I’ve just finished reading The Little Book of Hygge by Miek Wiking which is all about hygge or ‘hoo-ga’ is its proper pronunciation.
Miek Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen which studies happiness and he thinks hygge might just be the magic ingredient that we are all missing. After reading the book, I think he might actually be right! I am totally in love with the whole concept. So much so that 2017 is the year of hygge for me! That is my word for 2017.
The Danes continually top the polls as the happiest nation and hygge is the reason according to the book, or one of the main reasons anyway in conjunction with the standard of living and social system over there. Hygge is more of a feeling than a word. It’s like that Winne the Pooh scene – Pigglet: “How do you spell hygge?”, Pooh: “You don’t spell it, you feel it!” (which is just as well as the spelling looks nothing like it sounds!)
It’s all about feeling good which is why I instantly loved the concept as fits in nicely with my message and with Desire Mapping. It’s a mixture of feeling safe, cosy, connected and also feeling pleasure in the moment.
Some examples that are very hygge are Christmas Day (especially if it’s snowing outside!), sitting in your warmest PJ’s reading a book and drinking tea, eating cake on a comfy couch in a small cafe, having a nice long lie in with your partner at the weekends with breakfast in bed, sitting in front of an open fire drinking red wine and eating your favourite chocolates or anything that invokes those feelings of comfort and cosiness in you.
The manifesto for living a hygge life is:-
1. Atmosphere. Think homely, inviting, dim lighting, candles, blankets and cushions (lots of!) and a fire. When I finally get around to purchasing a house, the hygge atmosphere will definitely be a key feature!
2. Presence. Hygge is about enjoying the moment and being fully present. Most of us are up in our heads and not even present most of the time as our minds are mulling over the past or projecting into the future. We could definitively all be a bit more present and mindful in our lives. There would also be no mindless phone scrolling as part of hygge. Phones down and just soak in the moment!
3. Pleasure. Yes you can have your cake and eat it in hygge! Naughty foods are good if they are enjoyed fully and guilt free. Hygge is all about good food that makes your tastebuds tingle. Home cooked is the order of the day.
4. Equality. Leave your ego at the door and embrace all as equal. Nuff said!
5. Gratitude. This practice turns what you have into enough. It’s a well known tool for a happier life. Practice gratitude as often as you can, it’s the hygge way!
6. Harmony. A big part of hygge is being in harmony with each other and nature. We are all connected after all! Being out in nature and using products and tools that are as close to nature as possible is hygge as is understanding that nature is not separate from us but a part of us.
7. Comfort is top priority! Pull out your favourite cosiest lounging gear and get comfy. It’s also about being comfy in your surroundings and with the company you are in.
8. No drama. Again hygge is all about ease and simplicity so leave your heated discussions about politics and religion for another day!
9. Connection. Being together with your tribe and feeling a sense of belonging is another key ingredient. In today’s society community seems to be all but lost and loneliness and isolation is a modern day epidemic. Many happiness studies have correlated your level of happiness with the quality of your social relationships. We are social beings and need community to survive.
10. Shelter. Feeling like you are home is pure hygge. We all know that feeling well! It’s also about safety, security and taking sanctuary from the storm. Sitting cosy indoors while the wind howls outside is very hygge!
For me hygge is all about going back to simplicity and to the things that matter most in life. It’s about slowing down and creating beautiful moments to savour and enjoy with your friends and loved ones. It’s about togetherness and living your most pleasurable and feel good life and doing the things that make you happy. Perhaps if we all had more hygge, the world would indeed be a happier place.
So how could you invite more of the above concepts into your life? The books will give you lots of practical examples and ideas and is a great place to start to introduce hygge into your life if you like the sound of it!
Give it a read and let me know what you think!