Hygge, (hyoo-guh) noun:
A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
Originating from the Danish culture, hygge is about as lovely as life gets. Have you ever been in an environment so cozy, you feel content, and completely at peace? Imagine the feeling you experience whilst sitting around a fire with your closest friends, a warm drink in hand, enjoying each other’s company. The Danes have a word for such a feeling, “hygge.” In this article, we’ll be getting to the bottom of Hygge and Denmark’s success, in regards to its general social welfare.
Meik Wiking, author of “The Little Book of Hygge,” believes that Denmark continually tops the charts when it comes to happiness because the Danes promote hygge. After publishing his book, he’s been flooded with questions about the topic. In an interview with Business Insider, Wiking explains that candles, blankets, and warm beverages are simply a manifestation of the hygge culture, but not the root of it. He believes that hygge derives from more meaningful ideals, like equality and togetherness. Sure, delicious food and some hot cocoa can’t hurt when it comes to happiness, but truthfully, the fundamental values they hold so is what makes the Danes some of the happiest people around. Meik insists that trust is what made Denmark into a nation, the people genuinely like one another. “We don’t drag each other to court to make a fuss about small things.” Wiking says. The Danish people aren’t always in a rush, as most of their jobs don’t put them under copious amounts of stress, as many American employers do. They try hard to be understanding of one another, which is something I think we should strive for in the states as well.
If you’re interested in creating your own hygge space, read on some ways you can transform your home. Start by setting the ambiance with candles, incense, essential oils, or sitting by a fireplace if you have one. Any hot beverage will do, but try some tea or hot cocoa to really put you in a relaxed state. Since the goal is maximum comfortability, grab your softest blanket, throw on the coziest sweater you own, and take a seat on your sofa. Read a book, watch your favorite show, chat with a loved one, laugh amongst your friends, knit! Do whatever it is that brings you joy, and do so often. It’s also important to be mindful of the lighting, as hygge is usually associated with low lighting because it adds to the warm feeling within a space. Yes, hygge can mean indulging yourself a little bit. Sometimes we need that afternoon nap, the $5 coffee on our way to work/school, that extra piece of chocolate, it’s about letting ourselves feel pleasurable things. Letting loose and enjoying our time here, with ourselves and others.
The goal of this article is to express how important it is to not guilt ourselves for doing the things we enjoy. It’s easy to forget that life isn’t about all work, we need rest, we need play, we need to eat our favorite foods, and watch our favorite movies. Life is worth living, you aren’t “wasting time” if you’re doing something that makes you happy. We should try to avoid getting caught up in the workaholic culture presented to us today and be in the moment. Today is today, and that is all you have control over. Once you start living by that, you won’t want to go back. Until next time...I wish nothing but hygge upon each and every one of you!