Maike van den Boom 3/3: Your way to happiness

Reading time 4 minutes
Maike van den Boom 3/3: Your way to happiness

Maike van den Boom is a successful happiness researcher and bestselling author. Her mission is to make the lives of Germans a little happier. To do this, she travelled through the 13 happiest countries in the world - always on the lookout for the ultimate happiness formulas. She is particularly enthusiastic about the Scandinavian countries and her new home in Stockholm.

In Germany, many things are tainted with gloom.

Maike van den Boom

How did she get the idea to research the happiest countries and cultures in the first place - what was her motivation? Maike van den Boom: "I studied in the Netherlands, a happy country, and lived there for 13 years. Then I lived in Mexico - also high on the list of happiest countries. Very happy and cheerful people live there. And every time you come back to Germany, everything is tinged with a certain melancholy. People often get upset about things that make me think, try not taking yourself so seriously."

Maike van den Boom: "Growth makes happy!"

In all 13 happy countries that Maike travelled to, people take themselves much less seriously than in Germany. She says: "Happiness doesn't mean that everything always works out. On the contrary: when you're thwarted and get the full brunt of it, then you realize what's important and have the chance to grow. And that in turn makes you happy!" But even the expert has days when she is in a bad mood. In the interview she reveals: "My recipe against it is: get through the day, go to bed early, tomorrow the world looks different again. That's always the case. So I'm not always happy and I don't always want to be. Happiness is more about a positive mood in life. Then you can also sometimes say: I'm a happy person, but today I'm in a really bad mood."

Maike van den Boom: "With the right charisma you attract happy people!"

Maike van den Boom actually studied art therapy. She then worked in sales and marketing. This was followed by the birth of her daughter and finally the divorce of her marriage. She says: "At the time, I was given a book that I found terribly American: The Secret. It's about attracting happiness. I only believe that to a certain extent. When you're a happy person, you're more open and you talk to others more. That's why you attract stuff, because you're more outgoing and creative. You have a different vibe and people are more likely to approach you. That's what I believe in."

According to Maike, the book also says that you are responsible for bad things in life, because you attract them into your life yourself. Maike: "The tip was good: You are responsible yourself. Then it clicked. I thought to myself, what I can do and what I want. I held philosophical evenings and noticed that it works well to motivate people. In addition, the topic of happiness occupied me so much that I suddenly had a vision and so much energy. That was something that occupied me and that I wanted to talk about because I live it myself. And then that's how I got into the topic."

Maike van den Booms Journey to Happiness

Maike found the international aspect particularly interesting: Why are some cultures happier than others? Maike: "And then I thought to myself in the morning over coffee that I could just ask them what they do differently. And with that, the idea for the trip was born." It taught Maike that you should be grateful for every crisis: "It's not what happens to you that matters, but what you make of it."

We remember to take responsibility ourselves for the things we can influence ourselves. Maike van den Boom: "We can be milder in our daily interactions. We can indulge and whistle ourselves back. We can ask ourselves: do we really want this? Because what does it take to be happy? Other people. So how do we treat each other? You are responsible for the contribution you make. What reflection do you want to look in? So act like it."

3 tips for happiness

You are important for other people - you have a meaning and a responsibility. Maike: "We experience this a thousand times. As soon as even one person starts moaning and grousing, it drags everyone down. Your mood is contagious." To prevent this from happening at all, the author reveals three tips that can be implemented immediately to be a little more Happiness and joy into life to bring.

Maike van den Boom: "Happiness is different for everyone and there are no instant tips to lead a happy life within two hours. It's more about your whole attitude towards yourself and others and what you do with your life. It doesn't work in two days - it took me three years to do it. But I can still say what I did."

Maike's tips are:

  1. Tell as many people as possible what makes you tick and what you want to achieve. This is how you generate commitment
  2. At every red light, think about what is going well in your life and what you are grateful for.
  3. Don't think a negative thought for a week. And every time you have a negative thought, you need to row back and ask yourself how you can phrase it in a positive way.

So don't take yourself too seriously and try out Maike's three practical tips! We wish you lots of fun - and of course good luck!


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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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