What is hygge and why you should try it
You craft a cup of your favorite artisan coffee. You snuggle up with your favorite faux fur throw and your favorite person on the couch. You dive into a best-seller or simply sit, vacillating between conversation and comfortable silence. If you’ve ever had a Saturday morning in that looked similar to this, then you’re already living the Danish concept of “hygge,” whether you know it or not.
Many credit hygge (it’s pronounced “hue-guh”) as the reason that Denmark and other Scandinavian nations consistently top lists ranking the happiest countries in the world. Although it’s difficult to capture the feeling of hygge in words, the Oxford Dictionary recently attempted it, describing hygge as “coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well being.” Now that you understand what hygge is, your next question may be, “Why should I care?”
Enjoy Deeper Relationships
Hygge generally isn’t a solo endeavor. It involves rounding up members of your family or close friends to enjoy some quiet quality time together without the distractions of cell phones or Netflix. Invite a handful of your favorite guests over for an intimate dinner party. Host an evening of coffee, dessert, and good conversation. Or invite your significant other to cozy up with you as the fire crackles (a faux YouTube fire is acceptable) and you both read your favorite books.
Stave Off Stress
In today’s world, being accessible to everyone at all times is a given. It’s no wonder why stress levels rocket as new pieces of technology are released. Hygge in its purest form requires you to unplug. That means silencing your cell phone—maybe even stashing it away in another room—and ignoring your work email. Giving yourself some time to truly enjoy peace and quiet could help manage stress later on, when you’re smack dab in the middle of a hectic workday and can’t avoid it.
Learn to Appreciate the Little Things
Embracing a hygge lifestyle doesn’t mean booking lavish vacations or splurging on an expensive set of sheets with a high thread count. It’s actually the exact opposite. Hygge promotes a return to simplicity. It means being present for the small, sweet moments of life instead of hurrying to capture them on camera. It means savoring every sip of coffee or bite of dessert. It means taking the time to appreciate a beautiful sunset. None of these require a big chunk of change or time.
Cultivate Your Creativity
When you adhere to the principles of hygge, you’ll start to find yourself with more free time. It happens naturally as you learn to put down your devices and curl up in your own small corner of the world on a daily basis. This free time will come in handy, as hygge also encourages everyone to embrace their inner artists. Have you been meaning to try crocheting? There’s no time like the present. Falling behind on journaling? You’ll have plenty of time to catch up. When you decide to embrace a hygge-inspired lifestyle, you might be surprised by the talents that suddenly surface.