By Natalie Lockyer
A word used to describe a Danish way of being. It is used to describe a feeling of cosiness, wellbeing and contentment either alone or shared with others. In essence it it being present in the moment and enjoying the simple things.
As the nights draw in and winter becomes ever-present, we can find it harder to find joy and energy. Luckily the Danish have the answer; Hygge.
Rooted in old Norwegian Hygge encompasses a concept too large for a one word translation, in essence it is a "cosy feeling of contentment and wellbeing through the enjoyment simple things in life". It can be found alone or in the company of others, most commonly those we hold dear, but Hygge can be extended to meeting strangers too.
It can be practiced all year round but is particularly celebrated in winter months to help maintain wellbeing and is a good excuse to find a book, fireplace and give yourself permission to put down the cellphone and huge christmas shopping list, and let yourself to enjoy the simpler things in life.
Contrary to popular belief and mass consumerisum though, Hygge is not about buying expensive blankets and candles, quite the opposite, it's about enjoying what you have and letting go of stress. It's about it is about creating an environment that nourishes a sense of well-being so you can be present in the moment.
Hygge carries many of the basic principals of mindfulness. To find the good in your current situation, to be present in the moemnt and to appreciate the simpler things in life.
To help you beat the winter blues and bring a little warmth and calm into your life today, here are 10 ideas on how to let Hygge into your life;
1. Appreciate your friends and family.
Enjoy quality time with friends and family regularly.Even if they are far away, video call them, enjoy their company, let them help you laugh.
2. Embrace the outside.
Go for a walk in nature, and stop to notice how beautiful it is. Kick up the autumanl leaves and breathe in the dmp earth. Enjoy it.
For the added touch bring a few plants into the home too. They reduce stress and purify the air in your home too.
3. Find a fireside.
Find a warm pub with a roaring fire, take a board game and enjoy time with friends and family.
4. Learn to love books.
Swap them share them, love them, but let them into your life again.
5. Declutter your home,
With Hygge, less is more (to a point) but always allows for comfort rather than utilitarian minimalism.
6. Light Candles.
Candles and soft lighting are a big feature for creating a Hygge atmosphere, but tealights from the pound shop are all you need.
7. Practice gratitude.
Being thankful for what you do help is a large part of Hygge. Grattitude is also proven to reduce symptoms of stress and increase your oxytocin and serotnin levels, both involved in
8. Indulge a little.
Enjoy the slice of cake. A little bit of purposeful indulgence is encouraged in Hygge.
9. Turn off the technology
Reduce the time with technology and be more present in the moment.
10. Cook simple food
Cook simple hearty food. It's not about fancy restaurants or expensive food. Sind simple tasty recipes and enjoy fluff free food.
For more on this tradition visit : https://www.visitdenmark.com/denmark/highlights/hygge/what-hygge