What is Hygge? What is it about this funny little word, that most of us find hard to pronounce? (It’s hoo-gah) That has us fixated on long walks, cozy blankets, candles and hot chocolate?
And really, can the Danish art of happiness help you to embrace a cozy lifestyle?
I believe it can.
Here in the United States and Canada, many of us trying to find our own hygge life by creating hygge nooks in our homes. A place we can retreat to from the onslaught of the world today.
This past year we have been forced to stay in our homes more than ever, shut off from the rest of the world for our own safety to be sure.
You’re coping with a lot right now, I know.
I wanted to explore the idea of hygge, how the happiest countries find joy in the little things to get through the winter months. To help you see that hygge is a great way to get some quality time and enjoy the good things in life
There really isn’t an english word for hygge. The literal translation is this: a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture). (Oxford Languages)
The Hygge Manifesto
Hygge, even has its own manifesto according to Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute. :
Now I’m not going to do a deep dive here about the Hygge Manifesto, since Wiking does it so well in his New York Times best selling book “The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well. If you don’t have a copy, I would strongly suggest you get one. Right now. It makes a delightful gift as well.
The Heart of Hygge
I personally think that Hygge has a heart. And at the end of this article, I hope you do as well.
So what then is the Heart of Hygge? It’s about being cozy that’s a given. Yet I also think its about:
How to create a Hygge Home
There are many things you can do to create a Hygge home. And they don’t have to cost a lot of money! (Hygge can be frugal too)
It’s all about creating a cozy life and living space with soft pillows, a scented candle, throw blankets, socks, hoodies even, will all help you to achieve a certain sense of calm and quiet.
So not always an exercise in home decor, although we love those beautiful hygge-ish home pics on Instagram and Facebook right?
But a nesting of sorts, creating a cozy, snuggly place for you and your family.
Does that make sense? Think about a Saturday afternoon, the weather outside is awful, yet you (your family, or you and your beloved pet) are quiet and cozy inside.
Reading a good book. Getting caught up on your lives. Taking a nap with a soft blanket.
That feeling of contentment when you arrive home after being away, even for a short time.
A hygge home is all these things.
Happy living or living happy.
However it is not being together while you scroll on your phones.
This is a time to take a break from electronics. Remember the Hygge Manifesto? In 2. Presence, Wiking says take a break from our electronics.
I struggle with this.
You see Hygge Home is about togetherness too, and how important it is to connect.
The danish concept of hygge is all about seeking happiness in the simple pleasures. Like a cup of coffee or a warm bed on a cold winter night. Playing board games with an old friends.
Finding Joy with Hygge
Sometime ago I read a blog where the writer talked about ‘choosing joy’. It really resonated with me.
She was in fact, a cancer survivor who was choosing joy everyday over all of the doom and gloom in the world.
I think you can find lots of joy in hygge.
Now there is a lot of anxiety and stress that we live under these days. I can’t write this article and not mention the terrifying pandemic we are all living under.
The lockdowns, quarantines, so many people getting sick. So many people dying.
Yet like the blog writer I mentioned earlier we can still ‘choose joy’.
Joy of the simple things in life right?
I feel joy when my sweetie and I hold hands when we’re out for a walk with our dog, Millie.
Joy runs through me when my granddaughter runs into my arms.
Joy is the uplifting of your heart when you can spend time with close friends, a child, spouse or partner. Helping your neighbours with groceries.
Perhaps you’ve been wanting to start a gratitude journal, and today is the day! Or finally declutter and organize your bedroom.
Joy is the first bite of the best chocolate cake in the world!
In Hygge joy we can point to many of the concepts in Wiking’s Manifesto: togetherness, gratitude, pleasure, harmony, comfort.
What gives you joy?
Love is the Heart of Hygge
It beats quietly within all of us.
Seeking a more peaceful life, a cozy home.
Quiet joy and courageous love.
What is courageous love?
Loving requires courage. I’m talking about loving others, your community, your country.
It’s not just about relationships though.
Hygge love is about feelings. How your heart swells over the little things.
A not too distant memory of a conversation that fills your heart.
It’s about self love, and having the courage to stand tall.
Like spending a quiet afternoon with a cup of your favourite chai tea and a great book, like Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher? (My winter fave!)
Love is not without pain or risk, but I can’t imagine a life without it. What does courageous love mean to you?
The heart of Hygge beats for all of us.
I think it’s the perfect time for you to learn about this simple hygge lifestyle and if you are able to incorporate the quality of coziness into your life, happiness will follow.
Time to create your own cozy nook, have a cup of tea and embrace all things hygge.
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I would love to hear your thoughts about all of this, what your experiences have been so please feel free to share your comments or drop me a line.
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