A Danish Psychologist Says These 2 Danish Words Are the Secret to Eliminating Holiday Stress

A Danish Psychologist Says These 2 Danish Words Are the Secret to Eliminating Holiday Stress

I love learning new things about other cultures; especially when they relate to happiness and wellbeing.

And this great article, via Inc.com by Jessica Stillman, describes some great lessons we could all benefit from over the next few weeks.

Want to know how to enjoy the festive season, how to be happy and to have fun, without too much stress? Then read on …

Say these to yourself when you feel your holiday stress levels rising.

Festive movies and seasonal advertisements all paint the holidays as a joyful time. But if you actually often find the season more stressful than merry, know you’re not alone.

Depending on which poll you believe, somewhere between 40 and 80 percent of Americans find the holidays stressful. Recent Google data shows more than half of people would use the word ‘stressful’ to describe holiday shopping. And that’s not even mentioning the stress of managing gatherings, crazy relatives, and end-of-year business planning all in the same period.

How can you participate in the joys of the season without feeling overwhelmed by its demands? On The Conversation recently a psychologist offered an unusual suggestion — learn a little Danish.

Marie Helweg-Larsen, the psychologist in question, is now a professor at Dickinson College but hails originally from the famously calm and cozy Nordic country. She claims that two words Danes regularly use when talking about and planning for the season can help people anywhere feel happier during the holidays.


The first of these words is overskud, which sounds like it might be some kind of outerwear, but which Helweg-Larsen explains actually describes going above and beyond.

“‘Overskud‘ is a noun that roughly means ‘excess.’ In an economic context it means profit, but in everyday speech it’s used to refer to having the energy, willingness or resources to tackle a task or a problem,” she explains. “Having overskud is generally viewed as a good thing – you might go the extra mile at work, plan an elaborate holiday party, find extra thoughtful presents or volunteer at your child’s school.”

How does this idea of ‘energy to go a little beyond’ help beat back holiday stress? Because, Helweg-Laren explains, it gives you simple, easily understood vocabulary to explain to others when you simply don’t have it.

“The word overskud is also used to clearly communicate when people cannot tackle an event, task or obligation. Instead of saying ‘I’m swamped,’ a Dane might say they don’t have enough ‘overskud’ to go to a party or meet for a glass of gløgg, a mulled Christmas wine. It’s basically a shorthand way to say, in a nonjudgmental way, that something sounds like fun, and you would love to do it, but you simply don’t have the energy,” she says…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE