What is Hygge? Bring the Danish “secret of happiness” to your life

Hygge with your dog

As the autumn is approaching, the winter season is knocking the door and it’s already the best time of the year for dog walks and snuggles. If you’re someone who loves staying indoors during cool winter days, you’re going to love this concept of Danish word ‘hygge’.

I recently decided to read this book – ‘The little book of hygge’ after hearing all the buzz about this new word and to be honest, I was deeply impressed by the concept and loved the artwork in it.

The author of the book, Miek Wiking defines hygge as the feeling you create that helps you stay cozy and warm during cold winter days.

I have always been fascinated by Danish culture and their way of living. In fact, Denmark is marked as one of the happiest countries in the world because of its traditions and culture.

Hygge may seem new to you but when you dive deep into its meaning and the self-care activities associated with it, you will realize that you had been following hygge for long.

Danish people always prioritized spending time with their families and enjoying little moments in their lives. As the weather there is pretty cold, they developed this hygge lifestyle to bring peace and calm into their lives.

Life is all about enjoying the current moment and living life full of contentment. This is the sole aim of Hygge.

What is Hygge

What actually is ‘Hygge’?

Hygge is the feeling you create. The sense of being together, the coziness, the feeling of having each other without worrying about troubles, and enjoying little moments of life that gives you warmth and makes you feel cosy.

Meik says,

Hygge has been called everything from ‘the art of creating intimacy’. ‘cosiness of the soul’ and ‘the absence of annoyance’ to ‘taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things’, ‘cosy togetherness’ and, my personal favourite, ‘cocoa by candlelight’.

Hygge is :

·       Having a candlelight dinner with all your family and friends but instead of the host serving the dinner, everyone brings the ingredients and cooks together. This is how Danish families spend time with each other and find pleasure in little things. Hygge doesn’t have to be expensive at all.

·       It’s about curling inside your cosy blanket with your dog and reading your favourite book with dim, soft lights. This feeling of experiencing happiness is termed as hygge.

Thus, Hygge is everything that slows down your life and brings joy even while doing little things. It’s more of intentional and mindful living in this modern world where hustling is given the top priority and everyone has forgotten the art of slowing down.

 So, now that you’ve basic idea for what actually Hygge is, let’s have a look at what things you need to do or will need in order to incorporate this feeling in your life.

Here are some essentials for Hygge:

Soft lights

Danish people don’t usually prefer bright lights and they’re very particular about their lighting. They love having soft, calm lights, and most of their houses are decorated with candles for soft lights.

The dimmer the light the better the hygge. According to Wiking, it is estimated that each Dane burns around six kilos of candle wax every year. 

Good food & good company

Hygge is all about having good food with good company.

Whether you love sugary dishes or some savoury ones, you are all free to have them as long as you prepare them by yourself or do it along with your family.

Danish people have this tradition of cooking together to increase their level of bonding. If you love the aroma of freshly baked bread, bake it and savour the moment. This very feeling is known as hygge because it gives you a feeling of joy and contentment.

This is such a great way to remember that we don’t always need the luxury to cultivate contentment in our life.

Hot drinks particularly are the main part of Hygge culture. Be it a hot chocolate shake or hot coffee, it is always Hyggite.

Hyggekrog

Hyggekrog is the comfortable, cosy nook in your house. The place where you can just rest and forget all the worries of the world. If you have a place near the window which opens to the garden or your balcony, convert it into your hyggekrog. Just add some warm blankets and cushions to make you feel relaxed and comfortable.

Having a cosy, warm corner during the cold, wintery night is such a sweet feeling you and your dog will love.




Presence of loved ones

As Danish culture prioritises family and deep bonding above everything else, this is the must.

Calling your family for small gatherings or parties and cooking together has always proven to deepen your relationship with them.

However, smartphones are a big ‘no’ during gatherings. They believe in giving total attention to their family without getting their eyes glued on their electronic devices.

Books

When you talk about the feeling of being cosy and warm, books top the list. I have always loved the company of books. They transport me to the world of amazement and open the window to create entirely new land.

If you have a collection of books that you love to read, again and again, create a shelf beside your nook and enjoy reading them during winter nights.

Can you imagine the sweet feeling of being fulfilled while reading your favourite book curling inside your warm blanket along with the cup of hot chocolate by your side? That’s the kind of life worth striving for. Ahh, how can I forget the soft lighting?

This is the sole reason why the Dane’s are super happy.

Blankets and cushions

Grab your favourite cushions and some throw blankets to decorate your hyggekrog. You can always lie down on the cushions after a long tiring day or just snuggle up inside your throw blankets and stroke your dog.

The whole experience is so rewarding and makes a perfect bedtime routine.

I always wonder if there was any particular season for following Hygge. People in Denmark mostly have cold weather so Hygge is like their lifestyle. However, even if you live in the UK, US, Canada, or virtually anywhere, you can surely create your own Hygge and experience the joy of slowing down.

With winter knocking the doors, it is the best period to start planning about your Hygge lifestyle if you wish to live a life full of joy during this time.

Good books to curl up with:

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