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  • Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I'm Neil.

  • And I'm Georgina.

  • That's a big smile on your face, Georgina! You seem happy today!

  • I am, Neil.

  • After all, what's the point in seeing the glass half empty?

  • Ah, so you're someone who tries to see the glass half full

  • you generally look at things in a positive way.

  • I hope so!

  • It may seem strange to be discussing happiness

  • in the middle of a global pandemic but right now feeling happy is

  • more important than ever.

  • Well then, it's lucky that happiness is the subject of this

  • programme, Georgina. And while many things seem to be out of our

  • control just now, there are small things we can do to feel better about life

  • to feel less stressed, and maybe even a little happier.

  • You're talking like a Dane now, Georgina.

  • Denmark, and in fact all the Nordic countries,

  • are often listed as among the happiest places in the world.

  • You know what would make me happy, Neil?

  • asking me a really good quiz question.

  • OK. Well, did you know that every year the UN publishes its

  • Global Happiness Survey revealing the happiest countries in the world?

  • It's based on factors like income, life expectancy and health.

  • The Nordic countries often come in the top ten,

  • but which country was rated the happiest in 2020?

  • Was it: a) Iceland?, b) Denmark?, or, c) Finland?

  • Well, Neil, Denmark is famous for bacon, and nothing makes me happier

  • than a bacon sandwich, so I'll say b) Denmark.

  • I like your thinking, Georgina!

  • We'll find out the answer later, but you're certainly right to say that

  • Denmark is considered one of the happiest countries in the world.

  • Malene Rydahl, author of the bestselling book, Happy as a Dane,

  • believes that aspects of Danish culture can help us

  • improve our chances of happiness.

  • Here she is explaining what happiness means for her

  • to BBC World Service programme, The Conversation.

  • See if you can hear what she thinks:

  • Well, I think we should be seeking alignment and I think we

  • should practise gratitude and I think that we should be more conscious

  • about how we relate to things that happen to us and how much we

  • compare ourselves to others… I do think that what we need to focus on

  • is the quality of our relationships.

  • Did you hear Malene use the word alignment?

  • She thinks there should be harmony between my true sense of

  • who I am, what I think and how I relate to others.

  • We should be in alignmentor in the correct relation, to those things.

  • Malene also thinks happiness comes from gratitude

  • feeling grateful and expressing thanks to other people.

  • She recommends finding three things, no matter how small,

  • to be grateful for every day.

  • Likegetting a good night's sleep, drinking a hot coffee

  • and having this chat with you, Georgina.

  • Thanks, Neil, that's put a smile on my face!

  • It may sound strange but doing this every day can really

  • boost your happiness levels.

  • Malene also warns against seeking happiness in external things,

  • as you can hear in this chat with BBC World Service's, The Conversation:

  • If you seek happiness and you mistake it for pleasure,

  • you will be running around like a little hamster in a wheel

  • because it's never enough and because you will be very quickly

  • the victim of the hedonic treadmilland the hedonic treadmill is

  • you know, you want something, you think if you're more beautiful, if you

  • get more power, if you get more money and fame and then you'll

  • finally be happyand then you get it and you get a small satisfaction.

  • According to Malene, chasing external pleasures like money and fame

  • will leave you feeling like a hamster on a wheel

  • like someone who's always busy but never accomplishes anything

  • useful or finishes what they start.

  • She also says it's easy to become a victim of the hedonic treadmill.

  • This is the idea that humans adapt to whatever level of happiness

  • they achieve. As we make more money, meet the perfect boyfriend

  • or whatever we desire, our expectations also increase,

  • so we never find the happiness we hoped we would!

  • 'Money can't buy happiness', as my grandma used to say.

  • Right. In fact, it's probably the quality of our relationships,

  • not external objects, that gives satisfaction

  • the pleasure we feel when we achieve something we wanted to.

  • Lots of useful tips there, Georgina, for feeling as happy as a Dane.

  • A Dane, you say, Neil? So I got the correct answer?

  • In my quiz question I asked Georgina which Nordic country was rated

  • happiest in the UN's 2020 global survey.

  • I guessed, b) Denmark.

  • But in fact, Georgina, it was… c) Finland.

  • I guess their bacon sandwiches are even better!

  • OK, let's recap the vocabulary and start seeing the glass half full

  • looking at things in a positive way.

  • Happiness might be all about alignment

  • being in the correct relation to things.

  • Or gratitudebeing grateful and giving thanks.

  • Feeling like a hamster on a wheel means you're always busy doing

  • things but without getting satisfaction -

  • the pleasant feeling of achieving something you really wanted to.

  • Finally, the reason happiness often escapes us may involve the hedonic

  • treadmill - the human tendency to return to the same level of

  • happiness after something very good or very bad has happened.

  • That's all for this programme.

  • We hope it's lifted your spirits and given you some useful vocabulary as well.

  • Remember to join us again soon for more interesting topics

  • here at 6 Minute English. And if you like topical discussions

  • and want to learn how to use the vocabulary found in headlines,

  • why not try out our News Review podcast?

  • You'll find programmes about many topics that will help to keep you

  • entertained and learning at the same time.

  • Don't forget you can download the app for free from the app stores.

  • And of course, we are on most social media platforms. Bye for now!

  • Bye!

Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I'm Neil.

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B1 happiness georgina denmark happiest alignment dane

What is the key to happiness? 6 Minute English

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/11
Video vocabulary