With stress levels rising in many countries around the world, how have the Danes managed to top the polls as the happiest people on the planet? One of the major reasons is attributed to Hygge; but what is it?
Hygge (pronounced Hue-Guh) is a Danish word which is used to describe a special feeling or moment. There is no translatable or equivalent word in the English language, however it is frequently associated with a feeling of cosiness and comfort.
Originally a Norwegian term for well-being, it’s now been developed into a way of living. Allowing the individual to take time for themselves, taking a moment to enjoy the little things many overlook, such as reading a good book by an open fire, a candle lit diner with your partner or just time alone in a warm bath.
It sounds a very simple concept but with life taking over sometimes, it is often hard to allow yourself the time for such small and inexpensive luxuries. There are, however, many ways Hygge can be achieved within your own home; just follow our tips here and you could be on your way to living a more Hygge way of life!
Tip 1 – Keep it simple Try to create a calm and peaceful space within your home by avoiding garish colour schemes and by decluttering. However, you don’t need to overhaul your interior to enjoy the feeling Hygge brings. Making simple changes to your lifestyle can have the same desired effect; take the time to relax with a cup of your favourite coffee while listening to your long forgotten favourite songs or find space to put your favourite photographs on the wall. Just remember to take the time to enjoy these simple pleasures.
Tip 2 – Add more textures Adding a range of different textures is a great way to inject Hygge into your home. This can be done by investing in cosy throws and pillows and contrasting that by adding more natural materials, such as wood and leather. You do not have to be an interior designer to do this: just by adding the different textures and colours you love and layering them throughout your home, you will be creating a Hygge space.
Tip 3 – Invest in candles The Danes light more candles per person, than anywhere else in Europe, with the inviting and warm glow candles bring to the home it’s hardly surprising. So, whether scented or unscented, investing in candles for your home is a great way to achieve Hygge. The Danish brand Skandinavisk have even developed their own Hygge fragrance – including brewed tea, baked strawberry cake, rose petals and wild mint. There are many other brands available with a range of fragrances, so choose one that means something to you; light the candle and fill your home with a warm and welcoming scent.
Tip 4 – Spend more time with family and friends One of the most important parts of Hygge is to spend more quality time with your nearest and dearest. It shouldn’t be a formal environment, so get together for a catch up on the sofa, with a cup of tea or a bottle of wine and some good home cooked grub. With our lifestyles often demanding so much of our time, friends and family can sometimes take a back seat. However, taking time out to enjoy the company of those close to you is a vital piece of living a Hygge lifestyle.
Tip 5 – Take up a hobby, new or old Taking up a new hobby or revisiting an old one within the home, allows you to disconnect from the stresses of day to day life and refocus the mind. Turn the TV off, put your phone on silent and take the time to enjoy something new.
Painting, knitting or sewing can be a calming hobby to take up and your creativity may result in some additional decorations for your house! Not only will they be beautiful, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing you took the time to create something yourself.
We are all guilty of embracing our busy lives and putting off the simple pleasures, stating we don’t have time for ourselves. If anything, Hygge teaches us that we should make the time to relax and have a few moments every day to enjoy ourselves our environment and spend time with those who are important to us. Hopefully, by thinking about some of the simple ways the Danes enjoy their time, we can all become less stressed and much happier in ourselves.
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