meik wiking interview, hygge, lykke, how to be happy, how to find happiness , how to bring more happiness into your life

Meet Meik Wiking.  He is the author of the best selling book Hygge and this years newly released Lykke (Luu-kah).  He also has the best job in the world - he is the CEO of the happiness research institute in Copenhagen, so who better to write a book about happiness than him. 

Lykke is a beautiful book that takes us around the world to find out the many reasons why people are happy and shows us how we can implement some of their traditions and routines into our own life to bring us more happiness too.
This is a really insightful and inspiring read that we absolutely loved. 
The book is, above all, a story of hope. A story of the good that does exist in this World.   

We were really excited to get the chance to talk with Meik recently, read on to find out his thoughts  about all things Lykke, happiness and life. 

1.  Can you tell us a little bit about your new book Lykke?
The book is a treasure hunt for the pockets of happiness that exists in the world. Lykke is Danish for happiness. Denmark usually tops the World Happiness Rankings - and my job at the Happiness Research Institute is essentially trying to understand why. Not only why Denmark does well - but also why some people are happier than others. Because Danes do not have a monopoly on happiness. What I see is that there is a lot we can learn from people around the world, when it comes to happiness - to improve our own world just a little bit. The book is, above all, a story of hope. A story of the good that does exist in this World - and how we may improve it.
2.  In all your research that you did for lykke, what was the most surprising thing you found out about happiness in other countries around the world?
I think it’s around how alike we are. While we may be Danish and British - we are first and foremost humans. And when it comes to what drives happiness, well-being and quality of life - we are not so different. And because of that - we can easily learn a lot from people all over the world - and not just the Danes - on how we may improve our lives. 
3.  Your Ted Talk 'The dark side of happiness' is such an inspiring watch. You mention in it about having “A moral obligation to focus our attention on where wellbeing is most scarce”.  This seems so important and so timely.  What do you believe is the best way to achieve this, to help those who as you say are “in the shadow of our happiness”?
One way would be to normalize the conversation around mental illness and mental health. I think, the UK is actually leading the efforts in terms of reducing the stigma around mental illness - you are still far from the finish line - we all are - but you are leading the pack. I was also happy to see recently that members of your royal family are advancing the conversation in this field. 
4.   Sometimes life can throw you a curveball or deal you a bad set of cards and even the happiest person can struggle with that. Can you share with us from your research, any tips that people who are going through tough times can use to try and embrace their own happiness again?
It is very important to me to stress that we all experience unhappy periods in our lives. We have the right to the pursuit of happiness - but we also have the right to be unhappy from time to time. With this thing called life we´ve been given a mixed bag of happy and unhappy experiences. With that package comes triumph and happiness - but also disappointment, heartbreak and unhappiness. That is the deal we all face. 
5.  What are your thoughts on things like meditation.  This is often associated with bringing a sense of grounding into your life, to help you live in the moment and therefore embrace the joy and happiness of now.  Have you found any links between these mindfulness practices and happiness?
A lot of happiness research looks into the concept of flow - that may be a similar experience to mindfulness. Something that counteracts our tendency to board every thought that arrives on the train station. I’d suggest engaging in an activity that demands your full attention. For instance, even though I am a terrible dancer, I took up tango classes four years ago because it made me focus on the body and not the mind, enabling me to get a mental break from that voice inside our heads that’s constantly critiquing our decisions and sense of worth. Tango gives you a break from that inner critic. However, if you’re looking to become happier with your overall life, I’d suggest focusing on factors like health and togetherness.
6.  What is your view on the part social media plays on our happiness?
One experiment we did at The Happiness Research Institute involving more than 1000 people in a randomised trial showed that being without facebook has a significant positive effect on several indicators of happiness. Therefore, in my new book I cover different initiatives I have seen that allow kids, families and streets to create conditions for "analogue play". 
7.  With the success of your last book Hygge, it feels like you brought that concept to the awareness of everyone outside Denmark. What does that feel like to have your work create such an impact and affect people in a really positive way?
It has been wonderful to receive so many letters of thanks from people all over the world. It really shows the power of books to change people’s view of the world. I try to write in a conversational tone. Basically, I imagine sitting across from someone at a dinner table and having a conversation - and it has been such a pleasure to discover how many people enjoyed that conversation as much as I did.  
8.  And lastly, what is your own ultimate version is lykke? What makes you happiest in life? 
I think I am very ordinary. The same things that drives happiness for most people, drives it for me as well. Give me a good conversation with good people over good food and we are off to a good start.