Introduction to Hygge for a sense of well-being and contentment

Hygge”, pronounced “hoo-guh,” is a Danish term and is defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” And since the Danes have consistently been identified as the happiest people in the world, the world took notice when “The Little Book of Hygge,” was first published in 2016. The book, written by Meik Wiking, the C.E.O. of a Copenhagen think tank called the Happiness Research Institute quickly became a best seller.

What exactly is hygge?

Hygge has been called everything from “the art of creating intimacy,” to “coziness of the soul,” and even, “cocoa by candlelight.” In his book, Wiking explains that you know hygge when you feel it, but some of the key ingredients are togetherness, relaxation, indulgence, presence, and comfort. The true essence of hygge is the pursuit of everyday happiness and is basically like a hug, just without the physical touch,” he says. Wiking believes the Danes generally do not equate wealth with well-being and focus on spending quality time with friends and family. 

Practicing hygge is actually easy to do as long as you put yourself first. There is little effort or money involved. It’s simply about appreciating the simple pleasures in life. 

The book suggests hanging a hygge manifesto on the refrigerator as a reminder to practice hygge every day.

Create the perfect hygge environment.

1- Light candles everywhere. When Danes are asked what they most associate with hygge, 85 percent will say candles. They fill their homes, businesses and classrooms with lit candles.

2- Have a comfortable blanket.

3- Have a comfortable pair of pants, you know, the pair of pants you would never wear in public but are your favorite. The Danes call this a pair of hyggebusker.

4- Have a pair of ugly woolen hygge socks – a vital feature of hygge.

5- Create a hygge nook or hyggekrog – a place to snuggle up in a blanket with a book and a cup of tea.

How to have a hygge day

1- Set aside time where you can focus on your simple pleasures. You should not feel rushed or hurried.

2- Dress yourself in your comfiest socks, pants, and sweater.

3- Put some food along with fragrant herbs in your slow cooker and give it all day to cook while you read a good book, have some tea, and enjoy the aroma of the home cooked meal.

4- Play games with others.

5- Enjoy your food mindfully. In other words, savor every bite of food without care as to whether or not it’s on your “diet”. 

6- Cuddle with a person, pet, pillow, or blanket and watch a movie.

Remember, the point of hygge is that you feel present and and spent quality time with yourself or others.

I hope you have a hygge kind of day.