Hygge – The Happiness Secret

We all have heard of Hygge by now but do you know what it truly means? Hygge is a word that comes from Danish and Norwegian and does not have a translation because it encompasses a variety of concepts, situations, and states of mind. It can be described as a feeling of warmth and intimacy, a comfortable and effortless coexistence with feelings of well-being, contentment, and gratitude. It is also the feeling of safety and strong connections with nature and people. It is being present.

This term became widely popular around 2016 and it's quite interesting nowadays, as a way to relax, enjoy life, and the most meaningful and simple things. According to The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living – by Meik Wiking, there are some key elements to achieving a state of Hygge. Here's an overview of some of the most important components to consider and create a Hygge moment, and my interpretation of it.

  1. The ambiance we choose or create. In Denmark Autumn and Winter can be particularly dark and harsh weather that invites indoor coziness. So a good cozy lighting system is essential to create a Hygge environment. Think of warm dim lights, and strategically dispose of them around the room. If you like candles, dispose of them in safe locations around the room you are in and enjoy the warm feeling they bring to the place. Another great alternative, but more for wintertime, is a fireplace, you have it you are in luck. What better feeling than being near a fireplace hearing the rippling sound of the wood and receiving the heat while it's raining or snowing outside? This captures a lot of what Hygge means but it's not all.
  2. Being in the moment, fully present, is another component of Hygge. This also means turning your devices off, no notifications or googling. Only then can we relax and notice the little enjoyable things life offers us at any time. And also allow us to create deeper connections with family, friends, or with ourselves.
  3. Good, comfort food and indulgent. Think of simple food and sweet pastry, like that dish your grandmother used to make or that traditional cake that you can enjoy with the ones more dear to you. Think of slow food and the smells that almost make us time travel, and the pleasure of preparing them with family or friends.
  4. Sharing and being a community, and what better way to do this than through cooking with family and or friends? Or exchanging things no longer in use? Perhaps a game? Think of ways and activities to strengthen bonds.
  5. Feeling grateful for what you have is another important element. So, make an effort to cultivate gratitude, a gratitude journal, for instance, can help you to keep on track.
  6. Intentionally promoting harmony is another aspect to consider, no competition or bragging is necessary. The idea is to be with people we love without needing to prove anything.
  7. Creating a comfortable, safe space to gather with the people we love to spend time with. Add pillows, blankets, socks, candles, or whatever you need for coziness. Plants, crystals, and natural elements are also a great way to create a comfortable and inviting space. 

And, to close up, Hygge can also be alone, as long as you cherish the moment and allow yourself to relax, read a book, or do other relaxing activities.

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