Hygge, Coorie, Ikigai… Are they the real deal?

Hygge, Coorie, Ikigai… Are they the real deal?

by | Mar 21, 2019 | Wellbeing Strategy

At this year’s World Government Summit (WGS) Global Conversation on Happiness & Wellbeing, I attended a talk from a very cool guy called Ken Mogi.

(By the way, if you missed my four-part series reporting from the WGS, you can catch up here.)

Ken is a neuroscientist, researcher, lecturer, published author of more than 30 books and a broadcaster based in Tokyo. His mission is “to solve the so-called mind-brain problem”.

He told us about Ikigai – the Japanese philosophy that helps find fulfilment, joy and mindfulness in everything. It was a fabulously engaging session.

But then my 15yo daughter came home from school last week with an assignment on ‘Wellbeing in Denmark’, which led to a discussion on Hygge and how her Danish cousin’s life is different from hers.

On the same day, upon collecting my aged parents arrived off a flight from Scotland I learned of the Scottish art of ‘Coorie’… with some dubiety (but more on that later).

The universe was sending me a message and the stars were aligning!

This week, I’ve looked at five of the world’s trending wellbeing philosophies to see what they can offer us. I’m separating the hype from the evidence and looking at their potential relevance to us as leaders and workplace wellbeing experts.


A cheat’s guide to the world’s fastest trending wellbeing philosophies

In this downloadable infographic, I’ve broken down five of the most popular global wellbeing philosophies to give you the ‘in a nutshell’ explanation and why you should take heed.

See it here.

Are there any others you know of and how might we incorporate their principles into workplace wellbeing?


Linking cultural wellbeing philosophies with evidence-backed findings

These cultural wellbeing philosophies are all well and good, but none are complete.

They’re often influenced by the environments of their respective countries (including factors like cold weather), cultural rituals or economic considerations.

To get a more complete view of wellbeing, we need to place these philosophies within a scientific framework. That way, we can pick and choose the parts of each that contribute to a well-rounded wellbeing philosophy.

In this infographic I’ll show you what each has to offer in terms of alignment with the science (based on our GLWS principles) and importantly, where the gaps are.

See it here.

Despite their trendiness, these global wellbeing trends are not a substitute for a science and evidence-based approach (and in our Aussie summers, the last thing I want to do is Coorie in!).

But it seems to help – these concepts have been around for a long time, and in a couple of cases the countries are among the happiest in the world.

And if they get people thinking more about their wellbeing, then I suppose it’s a good thing ☺️

Be well

Audrey (& Karen)


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