Meik Wiking is a happiness guru – an advocate for hygge and a collector of smiles. Turn to page 38 of October's The Simple Things for his take on why enjoying togetherness is what makes him, and the Danes as a nation, the happiest in the world.
In his self-created role of director of The Happiness Research Institute, Meik has been running projects and studies, workshops and round table discussions on happiness. He travels the world meeting with governments and organisations, and exploring how everything from social media use to job satisfaction can affect happiness levels. He even keeps a notebook in which he records the frequency of smiles in random isolation in every city he visits. Some of the highest levels he has seen are in Mexico, while the lowest have been in Latvia and Poland. He says he still needs to do more study in the UK, but so far it’s not looking good. What makes people happy is now what gets Meik up in the mornings and, as he told a TED Talk that he gave on ‘The Dark Side of Happiness’ this year*, what makes people unhappy, depressed and suicidal, can keep him awake at night. Incidentally, it’s not true that the Danes have the highest rate of suicide (they rank somewhere in the middle).
Watch his TEDxCopenhagen talk now: The Dark Side of Happiness