Hygge is one of my favorite words, and it has taken the world of internet by storm. Bloggers and Pinterest are celebrating ‘hyggeness’ by fun, charming and relaxing images.
Hygge is a Danish concept and is defined by Oxford dictionary as a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.
Denmark is a small nation with the population of around 6 million and is ranked first in the World Happiness Report.
Apart from freedom, equality under the law, gender equality, income and social support from state and trust in institutions, Danish take lot of pride in their mother tongue and culture. The happiest people in the world enjoy ‘hygge’ as a unique and easy way of being together with friends and family in a relaxed atmosphere.
Hygge is a soulful word and is much more than any dictionary can define.
As Danish have cold, long and dark winters, they create a cozy atmosphere inside to enjoy the festivities and Christmas.
Candles, cake, chocolate, coffee, blankets, fireplace, woolen scarves, flowers, cushions, food on the table all symbolize hygge.
Hygge is nothing fancy, expensive or grand. It’s about the celebrating small things in life. It is about making life beautiful and warm by doing pretty little things. It has often been accused as a symbol of prosperity, sophistication and for people with certain level of income. In my perspective, hygge is a simple philosophy and way of life. It is about disconnecting with the demands of a routine and finding some meaning in mechanical experiences.
Sipping a cup of coffee with a dash of cinnamon or enjoying a piece of dark chocolate with your friends is hygge. Lighting a candle and having a soulful home cooked meal with your family is hygge.
Nothing quite compares to the comforting abilities of a piping hot dinner or a batch of cookies fresh from the oven. Baking or cooking on a gloomy evening is hygge and will warm you from inside out.
Hygge is about being relaxed, taking time, being present in the moment. To practice, hygge is to be kind, compassionate and gracious to each other and oneself. It is about being positive and feel splendid about little things in life. It helps in developing positive relationships with your friends, family, and co-workers. It is an opportunity to reflect on their day to day activities and build lasting memories and experiences. It is about embracing smaller pleasures in life.
Hygge can be done in your office or at home. In fact, it has become much in demand home decorating trend. Just cleaning your office desk and a small plant in a cup could be hygge. You can add a little plant on your desk. Watching the plant grow, can be a silent meditation.
Instead of partying, watching a movie with your woolen socks on or reading a book will instantly calm your mind. Watch a sunset or sunrise and watch your stress melting away.
You can practice it every day and in any part of the world. It is about not following a strict routine and keeping a checklist. It is about finding joy and pleasure in what you do.
Though winter is the most hygge time of year, it can be done in any season. Going on a hiking trip, relaxing under a tree on a hot sunny day will make you happy. Can there be a more significant joy than jumping in a puddle of water?
In my perspective, it is taking a baby step towards spirituality.