By now you may have heard of HYGGE. It is the Danish practice of pursuing a feeling of comfort and happiness as you go about your everyday life. Pronounced “hoo-ga”, it’s a feeling of coziness deep within your soul, and believe it or not, it’s been practiced by Danes and other soulful individuals for centuries.
Hygge is about creating a warm and welcoming environment and ambience, like enjoying the preparation and consumption of comforting food, and spending quality time with friends and family. The practice is not just limited to those specific activities, it encompasses the opportunity to indulge in all ones’ senses-- smell, taste, touch, sound, sight. Think tactile feelings like cozy blankets and sweaters, softness like snuggling a kitten, puppy, child, or other loved one. Sensory like kneading dough with your hands, shaping it and baking it into bread, smothering the bread with warm, melty butter or honey, and letting the whole concoction melt on your tongue (all the while comforting your belly). And plants! Plants bring a sense of the outdoors inside, feeling like you’re sitting in a lush garden or tropical jungle, an entwined and branchy forest. Hygge encapsulates a lot of territory, and it’s up to you how you will bring that cozy comfort into your everyday activities.
Try these practices to add a little Hygge into your life:
- Movie night + loved one + hot cocoa (or popcorn) + candle
- Book + blanket + cozy nook + glass of wine
- Baking ingredients + heirloom cookware + music + kitchen
- Window perch + moonlight + soft prayer/mantras + peacefulness
- Blanket + grassy area + friend + frisbee + picnic basket + fun
- Table + Board games + kids or friends + snacks + laughter
Hygge is about focusing on the little things that bring you joy. There is no need to spend a ton of money. Simply savor your everyday life pleasures and be in the moment. Be present. In the present moment there is always plenty of time. Hygge is born from timeless moments. Want to extend your life? Sure, a vitamin or two might help. But for those of you who know that a long life is not measured by years but by moments savored, hygge is for you.