How to Hygge? 10 Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life
In today’s world, we find ourselves constantly rushing from one thing to the next, blindly grinding through the day.
Most of us don’t even remember the last time we had a chance to pause, be still and enjoy the present moment.
Do you ever wish you had a better connection with yourself the people you care about?
Today, you’re going to learn how to slow down, enjoy the little things in life, and get back in touch with what’s truly important.
Ready? Let’s get started!
What Is Hygge?
Hygge (pronounced /HOO-gah/) is a Danish/Norwegian concept of coziness and kinship.
It’s the art of creating warmth, comfort, and wellbeing through connection and treasuring the moment.
Hygge is about prioritizing what’s important in life.
1. Hygge Foundations.
Hygge is a very personal affair. What makes you happy isn’t always the same for someone else.
Maybe you already enjoy a relaxed lifestyle and always make sure you’re surrounded with things you love.
The goal is to feel like you’re at “home” – a sense of belonging and feeling connected and present.
Nevertheless, a Hygge situation is usually characterized by the following:
Hygge is about appreciating the little things in life. The Nordics tend to be a lot less materialistic than other cultures and that’s because they value connecting with loved ones and experiences over accumulating material things.
Hygge is about slowing down and connecting with ourselves. Slowing down takes some practice. You need to put away your phone and other electronic devices which you may even find it uncomfortable at first. But those moments of silence will help you recharge and reconnect with yourself.
The Hyggeligt Atmosphere.
The hyggeligt atmosphere exudes warmth and coziness. It’s about being relaxed and intimate. You’re present with your thoughts. You’re not worrying about what you need to do the next day. It’s a peaceful and calming environment that you can enjoy alone or with loved ones. Hygge can be planned or spontaneous. There are no rules!
Authenticity is the quality of being real and genuine. It’s about living according to your values and being your true self no matter what the outside world tells you.
Authenticity requires self-awareness. Only when you get in touch with your true self that you can pursue a happy, rich, and fulfilling life.
Make it a habit to take time and reflect. Write down your thoughts and feelings about the things you love and value. Listen to your intuition. You’ll learn and discover new things about yourself as you grow and evolve.
Hygge is about being authentic. You don’t have to worry about how you act or what you wear. There is no need to impress anyone or seek approval. “You’re carefree and at ease, accepting and accepted for who you are, not the things you have.”
Hygge is generous and kind. You give Hygge to your loved ones, and to yourself.
2. The Hyggeligt Home
While we can technically Hygge anywhere, we most often do so at home. Your home should feel comfortable, cozy, and inviting, and should reflect the owner’s personality.
Some people love decorating their own space to the smallest details, while others don’t want to put much energy into it and would rather pursue other interest.
Nevertheless, Hygge is about surrounding yourself with things you love.
Here are some suggestions to make your home more Hygge:
• Remove any excess clutter that no longer serves a function. Donate what you can so that someone else can enjoy your previously loved things.
• Start small. Try adding some scented candles like pine or vanilla.
• Decorate your space with soft texture, whatever feels pleasant against your skin, like knitted throw blankets, shag rugs and fluffy pillows.
• Bring nature indoors. Pick up small plants from your local nursery.
Surrounding yourself with greenery will add Hygge to your home.
• Additionally, decorate with furniture that is made from natural material like wood, stone, and leather.
• A pet can be equally as calming as plants.
• Go for warmer tones when choosing colors for paint or décor. It can be beneficial to learn more about color psychology and how colors affect your mood, and choose accordingly.
• Choose comfortable furniture that has rounded edges rather than straight lines.
• Finally, don’t forget to express yourself. Display your antique book collection, and hang photos of yourself and your loved ones where you’ll notice them every day.
3. Hygge at Work
You can incorporate some coziness even into the workplace. Many of us spend eight or more hours in offices and cubicles, so it only makes sense that our work space should feel more hyggeligt. This will not only boost your happiness, but also improve your focus and help you become more creative.
Keeping in mind what you’ve learned about the hyggeligt home, here are some suggestions to make your work space more Hygge:
• add a cozy lighting to the space by setting a cozy table lamp.
• add personal items you love and that reflect who you are, like family photos.
• Decorate your space with inspiring quotes to motivate you and cheer you up.
• Choose office supplies that are creative and cheerful.
• Add plants to your space.
• Have cozy furniture that will make your space more inviting, especially a comfortable chair.
