By Andy Cope of Art of Brilliance
Here’s a happiness strategy for anyone of any age, and yes, it is rather ‘fashionable’. There’s a Danish word, ‘hygge’ (pronounced ‘hoo-ga’) for which there is no direct English translation.
The best approximation might be ‘comfort’ or ‘coziness’? Coming in on a winter’s morning to a steaming mug of hot chocolate – that’s ‘hygge’ (especially if there’s a storm outside). Warming my feet in front of a roaring fire, family get-togethers at my mum’s, picking wild blackberries in the autumn, hugging my daughter when she comes home from uni, the smell of baking – they’re all hygge too. For me, that is. Your hygge will be different.
Happiness comes in all sorts of varieties – from the quiet contentment of ‘hygge’ to full blown ‘dancing around the house naked’ – and from an assortment of sources. If we dare to explore the upper end of the spectrum, you will find ‘joy’. This is a real biggy. First up, it’s not easy to experience joy on your own. If you think of your top 10 most joyous moments they will almost certainly have been a shared experience (and, at a guess, most probably without
Joy is a difficult state to describe – somewhere beyond the ordinary swell of happiness into a feeling of unbridled pleasure that is often momentary. Joy is super-special because of its rarity. Anthony Seldon, author of Beyond Happiness, elucidates on the quantum leap from happiness to joy, describing joy as being immersed in love to a point where nothing can impregnate the moment and, somewhat prosaically, as a sense of coming home after a holiday, to the place and people you love the most. The point about joy is that it tends to be less about ‘me me me’ and more about being spiritually connected.
Please don’t fall into the trap of confusing spirituality with religion. Spirituality, for me at least, means feeling connected. Which brings me onto Christmas, the perfect season for hoo-ga spotting and being connected to family and friends.
If you relax and observe, joy is all around.
This blog was originally written by Andy Cope from Art of Brilliance – December 2016
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