The Little Book of Lykke | Meik Wiking

Summary of: The Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World’s Happiest People
By: Meik Wiking


Embark on a delightful journey through ‘The Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World’s Happiest People’ written by Meik Wiking. Dive into the secrets behind Denmark’s consistent ranking as one of the happiest places on Earth and discover the significance of community, unity, and a sense of common good. Along the journey, explore the importance of disconnecting from the virtual world, the role of health and fitness in happiness, and relieving the work pressure for a balanced life. The summary offers valuable insights into enhancing one’s mental well-being, fostering trust, and experiencing the joy of altruism.

Denmark’s Happiness Secret

Denmark’s high sense of community and willingness to pay taxes for the common good have contributed to their consistent ranking as one of the happiest countries in the world. Cohousing communities and disconnecting from technology are also factors in their happiness.

Denmark is a country that consistently ranks as one of the happiest in the world. This is due in part to their strong sense of community and willingness to contribute to the common good through high taxes. A sense of security comes from knowing that if they fall ill or lose their job, the government has their back. This has led to the establishment of bofælleskaber, or cohousing communities, where residents come together to create self-sufficient neighborhoods.

While paying high taxes may seem burdensome, the Danes see it as a way of ensuring that everyone is taken care of. It stems from their belief of contributing to a greater good, and it has brought them a lot of happiness.

The Danes have also found happiness in disconnecting from the virtual world. A study conducted by the Happiness Research Institute showed that spending time away from Facebook for a week led to a decrease in loneliness and an increase in life satisfaction.

To truly benefit from disconnecting from technology, it’s essential to get your friends and family on board. By agreeing to tech-free periods together, you’ll be able to have more meaningful interactions and get the most out of life.

Overall, Denmark’s happiness secret lies within its strong sense of community and willingness to contribute to the common good. By prioritizing human connections and disconnecting from technology, the Danes have found a formula for a happy and fulfilling life.

The Anticipation of Happiness

The relationship between wealth and happiness is not a direct one. According to studies, happiness is majorly influenced by the experiences we have. Researchers found that 57% of people required both the purchase of a desired product and the anticipation of making that purchase to feel happier. Comparing your wealth to others is a happiness killer. To increase happiness, purchases should be linked to an upcoming occasion or a moment you attain a certain goal. Scheduling fun in advance boosts happiness by creating a sense of anticipation.

Happy and Healthy Lifestyles

Achieving happiness through biking, walking, forest bathing, and mental health

Being fit not only benefits our health but also leads to more happiness. In Copenhagen, 63% of people bike to work, contributing to Denmark’s happiness and reducing the risk of premature death by 41%. Even walking can provide commuters with the most satisfaction compared to taking the bus.

According to a Japanese activity known as Shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” the variety of nature sights, sounds, and smells contributes to both psychological and physiological health. Moreover, good mental health plays a significant role in overall happiness.

Unfortunately, some cultures still hold taboos against seeking psychiatric help, as seen with South Korea’s high suicide rate. However, changing attitudes and prominent public figures that speak openly about their own experiences with mental health can help break down those stigmas.

To achieve a happier and healthier lifestyle, it is best to start walking or biking to work if possible, immerse oneself in nature, and prioritize mental health.

The importance of free time for happiness

The book highlights the correlation between the availability of free time and happiness. Denmark ranks among the world’s best in terms of a work-life balance, with an average of 300 fewer work hours per year compared to the US. The country offers 52 weeks of paid leave that can be divided between new parents. Portugal has the happiest parents due to the role of grandparents in raising and educating children. Denmark introduced Bonus Grandparents, enabling seniors to assist in child-rearing for those unable to access grandparent support. While freelancers work more for less pay, they enjoy more freedoms and are often happier than traditional employees. The book demonstrates how freedom can come in different forms and how it is essential for overall happiness to ensure we have enough free time.

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