4. Hyggeligt Attire
Hygge is about feeling comfortable in anything you wear. Nobody cares about what you’re wearing when you’re having a good time so there’s no need to fuss over how you look.
Having a hyggeligt attire is a personal matter. The goal is to be comfortable and cozy in whatever you’re wearing.
5. Hygge Scents
Smells have a great impact on our mood. Smells are also strongly linked to memories. Smelling something familiar makes us remember long forgotten memories.
The smell of a homemade meal can make your home more Hygge, but you don’t have to cook and bake all day long. Scented candles can make your home smell cozy at all times.
You can also use an essential oil diffuser.
6. Tea vs. Coffee
Tea and coffee are both warm and soothing, but they can represent different purposes for many people.
Tea, usually, helps you slow down and symbolizes a late afternoon break, or a part of an evening bedtime ritual.
Coffee, on the other hand, increases your energy and gets you through the day.
Both beverages are Hygge. So whatever your choice is, make preparing and drinking them more Hygge. Choose a beautiful teapot or mug and invest in high-quality coffee or fancy blends of tea.
7. Hygge Sleeping Routines
There’s probably nothing more Hygge than being in your bed in your softest pyjamas and under piles of blankets.
The following are some great ways to make your bedtime routine more Hygge:
• Hang faery lights above your bed, or get a bedside lamp with low-watt lightbulb.
• Take a hot bath or shower.
• Wear soft pyjamas to your bed.
• Use soft and fluffy pillows and blankets.
• Place a fuzzy rag next to your bed.
• Spray your favorite scent or light a scented candle.
• Drink a warm cup of herbal tea.
• Read a good book.
8. Waking Up More Hygge
Hygge can enhance your morning routine and help you start your day relaxed and uplifted.
Here are some great ways to wake up more Hygge:
• Wake up an hour earlier. This will help you slow down your morning rush.
• Practice some yoga stretching to get your muscles ready for the day.
• Put on some fluffy slippers.
• Drink a glass of warm water with lemon slices to get your digestive system going.
• Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast.
• Enjoy every moment and avoid technology and other distractions.
9. Hygge Exercise
Oftentimes hygge is reduced to candles, cake, and cosy furnishings, but for Nordic people, Hygge takes place as much outdoor as indoors.
Nordics enjoy nature and outdoor activities as much as they enjoy being cozy at home. Their active lifestyle is one of the major reasons for their happiness.
In fact, an active lifestyle increases your energy and boosts your immune system. It helps you control your weight gain and improve your sleeping quality and it also improve your emotional and mental wellbeing by reducing stress and anxiety, and boosting your mood and self confidence.
Despite the long nights and cold weather, the Nordic always venture outdoors. They believe that there’s no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing.
They value fresh air over the gym. Whether it was hunting and fishing, or skiing, or biking and hiking, the most important thing is to focus on what your body can do and what you enjoy most.
By remaining active no matter what the weather is like, the Nordics can then treat themselves to those delicious cakes and soft furnishing.
The Benefits of Ecotherapy.
Nature calms you. It allows you to step back and reflect on the very essence of what living is about.
Numerous studies show the healing effect of spending time in nature.
In fact, UK charity Mind and the University of Essex found that time spent in nature:
- Boosts self-esteem
- Helps people with mental health problems return to work
- Improves physical health
- Reduces social isolation
10. Endless Hygge Possibilities
The possibilities to Hygge are endless.
Below is a list of even more ways to make your life more Hygge:
• Explore hyggeligt outdoors like parks, restaurants, coffee shops, etc.
• Have a bonfire with loved ones.
• Plan an intimate, candlelit dinner with loved ones.
• Watch a movie with your family.
• Catch a sunset or sunrise.
• Pick berries or nuts in the countryside.
• Have a picnic in the park with a loved one.
• Read bedtime stories to your child.
• Take walks in the snow at night.
• Rent a cabin with friends.
• Do some yard work.
Hygge is a great way to counteract an overly stuffed lifestyle. It teaches you how to be more intentional about being more present and enjoying the moment. It gives you real joy and strengthens your connections to your loved ones, your home, your planet and yourself.
Did I miss anything?
Now I’d like to hear from you.
Which Hygge ways from today’s post are you going to try first?
Or maybe I didn’t mention one of your favorite Hygge way.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now!
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Portions of this article were adapted from the following resources:
The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living © 2016 by Meik Wiking. All rights reserved.
How to Hygge: Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life © 2017 by Signe Johansen. All rights reserved.
The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge © 2016 by Pia Edberg. All rights reserved.