Mind & Body
Add a Little Hygge to your Holidays
12/2/2017 2:52:13 PM
Hygge


Love, happiness, and cozy contentment are all synonymous with the holiday season. But what if that way of life wasn’t limited to just one month of cheer?

In Denmark, a practice referred to as hygge (HOO-GA) has become a common year-round experience. Consistently ranked the happiest country in the world, Danes credit this culture of hygge as the reason. Dictionaries define hygge as a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. 

Quite simply, hygge means "warm and cozy soul.” Key elements of this practice include blankets, wool socks, hot drinks, candles, and fireplaces. Inanimate qualities for this lifestyle incorporate a sense of humor, kindness, and remembering not to take life too seriously.

However, the concept goes further than mere simple pleasures. Think about the small intimacies you purposely create on a daily basis to make life more bearable or even joyful, such as sharing coffee and pastries with a friend, curling up with a good book, playing games and sharing laughs with your family, snuggling with your pet, or going for a brisk walk outdoors.

Hygge, in a nutshell, is finding the joy and comfort in everyday life throughout the year. This concept is particularly important for those suffering from stress, anxiety, or seasonal affective disorders.

Most of us naturally practice hygge here and there, especially during the holidays. However, Danes intentionally make it a part of their daily ritual. Ultimately, don’t be too hard on yourself or others, relax and connect with friends and loved ones, and create experiences that bring you joy.

If you want more details on how to reach this form of happiness, consider reading Meik Wiking’s "The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living.” Wiking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, created this book to function as a guide to the philosophy of hygge for those of us starting from scratch. He includes tips like what to pack in your hygge "emergency kit” (chocolate!), how the always-on-the-go lifestyle can still squeeze in the experience, and how you can make gratitude and pleasure a part of your daily ritual.

"Focus on your relationships, the atmosphere you spend time in, and allow yourself a break from the demands of life,” he writes in the book.

His book, as well as more than ten others published on the subject this year alone, can be found online and through most retailers.
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