The Secret to Danish Happiness? I want that Pyt button!

When a word continues to appear on my radar, I need to pay attention.

I first heard about Pyt last year.  The Danish Library Association chose Pyt as the nation’s favourite word.  I was immediately intrigued. The Danes are known as the happiest people on Earth.  I want to know their secret.

This is the same culture that coined a favourite word, hygge, a few years ago.  I easily adopted hygge as a way to relax and destress. Reading, cocooning, snuggling, a feeling of contentment.  A favourite way to spend my time. 

 

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                           Long Beach, Vancouver Island

 

Now the word Pyt has surfaced.  I have read a variety of translations describing the meaning of this word, how to pronounce it and when to use it.   I understand how a cultural word may not be easily translated into the English language. I speak German, and we have words that do not directly translate into an English word.

 Pyt (‘pid’) is used for minor frustrations and annoyances.   Pyt is used to express ‘don’t worry’, ‘accept it’, ‘move on.’   weblink  link

When I read further about Pyt, I found out that the Danes had even created a button with Pyt on it.  When you press this button you will hear the Pyt word. A reminder to pause, gain perspective and let it go.

 

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                                     photo credit:  Karen Rossinger

I could see how a physical symbol would help the expression Pyt seep into a culture’s language and values.   I had a Happy Face button.  The Happy Face emoji is still a part of popular communication.  😊

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The underlying message that continues to surface for me is “acceptance.”  This concept is emphasized in one of my favourite books, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz.  In 2017 my one word intention was “acceptance.” 

I still need to be reminded to accept the things I cannot change.

I am usually a glass-half-full kind of person. Yet, we all have stresses in our life, even the Danes. Many of us use strategies to gain perspective, like walking in nature, meditation and creative outlets.  The Danes also use words to help prompt a more peaceful, happy life.

 

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                            Long Beach, Vancouver Island

 

We can learn from other cultures.  We can share secrets.  We, too, can be the happiest people on Earth.

 

postscript:  amazon sells Pyt decals and wall stickers.  I may have to create my own Pyt button, even if it is in my mind.

23 thoughts on “The Secret to Danish Happiness? I want that Pyt button!

  1. I like the word “pyt”. Aside from the fact that it is so much easier to say than their other choices: “dvæle” (to linger) and “krænkelsesparat” (ready to take offense). It also has a healthier cultural significance by teaching people how to deal with minor stress. I’ve often used the acronym “NMP” (not my problem). I may switch to pyd. Although it’s lost it’s lustre, I still can’t wait to get “hygge” with you!

  2. Great word for our often stressful lives. Sometimes, the stress we allow ourselves to feel outweighs the actual stress of the situation. That button looks a lot like the “EASY” button that Staples (the office supply store) came out with to support their marketing campaign a few years ago. You could probably just apply a pyt decal right over an existing EASY button to make your very own.

  3. If it’s good enough for the Danis Library Association, then so it should be for the rest of us! A great word, Erica, as is your 2017 intention. Ways to certainly go forward in these stressful times. – Marty

  4. I agree with you, Janis, that our perception of the stressful situation greatly affects our response. I have never heard about the “EASY” button. It would be a fun way to incorporate pyt with our grandchildren. I found it interesting that the Danes were using a pyt button in schools. When I saw your comment today, Janis, I immediately started to think about lemons. I love lemons🙂

  5. Hi Marty, I do wonder how certain countries become part of the “10 Happiest countries in the world” list. Denmark usually ranks in the top 3. I don’t know what studies and criteria determine this list. Anyways, I won’t stress out about this😉Thanks for your comment, Marty.

  6. Hi, Erica – I like the concept of accepting what we cannot (or should not) change and moving on.
    Although, I must admit that I was hoping this post would tell me that I could now eat Danish Pastries (like the ones in your feature photo) guilt-free!

  7. Hi Donna, the photo of the Danish pastry was a (little) misleading. I couldn’t resist😊It is interesting what messages and words can consistently appear in my radar and likely where my attention goes. I look forward to hearing more about your upcoming adventure. Ciao!

  8. Nice to hear from you, Winnie. My husband and I were trying to use the word “pyt” all day yesterday (with a lot of giggles interspersed). I may have to hunt down a bakery this morning😊

  9. Hi Erica,
    Never heard pyt, but thoroughly embrace hugge. Yet, I suspect it is something like the serenity prayer…let go of the things that you can’t control and move forward without regret.
    A good reminder for us all.
    AND…still learning about you…that you speak German! Wish I had command of more than one language. It gives so much insight into the culture and beliefs system.

  10. Hi Erica! What a great word! I’m glad you phonically spelled it out or I would never have guessed it was pronounced PID. I love that it is a simple way to say, move on–let go–or get over it! I’ll bet if I think about it that could be something I could use every day. I tend to overthink things so this word might be the solution! And oh yeah…I got my husband Thom one of those EASY buttons for Christmas a year or two ago. I wonder what happened to it. PID! 🙂 ~Kathy

  11. « Pause, gain perspective, and let in go »- what wisdom you express about such a beautiful word. Thank you for sharing and introducing me to Pyt!

    I am drawn to words from other languages that do not have a direct translation. So much insight can come from this! In Iceland, they have a word to encapsulate all of your actions, thoughts, words, energy, and intention you put out into this world. On the island of Lombok in Indonesia, they have a word for the sense of duty/altruism one has toward their community and all of its members.

  12. Love this, especially the idea/reminder to accept that which we can not change. I once heard a wise person say that the only thing we could change was our behavior, thoughts, attitude. So in the meantime, if we wish to live a serene life, it might be good to consider the concept of PYT. It’s a new word to add to my dictionary. thank you for sharing this with us!

  13. Hi Nancy, Your posts and research on Happiness have been very informative. We can always learn something new and sometimes it depends who presents the information and how it is worded. The serenity prayer stands the test of time, and always a good reminder.

    German was the first language I spoke before English. I appreciate a 2nd language more as an adult.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Nancy🙂

  14. Hi Kathy, My husband and I tried to interject Pyt into our conversations this past weekend, amidst lots of giggles. Already, achieved its purpose.

    I first heard about the EASY button from Janis, Retirementally Challenged. I look up info online and the button was released by Staples in 2005 as a “source of levity and stress relief.” I may see whether they still carry it and use it with my grandchildren.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Kathy.🙂

  15. Hi Julie, Thank you for your kind comment. I had not given much thought to ‘words that do not have a direct translation’ until you mentioned this. I know you speak more than one language. One example we have in German is “Nett.” Many translations include nice, kind, pretty, cute, neat, tidy, pleasant, decent, handsome. Yet, we just use the word “nett” in a sentence and know what we mean. It does give insight to a country’s culture.

    Thank you for reading and your thoughtful response. I look forward to meeting up with you again IRL (in real life – seems to be the acronym used here)🙂

  16. I love how you say this, Susan. It doesn’t matter what is happening around us. Ultimately, it is our response to the situation. I also like how you used the words “a wise person.” I have had people in my life that have given me wise and supportive words. It really does make a difference.

    Pyt is a new word for me, too. Thank you for your thoughtful response.🙂

  17. Erica, I love this word and concept! Thanks so much for introducing me to it. I readily embraced hygge. I can definitely find some appreciation for the application of this in my life!!

  18. Hi Amy, Some form of the word and message of Acceptance continues to appear for me. I have started using Pyt this passed week. I am not sure whether I am saying it correctly I don’t think it matters. Nice to hear from you. I hope you are still surrounded by the ocean air:) Erica

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