Maybe you’re heard of hygge before, or maybe you haven’t. Maybe you’re like me and found the word creeping up on you within the last year. When I first started seeing the word in book titles and articles everywhere I had no clue what it meant. I didn’t know why I needed to know what it meant. I didn’t even know how to pronounce it. But curiosity got the best of me and I decided it find out the meaning behind the interesting word. I’m so glad I did because it’s a concept I‘m incorporating into my life and home this year.
What is hygge?
We’ve all heard that the Danes are the happiest people in the world and their secret very well could be hygge. Hygge, pronounced “hoo-guh”, is a Danish term to describe taking pleasure in everyday, ordinary moments to achieve contentment in life. It means creating a warm atmosphere to enjoy life with family and friends. While there isn’t an English word with the same meaning, coziness and contentment are pretty close. I could use some coziness and contentment in my daily life. How about you?
What hygge is NOT is warm throws, cups of cocoa and lots and lots of candles. Well, it could be, if that is what makes you happy and comfortable. What I want to point out is that while hygge has been commercialized to sell products that can make your home cozy, it’s not really about material possessions. Hygge is a state of mind. It’s about appreciating life and living in the moment. It’s about relaxation and gratitude. It’s about embracing your life for what it is and enjoying every moment. It’s about celebrating ordinary moments like they’re extraordinary.
So, how do we incorporate the concept of hygge into our daily lives?
Four Ways to Incorporate Hygge Into Your Life
One way we can incorporate hygge and contentment into our daily lives is by developing an attitude of gratitude. While keeping a gratitude journal is one way to express your thankfulness, achieving hygge through gratitude is deeper than that. It’s easy to be thankful and express gratitude for the good things in our lives, but what about the things we’re NOT happy about?
We must change our perspective so that we can look at the glass half full instead of half empty. Instead of “I HAVE to go to work today”, think “I GET to go to work today.” Instead of “I HAVE to buy groceries today”, think “I GET to buy groceries today.”
When we learn to appreciate even the tasks we don’t want to do or feel we don’t have time to do we have achieved true contentment. We have learned to turn ordinary tasks into an opportunity of gratefulness. That’s hygge.
Another way we can embrace hygge into our daily lives is through living a life of simplicity. You know what they say…less is more. When we strive for simplicity when it comes to commitments, obligations and activities in our lives, we free up time for what matters most. It’s a concept I’ve been working on in my life over the last year and it’s proven itself true in my life. The less I have on my plate the more time I have to appreciate what I do have on my plate. I have less to worry or stress about and my life feels uncluttered. It’s a great feeling!
When it comes to the home, embracing simplicity means getting rid of the excess clutter. Purge your home of any items you truly don’t need that are simply taking up space. Get rid of the items that don’t bring you joy and surround yourself only with those things that do.
The fastest way to contentment is to relax a little. I realized this was an area of my life where I was lacking. I made some changes and I can’t describe how it’s made my life better. I’m happier, less stressed, more rested, all because I’ve taken time out to relax and enjoy life more. Find out what it is that makes you feel cozy, comfortable and relaxed at home and devote time daily or weekly to spending time doing what you love. Then create areas in your home when you can truly relax. Whether it’s a comfortable reading area, a creative craft space or a cozy breakfast nook, make spaces in your home where you can relax and do the things you love.
Another way to create hygge in your life is to unplug. Yes, that means put down the remote, your cell phone or other electronic devices so you can truly connect with your family. Enjoy the time you have together, truly enjoying one another’s company. Talk, laugh, play games, whatever brings you closer together. These moments won’t last forever so take time to cherish them instead of letting them buzz by without any quality time. Trust me, you will never regret it.