Close your eyes and imagine the feeling you would have as a fire crackles warmly in the hearth, a hand-knit throw covers your knees, and your hands are wrapped around a cup of cocoa topped by three fluffy marshmallows while you share the best parts of your day with someone special.
It’s almost tangible, right?
Well, the Scandinavians have a word to specifically describe that feeling: hygge. Pronounced HOO-ga, it originates from a Danish word meaning to give comfort or joy. It’s also believed to evolve most appropriately from the English word ‘hug.’
Hygge has been especially embraced – pun intended – as a way of life by the people of Denmark. More than just seeking out simple pleasures, it’s a dedicated mindset of creating a convivial atmosphere of contentment, as well as sharing that feeling with people in your life in order to further elevate the hygge factor. In fact, the Danes take it so seriously there is a whole page and documentary series on their national tourism website explaining and encouraging hygge.
This growing obsession with the art of being cozy began to take hold in the late 20th Century and has since spawned numerous articles, videos and popular books such as The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking. In recent years, this contentment phenomenon has crossed the ocean and endeared itself to American culture. The Broadway musical, Frozen, features a song called Hygge about being comfortable, and you can’t go online without seeing lifestyle influencers infusing a sense of wellbeing and coziness into food, fashion and design.
Winter is the perfect time of year for hygge. It is simmering in a glass of mulled wine while classical music plays in the next room. It is knit into your favorite fuzzy socks and floats invisibly on the smoke of a bergamot scented candle. While you can absolutely achieve the sense of contentment while enjoying your own company, the Nordics believe it’s best experienced when shared with loved ones.
Free university and healthcare notwithstanding, there’s a good reason why the Scandinavian people are some of the happiest souls in the world. But if relocating isn’t in your future you can still live a harmonious life with intention. Turn off those digital distractions for the afternoon, don your coziest cardigan, and go visit a bakery or a bookstore and breathe in that heavenly hygge. It’s good for the soul.
Source: DLP Marketing