Living Hygge

I have a very special place in my heart for Denmark, after all, it is where my husband and I tied the knot! The Danes are said to be the happiest people in the world, despite harsh winters with little sunlight, cold temperatures, and oppressively damp weather. How is it that these people stay so happy? One answer is their practice of Hygge.   Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a word that describes the feeling of joy one gets when one makes everyday moments special, pleasurable, or unique. Lingering over a cup of fresh coffee while watching the sun rise before starting your day or taking weekly trips to the florist to pick a beautiful bouquet to brighten your dining room table. These simple acts of slowing down and being present are the essence of Hygge.   Hygge can also be described as creating intimacy, either with yourself, loved ones, friends, or your own space. There is no direct English translation, but some words that combine to create the idea include: cosiness, charm, contentment, happiness, familiarity, comfort, kinship, security, or simpleness.    

I have a very special place in my heart for Denmark, after all, it is where my husband and I tied the knot! The Danes are said to be the happiest people in the world, despite harsh winters with little sunlight, cold temperatures, and oppressively damp weather. How is it that these people stay so happy? One answer is their practice of Hygge. 

Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a word that describes the feeling of joy one gets when one makes everyday moments special, pleasurable, or unique. Lingering over a cup of fresh coffee while watching the sun rise before starting your day or taking weekly trips to the florist to pick a beautiful bouquet to brighten your dining room table. These simple acts of slowing down and being present are the essence of Hygge. 

Hygge can also be described as creating intimacy, either with yourself, loved ones, friends, or your own space. There is no direct English translation, but some words that combine to create the idea include: cosiness, charm, contentment, happiness, familiarity, comfort, kinship, security, or simpleness. 

 

As we live in increasingly busy, disconnected, and distracted lives, Hygge gives us the chance to reconnect, to slow down, to be mindful. Connecting to small, simple parts of your day, allows you to take a break from the fast-paced lifestyle, the deadlines that are closing in, and the pressure exerted from all around. 

Hygge is the word that describes the feeling of joy one gets when one makes everyday moments special, pleasurable, or unique.

Hygge and living a life of mindfulness go hand in hand. Where mindfulness asks us to be aware and present in each moment, Hygge makes room for simple moments to require attention. Hygge is about the ritual: grinding fresh coffee beans, boiling water, adding each ingredient to the french press, carefully allowing the coffee to steep before filtering away the grounds, pouring the coffee into a beautiful china teacup, watching the steam dance as it rises off the surface, feeling the warmth of the teacup spread to your hands, raising the cup to your mouth and inhaling the beautiful scent before taking that first, awaited sip. These rituals create moments of peace, moments of joy, moments that are not rushed, but rather savored. Hygge can be practiced with anything in as little as 5 minutes or as wonderfully long as 60! Hygge is about the connection and the peace that we experience when we are fully present, rather than distracted. 

Hygge is not rushing, it is not multitasking, it is not something to put on your to-do list only to have one more thing to cross off. Hygge is enjoyment, it is a pause in your day, it is making the simple extraordinary. And Hygge has such potential to make you happier and more centered in every part of your life. 

How can you infuse Hygge into your day?