Have you ever heard of the Danish practice of hygge? If you are unfamiliar with the word, you may have heard of the meaning. Well, this is the primary reason as to why Denmark has been known to be one of the happiest countries in the world!
Hygge [hoo-gah], is a word in Danish that can not be directly translated into English, but essentially means “coziness” depending on who you ask. It’s not a religious practice, but one simply for the self. Hygge often consists of warm drinks, fireplaces, soft music, isolation, or even hanging out with friends. It’s different from person to person.
Hygge is an atmosphere created to bring peace and comfort and relaxation...so why isn’t it something that everyone does?
Most people are foreign to the concept of hygge, or maybe have difficulty figuring out how to create hygge. Chances are, you’ve probably been in a hyggeligt [hoo-gah-lee] environment before. Some cafes’ can be seen as hyggeligt, for example, if they maybe have dim lighting or soft music. Sometimes even simple things such as curling up on the couch next to a loved one can be considered hyggeligt- it really all depends on your preference.
Hygge is often associated more with the winter, since most people think of it as coziness, fireplaces, candles, or warm drinks. But hygge is year-round. Summer hygge is often seen as barbeques with friends or simply having a good time. But there’s one main thing that all social forms of hygge have in common- little to no cell phone use.
We as human beings have become overly attached to our cell phones, our social media, and our technology in general. Hygge is often a way to take you away from the little technology bubble we live our lives in. It helps us focus on what’s around us, grow in our relationships, to live a little happier. I don’t know about you, but so many times when I go onto social media, I feel bombarded by negativity, and for me, hygge is a perfect way to escape that reality and focus on the joys of life.
For me, my favorite kind of hygge is sitting on a night or a raining day sipping some hot tea or coffee or chocolate and spending my time listening to music or journaling for the days I want to be alone. On days I spend with friends, hygge looks more like laughter and playing games and eating snacks. Hygge is happiness. It’s a comfort and peace that sits deep down inside you.
Hygge is really for anyone, no matter what the age. If you haven’t tried hygge, I highly recommend it! Next time you find yourself with a break, or headed out with friends, try to find the hyggeligt elements. Shut off your cell phone, and take in the world around you. There’s so much to enjoy!