I received a lot of answers as part of my JYSK happiness question in my recent competition. My answers along with the answers from other bloggers taking part have all been published into a survey.
The UK seems to be happiest cuddling pets on the sofa in a clean and tidy home with all of their favourite people and things in one place – and wearing pyjamas while we’re cuddling, makes the happiness complete. We seem to be a nation of regular cat and dog snugglers – and yes, they are allowed on the sofa. (But not in my house)
Playing with the kids also hits the top of the happiness at home table just above a love of our own beds, clean sheets and very rare moments of ‘me time, once the kids have gone to bed. (This one I do agree with)
JYSK’s ‘Feel the Happiness’ Report, also states that the majority of us are utterly devoted pyjama-wearers. Our homes may be our castles but we are at our happiest at home after donning fleecy night attire, comfy slippers and wrapping ourselves in a cuddly throw.
However Britain is far from the happiest place on Earth, ranking only 23rd place in 2017. Year on year Scandinavian countries dominate the top of the table for the world’s happiest nations. They put it down to a combination of things; one of them is Hygge.
2017 World Happiness League Table 2013-15 World Happiness League Table
1.Norway 1. Denmark
2.Denmark 2. Switzerland
3.Iceland 3. Iceland
4.Switzerland 4. Norway
5.Finland 5. Finland
19. UK 23. UK
The new JYSK survey, which asked 30,000 followers of popular home and family bloggers about what makes them feel the happiness at home found that fairy lights, candles, softer accent lighting and real fires are important contributors to creating a relaxing environment. Just like our Scandinavian cousins, we are looking at lighting; greater use of natural and softer materials and appreciating time spent interacting with loved ones.
Other Hygge happiness triggers include someone else – usually a partner – preparing dinner and sharing a glass of wine or a warming hot drink on a squishy sofa under a cuddly throw. Family activities such as movie nights in were also highlighted as activities that see people happiest at home.
And of course, the soft furnishings, throws, cushions and slippers were also important but having a clean and tidy home with plenty of well-thought out storage and was the number one contentment generator – as it sets the perfect environment to relax.
Here is the British top 20 results for what makes us happiest at home.
1.Clean and tidy house – everything in its place
2.Favourite people and things all in one place
3.Pets – snuggling with cat/dog on the sofa
4.Playing with the kids
5.Our own bed with clean sheets and particularly when it’s raining outside
6.‘Me time’ after kids’ bedtime
7.Fairy lights and candles/soft lighting/natural lighting
8.Darker nights making it cosier inside, snuggling on sofa with throws & cushions
9.A real fire
10.Grandchildren over for games & cuddles
11.Partner cooking dinner
13.Night in DVD, family , chocolate
14.Home cooking/smell of
15.Sofa, throws, cushions, family
16.Reading in a comfortable armchair
17.Cuddling on sofa
18.Family and friends meals/relaxing
19.Pyjama TV box set ‘binge’
20.Time with pets and kids
Other Hygge happiness hits included one of my favourites – which is long bubble baths in a clean and tidy bathroom. And also uninterrupted time, hanging out the washing, baking and sofa naps.
Also popular were cotton sheets, lavender scented pillows, old Christmas movies, crocheting and cuddling pet guinea pigs at dusk.
Family photos and children’s artwork generate smiles and happy memories, Scandi style is growing in popularity thanks to its calming neutrals and natural materials and there is a marked trend in people including unique furniture pieces that draw the eye. All of these things make our homes our own and contribute to our wellbeing.
Some of the simplest things make people happy at home – when the baby is finally asleep, enjoying a crumpet (in pyjamas), creating a reading corner in the sitting room, the teenagers being out of the house and no technology interruptions for example.
Others are at their happiest and most relaxed in front of the computer, having a ticked off ‘to do’ list, watching garden birds from a cosy chair or finally achieving possession of the remote control.
Watching fish in the aquarium, finding a rare space on the sofa ‘in a house full of hounds’ and home-birds that are happy as soon as they get through the front door also featured.
Wardrobes and storage generally were seen as significant mood lifters, particularly for struggling born minimalists sharing their home with a hectic young family.
Playing the ukulele and ‘the three teddies that live on my bed’ also got a mention from individuals describing their ultimate happy time at home.
The 2017 world happiness report showed Norway, Denmark and Iceland in the first, second and third places. Finland and the Netherlands were in fifth and sixth (after Switzerland in fourth). The UK is at number 19, rising from number 23 – JYSK, which now has 15 stores here, was interested to note that the rise of happiness at home is mostly attributed to the Hygge elements beloved and enjoyed in Scandinavia. To find out more about Hygge and Scandi style visit http://www.JYSK.co.uk.
*JYSK analysed a sample of 1,000 taken from an engagement of 30,000 around its Feel the Happiness initiative. The sample is from across the UK’s nations and regions, collected from followers of leading home and family bloggers.