I have seen, as surely most of us have, the flood of books about and regarding the Danish concept🇩🇰 of Hygge. I just wanted to touch base regarding my view over the idea.
Hygge is a Danish word that could be best translated into English as coziness, feeling happy and calm. But hygge I believe is a way of thinking and a way of interacting with the world around us.
That is hygge is making sure that your surroundings are a peaceful calm environment that allows you to enjoy whatever you’re doing. Most iconic of course is the use of candles that help give a feeling of warmth and coziness. I believe that they do work as they allow a sense of calm to fill the room, even if they have or don’t have any fragrance.
The word is found in Norwegian 🇳🇴 as well, but the Danes have made it known to the world. The Swedes 🇸🇪 have a similar concept, lagom, which means not too much, not too little, but the right amount. That is to make sure that you don’t overdo anything, or don’t get too stressed up. Moderation in all aspects is thought to provide a sense of contentment as you don’t lack something, not do you overdo anything.
Going back to the Danish hygge concept, or the hyggelig feeling I believe it’s important to look at how Danes look at life. This has to so with the many times Denmark has been in the top of the happiest countries on Earth. It’s about how you look at your life. And how you can make the best of it.
Let’s take for example the moment when you get an apartment, with X number of rooms and Y space. As long as you will be happy with that space and make the best of it, you will be very happy with your apartment. The second you start thinking that another room would be nice, the feeling you had when you first moved in fades away.
What I understood from the Danish system is that as long as you enjoy the things you have you will, of course, be happy. But that is not something that needs to be understood as complacency. The fact that you are happy with the present allows you to actually enjoy it. Why long for something more, when you are happy already.
All in all
Hygge means therefore anything that makes you happy and allow you to enjoy the current situation. It can be a friendly chat with an old friend. Or a cup of warm cocoa or tea on a rainy day. Maybe having fun around the fire on a warm summer night. Even reading a book having you favourite fragrance candle nearby. Hygge is coziness in the little things.
This type of philosophy is found all across Scandinavia. That is of course why all of the countries up north have been in the top most happy places on earth for many years. Even if the weather is terrible they have a saying: There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. Again taking whatever life throws at you and making the best you can out of it.
I believe that if we include a little moment of hygge in our lives every day. We can for sure increase the level of happiness. And as long as hygge is not a chore (not that it could be) we’re safe.
So go ahead and get some candles, prepare the warm cocoa. Don’t forget to get your favourite book and enjoy a hyggelig evening.