Happiness by design
Denmark is often ranked near the top of the world happiness rankings.
The reasons given include public trust in institutions, generously paid parental leave for mums and dads and a healthy work-life balance that means most people leave work by 4pm.
Oh and they also eat a lot of delicious tasting pastries.
But could it also be something to do with their furniture?
Good design is ingrained in the Danish way of life and the average Dane takes great pride in the look and feel of their home.
It’s been this way since the 1920s when their aesthetic was shaped by the German Bauhaus design school that was in operation from 1919 to 1933.
Today, the Danish style of furniture, lighting and even clothing is revered around the world.
The focus on things that are aesthetically pleasing is rooted in the belief that if we’re surrounded by beautiful things it leads to feelings of warmth, cosiness and safety.
It’s these feelings that contribute to our overall well-being and happiness.
According to a 2011 study by scientists at UCL, there is good evidence that looking at something beautiful such as art can induce feelings of intense pleasure, helping to support this intuition.
This view is also supported by the design industry.
In his 2003 book, Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, Donald Norman makes the case that, all things being equal, aesthetically pleasing design seems to work better.
If you’re wanting to boost your mood then perhaps it’s time to buy yourself that the Arne Jacobsen ‘Egg chair’ you’ve always wanted.
If you’re keen on learning more about happiness then you might enjoy The Happy Course created in partnership with the Happiness Research Institute headed up by the amazing Meik Viking which is packed full of information and practical tips.