Hygge: The Danish Recipe For A Happy Life
While the world constantly pursues happiness, the Danish are happily living it with Hygge; their own recipe for happiness or rather, cosiness! And why not? Isn't feeling cosy always a happy experience? Surprisingly, cosines in merely one of the many definitions of Hygge and the Danish seem to have deciphered them all.
Now, before you hurry to pen down tips and instructions, you must know. Hygge is not something that can be written down. It is different for every person.
What is Hygge?
The term comes from a Norwegian word meaning wellbeing, and seems to have first appeared in Danish writing in the 19th Century and has since evolved into the cultural idea known in Denmark today. To give you a jumpstart, Hygge, roughly pronounced as “hue-gah”, “hhyooguh”, “hu-gaah” and anything that sounds similar, is more about simply seeking and deriving immense pleasure in everyday moments that would otherwise look ordinary. It is finding sense in being at a place, among certain people and the warmth and assurance that our surroundings provide. For the Danish, the ordinary is a privilege. You find yourself in a moment, you realise how precious it is and you enjoy it blissfully – that's Hygge.
So, while the world still debates and tries its best to describe the origin, we are content with what Meik Wiking, chief executive officer of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, wrote down in his book titled The Little Book of Hygge, that the term can only be felt, not spelt. Righty put, it is beyond materials and luxuries alone.
Simply getting Hyggelit
In true sense, getting Hyggelit is nearer than you could imagine. It is simply anything that fills you up with a deep sense of belonging and has a mesmerising effect on the body, mind and soul. Anything, and everything that is cosy, sweet, entices, is nostalgic, bewitching, alluring and special, can turn you Hyggelit. You just need to have the urge.
Hygge situations and places
Hygge can be connected with many situations that are pleasant and have a nostalgic effect. For instance, there can be hygge-walks, hygge-chats, hygge-corners, hygge-sights and hygge-all. It can be about anything and everything. So, there can be hyggelig people, hyggelig towns, hyggelig roads and so on. In a broader sense, you can connect everything that has been your personal favourite and still brings happy and positive feelings to you.
Well, though business have been producing their versions of Hygge décor, the truth is that you cannot really buy Hygge décor. It isn't really about buying or adopting anything that can make you hyggelit. On the contrary, you only buy things and materials or simply cuddle close to those that actually make you feel so. Still, there are some things that tend to work for most, like warm and intimate settings, lack of uniform décor, cheery wallpapers, scented candles, books, warm and fluffy rugs, knit cushions, gadget-free zones. In furniture, warm wooden flooring and neat and dainty objects work well. For some, plants also work wonders.
Discover you own Hygge
Well, you should have realised by now that Hygge is more about feelings and not materials. It doesn't matter which part of the globe you are from, or how rich or poor you are ― you can create your own Hygge, or rather, identify it. Begin with identifying what makes you feel so very much at home, the things and small tasks that make you feel at ease, the aspects that contribute to your well-being, the activities that help you get over your blues and fill you up with newfound hope.
Ponder on moments of contentment, communion with people and places that encourage and console, intimacy and connection with the moment at hand.
Remember, Hygge cannot be taught or bought, only discovered.