CEO of the
Happiness Research institute
Five Tips from happiness expert Meik Wiking on
HOW TO FIND MORE HAPPINESS AT HOME
CARVE OUT “ME TIME” BY DISCONNECTING
We all need time for ourselves. With kids around that can sometimes be challenging. However, there is evidence suggesting that kids crave more attention if you are sitting with a digital device like a mobile phone rather than with something like a book or paper or a puzzle. So go old school and get some ‘me time’.
USE A RETIREMENT BOX FOR DECLUTTERING
Our research shows that clutter can have a negative effect on your satisfaction with your home. But for some people, it can be difficult to let go of their stuff. One way to find out if you really need to keep something is to put it in a box: The retirement box. If you haven’t opened the box for, say, a year, then it’s time to say goodbye.
CHORES–WRITE AN OVERVIEW AND PLAN
When it comes to household chores, we are more likely to forget when our spouse or housemate did something around the house than when we did something. So it’s a good idea to write down all the different tasks that need doing each week and carve them out between you ahead of time. I also recommend planning for a specific task to be done at a specific time – say, vacuuming on Saturday at 10 a.m. Then you don’t need to constantly argue with yourself about when to do it.
KEEP LEARNING AND GROWING
Whether you are learning German (sehr gut!), perfecting your tarte tatin (yum!) or training for a better time for your 5K (Run! Forrest Run!) learning new skills can help you harvest a sense of accomplishment which is a vital ingredient to happiness. So make sure to stick to your new happy routines. But remember, most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a month. The important thing is to keep moving forward, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
EMBRACE HYGGE–AND HAVE A CANDLELIGHT DINNER ONCE A WEEK
A Canadian once wrote to me to say he’d gone out to buy chandeliers to light at dinnertime after reading about hygge–the Danish tradition about creating a warm cozy atmosphere. His three teenage sons teased him, but then over time, the boys started to light them and it became a family ritual. Their family dinners would now last 15 or 20 minutes longer because the candles put the boys in a communicative mood. It’s interesting to hear how a little thing like a candle can actually influence how a family interacts. And no, I don’t think candles will save the world but maybe they can make an evening at home in the time of COVID a little bit more hyggelig.
The Happiness Research Institute
The Happiness Research Institute is an independent think tank exploring why some societies are happier than others.
The mission is to inform decision makers of the causes and effects of human happiness, make subjective well-being part of the public policy debate, and improve the quality of life for citizens across the world.