Late last year, I came across ‘hygge’. Hmmm…I’m sure you’ve heard of it, because it’s quite the word being talked about. I’ve been fascinated with it ever since.
“Hygge,” a Danish term defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Pronounced “hue-guh,” the word is said to have no direct translation in English, though “cozy” comes close. It derives from a sixteenth-century Norwegian term, hugga, meaning “to comfort” or “to console,” which is related to the English word “hug.” Associated with relaxation, indulgence, and gratitude, hygge has long been considered a part of the Danish national character. – From The New Yorker
Just recently I finished reading Emily Parker’s Hygge: 25 Secrets From The Danish Art of Happiness, Getting Cozy And Living Well. While the book could have been better written, I would like to share a bit of the blurb with you.
Denmark consistently ranks as the happiest country on the planet. Reason? One word (many emotions) – hygge .
Hygge is the fine art of creating comfort, intimacy and coziness to warm your soul. It is seeking pleasure from things that soothe the spirit.
Hygge is more a feeling than anything else. It is tucking into pots of delicious warm food with friends or cuddling up on a cushy sofa with a loved one. How about sitting by the fireplace with hot cup of cocoa and enjoying crisp mornings with your favorite book in hand? In its truest sense, hygge is comfort of the soul.
Sounds delicious, does it not?
I’ve also read and much preferred Pia Edberg’s, The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge. There is one passage in the book that sums up the definition of hygge quite well:
Hygge is a very personal and individual thing, and what makes you happy compared to someone else isn’t always the same. The goal however, is to feel like you’re at “home”— safe, happy, connected, and present. Hygge is as much an internal (emotional/ psychological) phenomenon as it is external (in the way we behave and the things that we do).
Some of the activities she suggests for a more cozy life are making your own bread, reading a good book, drinking tea, writing letters, printing your pictures to put into actual albums, taking a walk, and keeping a gratitude journal.
I realize that the hygge way is not to foreign a concept for me!
Have you heard of hygge before? Do you practice it?
Image of word cloud for Hygge from Shutterstock