WTF is hygge?

Hygge is so many things, it’s a feeling, an emotion, an experience.  It can mean different things for different people but the most important thing that hygge is, is acknowledging the simple, special moments that nourish.  Consider it a soul cleanse, taking the time to reflect on what used to bring you the simple joys before life’s stressors came in and took away from that. Hygge is the happiness and the comfort that the littlest things can create – rather it the relaxation that overcomes you as the first drops of morning coffee hit the pot, enveloping your home with the warm aroma of roasted beans or laying down a blanket on the soft, untouched white sands, your mind falling into the hypnotizing rhythms of the waves crashing against the shore.

Hygge has been practiced by the Danish for years – which makes sense considering they are one of the happiest countries in the world – and the movement is making its way towards the States. Like many other wellness trends, there are fades; they come and go - people forget they exist, they waste a bunch of money on new equipment or foods that are never used, most of which collects dust in the closest, and in a few weeks it’s over with (think Vegan).  Hygge is completely different – to live a hygge lifestyle doesn’t require spending extra money or making major changes in your lifestyle. 

The whole idea of hygge is recognizing the moment and enjoying it. The first step to being hygge is to be present. That cell phone that’s glued to your hand: put it in your pocket, look up at what’s around you; the people, the scenery, the smells – there is so much that we miss with our heads in our phones. How is it possible to be present in the moment when you are emerged in situations that are completely outside of it? Ever hear that saying ‘Stop and smell the roses’? This is exactly what you can do to bring yourself into the present. Follow these steps below:

  1. Stop & Close your eyes
  2. Take a deep breath, exhale, and open your eyes
  3. You have just became present in the moment - now look around – find the calm in the current situation.  What brings you pleasure in your this environment? What takes away the stressors that are currently bothering you? What makes you feel secure? And most importantly, what brings you happiness? All of the answers you have are what bring you hygge.

The best part about hygge is that you can’t really do hygge wrong! The reason is because everyone finds comfort, coziness, security, and happiness in different ways.  What one person might consider cozy, another person might not.  To some, a crackling fireplace with a warm cup of hot cocoa & comfortable pair of slippers is hygge while for another it might be a long bicycle ride, wind blowing, with the sun beating down on your skin that relieves the stress – there is no wrong answer. 

Hygge can be best enjoyed with a group of friends, laughter and togetherness or it can be alone – reflecting and remembering.  It is about the feeling of intimacy – A large factor that is important in the art of hygge is the home - consider hygge the less complicated version of fung shei. A hygge home is inviting, intimate, secure, and most important, comfortable:  think lots of candles, even more baked goods, and definitely a drawer full of cozies (sweaters, slippers, blankets).

Hygge is not meant to be complicated and it’s defiantly not meant to bring more stress into your life.  You never have to worry about doing something ‘wrong’ when you are living the hygge life – as long as you feel right – happy, safe, secure, comfortable – then you have mastered the art of being a hyggi (a person who practices hygge)!