Wednesday 9 May 2018

The positive lexicography

A couple of days ago, I came upon a Psychology Today article about the Danish (and Norwegian) word "Hygge".  It is a word that encompass such a delightful concept (to me) of:

  • Feeling cozy "in one’s heart."  In such moments, all is right with the world, and we feel safe and at ease, caring and cared for."
  • a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.
  • "a form of everyday togetherness", "a pleasant and highly valued everyday experience of safety, equality, personal wholeness and a spontaneous social flow"  
I have since come upon a website by a man exploring positive words from other cultures and languages.  There's a particular delight in experiencing another world-view by witnessing the words another language uses to describe a concept, event or feeling that we may have, but despite our nearly 250,000 words in English, have not yet really found a way to describe.
Some examples are:
Finnish hyppytyynytyydytys, which refers to the satisfaction one gets from sitting on a bouncy cushion or comfortable chair.

Spanish estrenar, which conjures the feeling of confidence one gets when wearing new clothes

English chrysalism, defined as “the amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm.
To illustrate the power of a bigger vocabulary, Lomas presents the example of a study in which children who were taught new words to describe their emotions showed improvement in behavior and academic performance. It’s possible that when words give us a greater ability to differentiate feelings, we become more capable of understanding and regulating them.

The website and list is located here:

Monday 7 May 2018

We’re all Searching for More Hygge in Our Lives

This article in Psychology Today talks about the phenomenon of the Danish word Hygge being introduced into English, to explain the concept of “... feeling cozy "in one’s heart," whether or not one’s milieu is actually warm and enveloping. In such moments, all is right with the world, and we feel safe and at ease, caring and cared for.”

Despite marketing trying to appropriate with this term, hygge (HEW-ge) is more than just a warm pair of socks, or candles.

Sunday 6 May 2018

5 Neuroscience Tricks to Make You Happy

This article has 5 quick ways, or hacks, that can make you instantly “happy”.  This is shifting your mood in the moment, and should be combined with other long-term strategies to predispose yourself to a positive experience of life.

Listen to Music from the happiest time of your life.
Smile and wear sunglasses
Think about your goals
Get good sleep
Reduce stress to help break bad habit cycles