In 2016, the term “hygge” was shortlisted for the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year. This arose as this Danish lifestyle started a craze in the United Kingdom and around the world.
But what is it exactly?
Let’s start with the pronunciation. The Telegraph says it is pronounced as “heurgha,” similar to the sound you make when clearing your throat. Country Living, on the other hand, says it is pronounced as “hoo-ga.” But no matter how you say it, it is vital to note that this is perhaps the reason why the Danish people are among the happiest in the world.
Oxford Dictionaries defines hygge as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” For the Danish people, it is all about appreciating the little things in life, say for example, a cup of coffee, a candlelit dinner or even a warm hug.
“When it comes to understanding hygge, it is about experiences rather than stuff,” Meik Wiking, CEO of the The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, said in an interview. “Danes have been proven to be less materialistic than other cultures – and we appreciate low-cost activities and the simple things in life, like having a coffee and lighting some candles to create a cozy atmosphere.”
This outlook in life has served the Danish people in so many ways. Sick Danes benefit not just from medicines but also from hygge, which can come in the form of a hug or the caring of a family member. The harsh Danish winter is made more bearable by warm tea and hygge, which may mean enjoying a bit of reading or spending time with loved ones. Hygge can also refer to warm and cozy home decorations.
The beauty of hygge is what has made it a hot lifestyle trend. The fascination for hygge started in the UK and it is now trending on social media. Country Living notes that it will be Pinterest’s hottest home décor trends of 2017.
So how can you bring hygge to your life? Here are a few simple tips:
1. Ditch materialism
You don’t need five pairs of shoes to make you happy nor do you need to actively compete with your Facebook friend in the number of countries he/she has visited. Always remember that experiences count more than material things or external accomplishments. Take some time to enjoy dinner with your friends. Swap stories with your husband and family. Take the time to laugh together and be silly together.
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2. KISS – Keep It Simple and Steady
Stop agonizing over the littlest of things. Worrying will only make you older. Also, do not torture yourself with cooking complicated dishes. The Danish way is to just create simple and heartwarming food in the kitchen, to be enjoyed with good company.
3. Put down your gadgets.
Go outside. Enjoy the sun and breathe in the fresh air. It isn’t all that healthy to just stay indoors and tinker with your digital devices and electronic gadgets. Going outdoors will also go a long way towards enhancing your physical and mental health.
4. Be happy.
Being happy is a decision that you can choose to make on a daily basis. Choosing to be happy is good for your mental health and will even make you more productive.
So are you ready to hygge? It’s a very simple philosophy that can help a lot in improving your way of life and something we should definitely strive for.
If you’ve tried this Danish lifestyle philosophy hygge or any other similar life philosophies, we want to know. Please share it with us in the comments below!