‘Hygge’, ‘pyt’: What are your Words for Well-Being?

Take time to pause, notice, and choose…

Any blog that starts with a reference to a group of people (in this case, a nation) who appear to be ‘happier’ than other populations, is going to pique my interest to learn more. This post certainly did that!

I recall hearing about ‘hygge’ (pronounced hue-guh) years ago. Hygge is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment – whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary – as cozy, charming or special. It is simply about awakening…it is about noticing… it is about slowing down and being present to not only recognize a moment, but to enjoy it.

Well, the Danes have a new word for well-being…’pyt’ (sounds like pid). It is also about noticing and acknowledging…however, pyt is an expression used in response to daily hassles, frustrations or mistakes (it translates in English to sayings like ‘don’t worry about it’, ‘stuff happens’ or ‘oh well…’).

You might spill coffee down the front of your shirt, shrug and say, “pyt.” You might see a parking ticket on your windshield and, just as you begin to become angry, shake your head and murmur, “pyt.”

I love this…for two significant reasons! First, just as it is with hygge, pyt is about noticing, and acknowledging – AND, since it is about noticing and acknowledging something negative or frustrating, it is about taking some action that will help move your through that negative situation. Rather than being de-railed for the day, or stuffing that frustration down – only to be piled on to other frustrations – expressing ‘pyt’ allows you a chance to reframe the situation … and to then move on.

It got me thinking…what, I asked myself, are words that I can use….to first, notice and relish positive moments…and second, to move through negative situations?

If you’ve experienced me as a keynote speaker, you have certainly heard me talk about anchoring (usually framed in a ‘Touch Yourself’, fun moment!). Based in research from NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), when you create an anchor you set up a stimulus response pattern so that you can feel the way you want to, when you need to. Anchoring refers to the process of associating an internal response with some external or internal trigger so that the response may be quickly, and sometimes covertly, re-accessed. So, for positive, warm, happy, ‘cozy’ moments in my life, my word for that will be ‘touch’. That word will be my reminder to pause, to notice, to enjoy and to anchor that experience in my mind and body.

When I experience negative, frustrating, daily hassles…the word I will use is ‘ahhhh’. That will be my reminder to breathe, to let it go, to ‘chill’, to move on/past/through that moment.

What words will work for you?

Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker, Author, and Organizational consultant, Deri works with organizations who want to create happy and healthy workplaces for increased positivity, productivity and prosperity!



Positive Mental Health At Work

Positive mental health is a state of well-being, of flourishing, of resilience, and of positivity. It is a desirable state for human beings to be productive, to feel good, and to live a meaningful life.

Sound interesting?

You can begin to practice positive mental health by embedding a few simple practices into your every day life. Begin with one or two…and focus on just those strategies for 21 days. Then notice what you notice. Slowly and steadily, as you begin to feel the positive benefits of each strategy, add more. Continue reading “Positive Mental Health At Work”

Feeling Anxious? Try this Four-Step Strategy to Move Forward

Away from Rumination; Toward Resourcefulness

Worry. It can keep you up at night. It can get in the way of your enjoyment of the day. It can prevent you from connecting with other people. It can make you sick.

Worry is often accompanied by the same thought, or thoughts, being cycled through your brain. Some people might call it ruminating. I like to call it ‘annoying’.

When you find that you are noticing the same occurring thought(s), or that you are behaving in ways that might indicate anxiety, such as nail-biting or pen-tapping; when you experience restlessness and an inability to relax…you might be worried about something… and this quick strategy might provide some relief.

Since, worries can ‘sneak up’ on you (until you develop a habit of ‘tuning in’ to your thoughts regularly), I invite you to begin with a short meditation.

Find a comfortable position, sitting or laying down. Close your eyes and begin to notice your breath. After a few moments of focusing on your breath, begin to observe your thoughts. I know I am making this sound easier than it might be for you…but I just bet that if you are in a state of worry, your thoughts might just be yelling at you, at this point.

Begin by identifying the worry.  Say it out loud or inside, or better yet write it down.

I worry _________________________________.

Then, try this simple strategy of asking and answering these questions (again, I recommend that you write this down on a piece of paper that you can access again later):

  1. What is the worst thing that could possibly happen? (Since your worry is likely anchored in thoughts about the worst possible scenario, and since your mind and body are responding as though the worst thing is actually happening, the first step is to identify that worst thing.)
  2. How likely is it that this terrible thing will, in fact, occur? (You can answer this in many ways … ‘Likely/Not Very Likely/Unlikely’ …. or ’50/50′,  … or ‘25%’, etc.) I bet you will immediately begin to feel a little bit better, as you realize that each ruminating thought is “awfulizing” (I just made that word up) a ‘reality’ that is perhaps very unlikely to happen (or at least not as likely as you are imaging).
  3. If it did happen (the terrible thing), what would you do? Who can you call on for support? (This question immediately moves you to action (moving ‘toward’ what you can do), and to remembering your resources. There are people in your life that you can reach out to for support…even if the most horrible thing you imagined actually happened.)
  4. What record of success do you have that will show you that you will be okay, no matter what comes your way? (This helps to remind you that you have handled difficult things in the past, you have overcome obstacles and you have accomplished goals. You have developed a magnificent repertoire of personal resources that will help you to move through this situation as well.)

Let’s look at an example that a colleague shared with me recently:

I worry that I will not have enough money to retire.

  1. What is the worst thing that could possibly happen? I will become homeless and be forced to live on the streets.
  2. How likely is it that this terrible thing will, in fact, occur? Not very likely, but it could happen.
  3. If it did happen, what would you do? Who can you call on for support? I would speak with my good friends about ideas they have to help me consider my options. I would be totally transparent with my children about my ability to continue to financially support them. I would meet with a financial planner and set a plan in place.
  4. What record of success do you have that will show you that you will be okay, no matter what comes your way? I have build two companies from the ground up, and sold them both at a profit. I have been financially strapped before, and found my way through that tough time. I have raised three amazing children who are educated and independent. I have dealt with the loss of both of my parents and many good friends; and through it all, I have remained optimistic and grateful.

Another friend shared how she used this strategy recently:

I worry about my good friend who has cancer.

  1. What is the worst thing that could possibly happen? He could die.
  2. How likely is it that this terrible thing will, in fact, occur? I do not know for sure, but it could happen. My understanding is that this type of cancer can be treated when caught early, as is the case with him.
  3. If it did happen, what would you do? Who can you call on for support? I would immediately reach out to our mutual friend. I would remind myself that my friend who passed away, did all that he could to be well, and that we did all we could to support him.
  4. What record of success do you have that will show you that you will be okay, no matter what comes your way? I have lost very important people in my life. I keep all of those people close to my heart, and in my thoughts as I live my life. With all of the tragedy I have suffered, I have not become bitter…but have, instead, become even more resilient…and, I think, more helpful to other people who are experiencing similar situations.

To make it easy to recall when I need it, I remember this strategy this way:

  1. Worst thing?
  2. How likely?
  3. What if?
  4. Record of success?

We wish you a future filled with more presence and less worry. Let us know how this strategy works for you.

Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker, Author, and Organizational consultant, Deri works with organizations who want to create happy and healthy workplaces for increased positivity, productivity and prosperity!