This Danish cultural concept could help you deal with anxiety, depression, and stress.

Danes are bar none the most happiest people in the world; and they also have quite a number of cool words in expressing their mood. You’re probably aware of the Danish word hygge, often mistranslated as “cozy,” but does describe intimacy. But there’s another word which was recently voted the most popular Danish word — beating out dvæle, “to linger,” and krænkelsesparat, “ready to take offense.” Dear friends, ever heard of pyt — the Danish word that helps you deal with stress.


Related media: 5 Things That Shocked Me About Copenhagen Denmark


Are You Dealing With Stress?

Pyt does not literally translate into any known word. The Danes use the word more as a cultural phenomenon that helps them cultivate healthy thoughts of dealing with stress. Its often expressed as an interjection in reaction to a daily hassle, frustration, and/or mistake that’s usually associated with stress. The word itself could translate to the phrases “don’t worry about it,” “stuff happens,” or “oh, well.”

Danes use the word as a means of accepting that sometimes things don’t just seem right or go in your favor, and you just have to let go and move on with it. For instance, you might return back to your car just to find a parking ticket lodged under your windshield, just as you burst out with rage, shake your head and whisper, “pyt.” Its used as a reminder to step back and refocus rather than overreacting. Instead of yelling, complaining, or pushing blames on others, its a way of letting go.

You might want to say pyt in response to something you said or did — “pyt: that’s really silly,” or as a support to a friend — “pyt with that, don’t worry about it.” The word really acts as an anti-stress reliever because it is a sincere attempt to encourage yourself and others to not get bogged down by minor daily frustrations. …, a Danish business leader even suggested that knowing when to say pyt at work leads to more work satisfaction.



That’s The Way To Move On

Research even show that we are more happier and live longer when we deal with less stress; and in some cases, how we deal with a hassle might be directly influence how we react to what’s happening around us. Pyt is used to help people cope with avoiding the tendency to blame others for their actions. For instance, you’re late to an appointment, and you suddenly run into traffic that delays your time the more, then you start blaming the traffic, but that wasn’t the reason why you’re late.

By saying pyt, you consent yourself to the fact that its not worth letting circumstances of which you have no control of bother you. You can also try a different strategy, like situational constraints — maybe the road ahead was blocked; or consider if this issue would even persist for hours, days, or even weeks to come. Of course, you wouldn’t say pyt in quick response when you’re wrong; and it should not be confused with when you want to take up responsibility, nor should it be used as an excuse.



Just Hit The Pyt Button

Image: Samvirke / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Danish psychology also advice that applying pyt to too many aspects of your life isn’t a healthy thing, especially if its about your basic needs and values. If you want to let go of something, it could be done with doing simple activities like taking a walk, yoga meditation, exercising, keeping a journal, or engaging in any creative activities — or, as usual, you can still hit the pyt button.

This is well integrated into Danish curriculum: teachers use it as a means for children who cope with minor frustrations — like “I lost the game,” pyt; “I can’t find my books,” pyt — this goes a long to teach kids that nothing is perfect. Research even shows that perfectionism is related to worry and depression. Nowadays Danes prefer the pyt button, and when pressed, it says pyt pyt pyt: “træk vejret dybt, det hele vil være okay,” which translates as “breathe deeply, it will all be okay” in English.


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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Wed, Aug 07, 2019.

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