there is nothing more cozy than making someone feel welcome and included.  Of course, as long as they practice number two, four and eight of the manifesto!

Enjoy the book my wise friends, and may your winter days be full of Hygge!

TrulyHerselfSignature22-300x75

 

 

                

 

read more

WWB WATCH: What’s New in Wellness Culture? Basic Instincts, Professional Cuddling and the Survival of our Species…

Jun 23, 2016 by

WWBWatchTemplate222

 

What’s new in wellness culture? Professional Cuddling is trending from Japan to the USA! When I read the article in the New York Times this past weekend about the trend of  professional cuddling, I had Bruce Springsteen’s song ‘Human Touch’ in my head all week long.  I recently went through a challenging experience taking care of my Mom with terminal cancer and had the help of hospice care visiting. The social worker assigned to my case would show up and hug me. At first I found it uncomfortable, but then found out from other nurses that she is known as a ‘hugger’.  As time passed, I began to appreciate her hugs and  I realize now, her hugs allowed me to feel vulnerable in an important way because I was literally watching my Mom die on a day to day basis. Her hugs probably contributed to my trusting her too, because essentially she was a stranger injected into my personal life under great duress. Touching, and hugging is a basic human instinct and the more we become isolated from each other physically the less the very healthy hormone oxytocin will flow through our bodies.

 

New York Times Photo from article June 16, 2016

New York Times Photo by Adam Gonzalez June 16, 2016/article Pillow Talk With a Professional Cuddler

 

Love certainly is the answer to almost anything, but hugs literally have the immediate effect of wellness, because the powerful hormone oxytocin is released in our bodies. Is it surprising that a new industry has risen in wellness culture called ‘Professional Cuddling”?  Not really! I should note, this trend actually started in Japan a few years ago. When I heard about it, it made sense to me because they have a culture driven by tradition and sometimes rigid tradition. There is a great business book I read years ago called ‘The Culture Code’ by Dr. Clotaire Rapaille. He is is an internationally revered anthropologist, and his book opens your eyes to how different we all are ‘culturally’ as well as how social mores are shaped in our cultures. The book gets into Japan’s challenges,  but don’t you worry, we Americans are pretty challenged too! The trend made it here, so we might look at highly  ‘industrialized’ or ‘digitalized’ societies for clues.

Once you read the NYT article, you will learn there are a few complications of professional cuddling, and it is much different than the professional massage experience. What of course screams through this growing trend, is how our culture is suffering from a lack of physical intimacy. We certainly can point to so many socio-cultural trends that are challenging our basic instincts as human beings. When I studied psychology and child development we looked at how important it was for a newborn baby to have physical contact with the mother. Here is an excellent article from Scientific American explaining the importance of physical contact for babies and the terrible deficits that occur when they don’t have it.

detail-of-creation-of-adam-michelangelo-1475-1564-flicker-jonund-commons-wikimedia-org

(Michelangelo, 1475-1564 (Flicker.Jonund/ Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

If touch is important to our development it must be pretty important to our well-being in general. Who loves their hair being washed? Who doesn’t love a massage? How about pedicures? As the NYT article points out cuddling is different from sex and safe boundaries do matter. Cuddling is a form of safe bonding which again is central to our human species. This excerpt below is from Psychology today and it sums up how important human touch is to our survival. Yes, survival. Now we have a whole different context to ‘Professionally Cuddling’ don’t we!

 

Science tells us that the need for physical contact is present at birth and is an important part—perhaps the most important part—of our species heritage. British clinician John Bowlby proposed the evolutionary concept of attachment, or the innate need for human beings to form strong affectional bonds with others. According to Bowlby, human infants enter the world predisposed to emotionally “bind” themselves to a mom, dad, or other caregiver (in other words, to form relationships), and this predisposition manifests itself in instinctive behaviors which promote physical proximity (and, consequently, enhance survival). This is why all babies cry, suckle, and cling—these attachment behaviors pull supportive responses from and promote physical closeness with caregivers, which helps babies survive.

We know so much about human development and interesting enough, we can also point to other important research on health and longevity, that points to ‘close tight communities’ filled with affection” as one of the contributing factors of longevity. Dan Buettner author of The Blue Zone Solution covers this extensively in his new book. People who live longer tend to have very connective relationships with their family, friends and neighbors. So I leave you with this simple idea. Our basic instinct is to connect and touching is one of the ways we do this. Start by reaching out and touching somebody’s hand and hopefully you don’t have to pay for cuddling. But if you do–it’s okay. You’re only human. 😉

 

TrulyHerselfSignature22-300x75

read more