Say goodbye to those wintertime blues! Start feeling happier and healthier by embracing the Danish concept of HYGGE.
Growing up in the northeast, winters have always been something I have dreaded as an adult. Mostly due to fearing a season of illness and hating the dark cold days. However, on my journey to a simple more mindful life, I stumbled upon an article about changing our thoughts about wintertime and learning how to love this cold season. The article even took it a step further and suggested that we actually look forward to winter! This was literally life changing for me. I started to enjoy the quiet and simple moments of winter by embracing the happy, cozy concept of Hygge.
What is Hygge?
So what exactly is Hygge? Hygge is defined as “a quality of coziness” that exudes a feeling of well-being. Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word and is said to be a defining characteristic of Danish culture.
According to Wikipedia it is also speculated that hygge might originate from the word hug. Hug comes from the 1560’s word hugge, which as you can see closely resembles hygge. If this is true, then one could imagine hygge as a warm, cozy embrace that you do not want to let go of or end.
The principles of hygge are simple. Cozy, warm vibes filled with candles, warm drinks and sweet treats. Combine this with a crackling fire, soft blankets and a few friends and you have achieved hygge.
Why Hygge is the Secret to Happiness
You may now be wondering, how does candles and blankets make me happier and healthier. Great question and I’m so glad you asked!
Hygge is truly more of a mindset shift than anything else. Instead of dreading the dark and cold days of winter, you actually create an atmosphere where you look forward to the quiet and slower days of winter. The reason you become happier is by allowing yourself to indulge in the simplicity of the season. Cherish the laughter and joy of getting together with a small group of friends and/or family. Savor the hearty smells of slow cooked meals and warm drinks. Cozy up next to a crackling fire or a room light up with soft lights and unscented candles. Snuggle into your soft, woolen socks, sit back and enjoy just being present and mindful.
Part of the reason you will feel happier is that you let go of the worries of yesterday or tomorrow and you let yourself be present and comforted by warm food, drinks and great company. Hygge gives you a reason to look forward to less plans and crazy busy nights. You begin to slow down and simply enjoy being mindful and present with close friends and loved ones.
Bringing Hygge into your Home
To bring hygge into your home is the equivalent of adding a dash of cozy to your space and a feeling of pure joy and comfort. It is actually easier than you may think!
Start by filling the rooms in your home with soft, cozy blankets and lots of warm lighting. Candles are a must but try to embrace unscented candles instead of filling rooms with two many different scents. The candles are more about ambiance and creating soft, warm lighting.
Next, fill your home with the scents of warm foods and drinks as well as delicious treats and cakes. Try mulled wine or pour yourself another cup of coffee!
Another key element to bringing hygge into your home is incorporating plants into your decor. Bringing the outdoors in is very hygge. For tips on how to decorate with plants indoors, check out one of my previous blog posts for inspiration here.
6 Tips for Bringing Hygge into your Home
- Candles: fill rooms with lots of unscented candles. Unscented is key!
- Small gatherings: get cozy with friends and family, but in small group settings.
- Warm drinks: cozy up with some warm mulled wine and lots of coffee.
- Fireplace: nothing is more Hygge than sitting next to a crackling fire, with some warm mulled wine, amongst a few friends.
- Sweet treats: enjoy some cake or sweet desserts.
- Warm lighting: bright lights are the opposite of Hygge.
How to Hygge Must Read BOOKS
If I have piqued your interest in hygge and you are itching to learn more, then you must read The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by, Meik Wiking. As the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, Meik Wiking is the guru of hygge. His book reviews all aspects of hygge as well as how to practice hygge all year long.
Here are some other great HYGGE reads:
- Hygge: the Danish Art of Happiness by Marie Tourell Soderberg
- How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life by Signe Johansen
- The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort and Connection by Louisa Thomsen Brits