Sunday, March 5, 2017

Hygge & Happiness

In the darkest of times, with cold winds and raging storms all around, the Danish have devised a weapon of first resort.  A weapon that can eliminate, or at least diminish, the feelings of stress, sadness, and hopelessness that often arise in their long, dark, cold winters. That weapon is “hygge.”

Pronounced “hue-guh,” the concept is not easily translated into English but is most often equated with “cosiness.”  Hygge is further associated with a comfortable conviviality and contentment.

Hygge encompasses not only the ambiance of the room (think cushy chairs and wood-burning fireplaces) but also includes dress (flannels and woolen socks), food (porridge and hot cocoa), and company (close friends and meaningful conversations).  Their propensity for creating hygge is one reason why the Danish, in spite of their long winters, have been called “the happiest people on earth.” 

The United Nations has recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and declared March 20th as the International Day of Happiness.  To do our small part in boosting the art and science of happiness, Harmony Moon will be posting suggestions and happy thoughts on our facebook and twitter pages throughout the month of March.  Please join us in helping to increase happiness, health, and hyyge for all the world’s people. 

To get you started, on the right is the GREAT DREAM poster from the Action for Happiness.  It is a science-based “10 Keys to Happier Living."  

To read more about the Danish concept of "hygge," try these resources:

And, if that's not inspiration enough, here's Pharrell Williams and "Happy":


Sunday, February 5, 2017

The science of kindness:
Did you know that engaging in acts of altruism and kindness can increase the production of the chemicals oxytocin and serotonin in your body? This increase can lead to greater self-esteem and feelings of optimism and happiness. It can also reduce levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.  In other words, the kinder you are to others, the happier you feel!

Harmony Moon is holding our annual Kindness Festival on Saturday, Feb. 18. Please join us for refreshments and prize drawings.  You can also make Kindness Prayer Flags and cuddle with kittens in our Kitty Petting Zoo, hosted by Staunton-based cat rescue group, Humanitarians of Pet Education (HOPE).  10% of all purchases made at Harmony Moon during our Kindness Celebration will be donated to HOPE.

In the meantime, do something nice!  Here are some suggestions:

  • smile at everyone you see
  • say "thank you" to someone who did something nice for you
  • compliment a stranger
  • pick up trash in your neighborhood
  • volunteer to read to a patient at a local nursing home
And for more information on the science of kindness, check out these resources:

The Science of Kindness (Life Vest Inside)

The Science of Kindness (Random Acts of Kindness Foundation)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

We live in tumultuous times.  When fear, anxiety, stress, and uncertainty are on the rise, anger and hate often follow.  And where there is anger and hate, there is also fear and anxiety, creating a vicious circle.  It’s hard to know how to break the cycle.  

But break the cycle we must.  And there is only one place to start – with yourself.  Examine your own beliefs and assumptions, your own behaviors and actions.  Weed out that which is toxic and feed that which springs from love.  Anger, hate, fear, and anxiety are defeated with kindness, common courtesy, and respect for others.  It may seem simplistic but the truth often is.  

Choose LOVE.