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How You Can Find Happiness Even During the Winter Slump

As the end of the year approaches and the weather turns cold, many people begin to fall into a winter slump, a feeling of depression and gloom. According to research done by the University of Chicago, students may lose motivation to do schoolwork, spend time with loved ones, and engage in their favorite activities during the winter time.

 

Much of this is due to the winter weather. However, it is also due to an increased stress load brought by the end of semesters. When asked, many college students noted that during the long winter months, they find themselves more frustrated with their hall mates, professors, and classmates than at the beginning or end of the year.

Perhaps there is a self-help method that can be used to replace this negative mindset with a positive one to increase happiness during the winter months. This mindset is called Hygge. It is no surprise that this idea comes from Denmark, the country that ranks number three on The World Happiness Report, according to a study done by Columbia University.

Hygge is a Danish idea that means having a warm atmosphere. It is a mindset that brings communities together and celebrates the life in which we live.

The question, however, is how to achieve such a mindset. And perhaps that can be understood by a study from a company on the Science of Happiness.

A study done in 2013 by a company called “Soul Pancake” tested the relationship between happiness and gratitude. The company greeted participants with a test to find their general level of happiness before the experiment. They then had participants write a page about someone they admired greatly. To the participants’ surprise, the experimenters had them call this person and read to them what they had written down. After taking the quiz on happiness following the experiment, Soul Pancake found that the participants’ levels of happiness increased anywhere from 4 to 19% after they had expressed their gratitude (Soul Pancake).

 

Therefore, in order to get rid of the winter slump, students don’t have to love the weather or not acknowledge their stress load. In fact, hygge is not a mindset that is void of any sadness or frustration; it is a mindset that acknowledges all emotions, but chooses to focus on happiness. And in order to reduce the winter slump and achieve hygge, students should take time to express gratitude.

It can be done in telling a friend thank you, or spending quality time with friends. Take advantage of the winter weather by chatting in cozy rooms, or racing down hills in sleds with loved ones to create a warm atmosphere inspired by hygge.

The Winter Slump can affect a large amount of students. But maybe we can replace this negative mindset with the Danish Hygge, by simply telling another person how thank we are for them.

 

Sources: bbcnews.com

soulpancake.com

http://gpschools.schoolwires.net/cms/lib05/MI01000971/Centricity/Domain/619/ Motivating_Students_Article.pdf

My name is Kathleen McGivern and I am student at Bucknell University. I love studying history and going on adventures in the outdoors.
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