If you haven’t yet heard of the new Scandinavian obsession called hygge, let me introduce you…
Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Danish word that roughly translates to a mood or feeling that accompanies taking a sweet, simple, and unrefined pleasure in making everyday moments more beautiful, cozy, and unique. Think taking the time to light a candle while snuggling up with a good book, or relishing in the steam wafting up from a cup of tea and breathing it in slowly instead of just chugging it down. It is taking the time to stop and “smell the roses,” even when your stressed, overworked monkey brain is telling you to press fast-forward and rush through life with little blinders on.
I think the coolest thing about this concept of “hygge” is that there is no English word for it (props to the Danes for being extra hip). While it roughly translates to comfort, reassurance, kinship, soothingness, security, happiness, simplicity, cosiness, familiarity, and charm (gotta love da’ thesaurus), it has it’s very own unique aura to it that combines all of these fabulous words into one pretty little package. With an adorable bow on top, obviously.
Perhaps this is why Denmark is considered by many to be the happiest, most joyful country in the world. When you take the time to fully appreciate all of life’s simple pleasures, you are automatically reprogramming your brain to become more thoughtful, content, and happy.
Most of all, I think that the concept of hygge is so special because it hones in on enjoying every single moment and really making the most of life. It is recognizing each and every moment as special and unique, instead of merely letting it pass and fade. Instead of letting each moment pass by without thought, try making a conscious effort to recognize each and every moment as a wondrous miracle of life. Every breath you take should be fully celebrated and appreciated. Like, wow, I am alive. I can feel blood pulsing though my body, I feel my heart beating, I feel oxygen enter my body with each breath I take. I have the capacity to think, to feel, and to love. I am an amazing human.
So – how do I go about adding some hygge into my life?
Glad you asked! Here are some ways to fill your life with charming simplicities that will make you feeling like you’re on holiday in Denmark…
- Host an intimate dinner party just because (be sure to dim the lights and put on background music)
- Serve your drinks in fancy glasses
- Snuggle with your puppy. Or stuffed animal.
- Light some candles and take a bubble bath. While drinking champagne.
- Brew a fresh cup of loose-leaf tea in a fancy china tea cup
- Buy some flowers from your local florist to brighten up your place.
- Make hot cocoa on the stove-top
- Get a book you’ve been wanting to read and put on fuzzy socks, grab a cozy blanket, light some candles, and spend the evening tucked away in your own little magical world
- Start the ritual of lighting incense and doing a 10 min. meditation sesh when you wake up in the morning
- Create a playlist (or use one from Pandora or 8Tracks) that makes you feel the warm & fuzzies
- String up some twinkle lights or put dimmer bulbs in your lamps. All about ‘dat mood lighting.
- Burn a sage stick (it cleanses the air through drawing out harmful bacteria)
- Spend the evening baking cookies or scones
- Take the time to make a hearty, nourishing breakfast when you wake up instead of grabbing a granola bar on your way out the door
- Next time you go to the gym, take 10 min. to enjoy the sauna
- Whether you’re driving your daily commute or walking to class, consciously take some deep breaths and really appreciate your surroundings
- Forget Fifty Shades of Grey… what about Fifty Shades of Blue? The sky is filled with so many fascinating shades of blue, white, and grey that even skilled artists can’t quite capture the beauty of the sky. Don’t even get me started on sunrises or sunsets. But seriously, how is it that the sky can be so dang beautiful yet we rarely take the time to look up at it?
- Throw on a cozy sweater and your comfiest sweatpants to lounge around in
- Take the time to write your friends/family a handwritten note
… etc. etc.
You get the idea! Basically, hygge is anything in which you take the “extra step” to make a moment more charming and special. It is the icing on the cake of your amazing, wonderful life. It is all of the little, special touches that aren’t required… but that transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.