Hygge Your Way to Happiness

A Danish Lesson On Being Present

Photo by Allison Christine on Unsplash

Hygge is a Danish concept that seems to be catching on across the globe. It proposes choosing to experience the “moments” more often in your life. Well, more than a moment. If you do it the Hygge way, it’s more like an explosion of conscious experiences.

So, what is this Hygge lifestyle, and how can practicing it lead to happiness?

HY What?

Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) is defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or wellbeing, regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture.”

Hygge is believed to have originated from a Norwegian word, “Well-being.” Some people also believe that Hygge is loosely connected to “Hug.” These meanings correlate with the concept of Hygge which is a lifestyle practice dedicated to enjoying simple things. Hygge challenges you to gain your wellbeing, comfort, and relaxation from the simplest of life’s pleasures such as food, home, your loved ones, and nature.

Can Hygge Make You Feel Happier?
Yes, it can, and Denmark can prove it! According to the 2017 World Happiness Report, Denmark is one of the world’s happiest nations. This is because Hygge teaches people to focus on and generate positive emotions. These emotions lead to your overall well-being. So it is no surprise that Hygge is a part of Denmark’s national consciousness and interests to others worldwide.

Hygge Teaches Us to Connect with Nature
Being in nature is good for you. We all know that. There is something about breathing in pure untainted air that calms the spirit. You can’t quite put it into words, but it’s there. Nature makes us feel happier and healthier.

Hygge encourages you to experience the serenity of the outdoors throughout the year. This means picnics, camping, hiking, and skiing. Hiking and outdoor fitness are top 2022 Wellness Trends, one that I’m excited to try.

Connecting with Friends and Family Makes You Happy
Strong social bonds are important and affect your level of happiness. You need that intimate interaction with family and friends. Hygge helps to strengthen these bonds. One of its epitomes is communing with friends and family. These moments don’t have to be something big. It could be as little as sharing a simple homemade meal.

Hygge also suggests helping and getting involved in the community. For example, joining sports clubs, book groups, and other activities helps to provide a sense of belonging, which leads to more happiness.

Be Happy by Learning to Slow Down, Be Present, and Focus on The Moment
Moments that can classify as Hygge are distinct. For Hygge, everyone must be genuinely present, focusing on what is happening at that moment alone. We are the happiest when we can concentrate and are present—hygge advocates for this kind of mindfulness.

Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

Be Happy by Being Kind to Yourself and Others
While Hygge advocates for community bonding and doing good to feel good, it also prioritizes self-care. Hygge lets you permit yourself to do what you need, to feel good. When life’s pressures are too much, Hygge says take a break and find pleasure in your break. There is no need to feel like it’s lazy or inconsequential. Those moments spent napping, reading a book, or lingering over your coffee count. You shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

Being Happy by Practicing Gratitude
We all need to take the time to acknowledge the great things in our life. Savor every moment and don’t take it for granted — hygge advocates practicing gratitude as often as possible. When you’re thankful for the things you have, you’ll feel more optimistic. This will also snowball into you taking better care of yourself and your relationships.

So What’s Next?
Hygge leads to more happiness by teaching you to focus on the little things. The small pleasures that you get to enjoy during your day, as a result, will lead to improved happiness and fulfillment. Want to join me in giving it a try? I’ll be practicing Hygge over the next few months. Anything that can quell my anxiety deserves a chance.

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For more self-care tidbits on how to live a balanced life, visit www.staeboom.com.



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Shaunte Young

Shaunte Young

Self-Care Advocate. Nonprofit Hero. Writer. Follow me on STAEBOOM.com