A hygge (pronounced hue-guh) lifestyle is a central part of the Danish culture. It is the idea that one should live their life through eliminating any stress, and taking happiness and pleasure in the small things in life – and fortunately, usually these things are free.
The lexeme ‘hygge’ can be used as a noun or a verb, as well as an adjective: someone can be described as a ‘hyggespreader’, someone who spreads the lifestyle and hygge ideas.
The term derives from Old Norse language to mean comfort or console; this is the source of the English word “hug”. This therefore creates connections of everything associated with the feeling of getting a hug: embrace, warmth, safety, happiness, and closeness. Due to these positive everyday emotions that accompany the hygge lifestyle, it doesn’t require learning the how-to or necessarily buying anything – making it very easy to build and embrace a successful lifestyle around this concept.
Hygge is the reason for economic happiness in Denmark
Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institution in Copenhagen, has studied this cultural concept and is among those who state that Hygge is the reason for economic happiness in Denmark. The Danish city of Copenhagen does not conform to the stereotype of a ‘normal’ city; the prevalence of the hygge lifestyle there means it lacks the busy, stressful vibe, and remains calm and relaxed.
But how can the normal British person live hygge? There are a number of things that you or I can do to ensure that we are finding happiness in the small things we enjoy. Firstly, finding a place to be mindful of your lifestyle is a focal starting point. A “hygge nook” is a Danish place where hygge can take place; it is usually decorated in a way that pleases the individual with little effort and minimal design.
By lighting candles you are more likely to feel relaxed and happy within this place
Secondly, by lighting candles you are more likely to feel relaxed and happy within this place. Whether it is the sweet scents that you enjoy or the tranquility of looking into the tiny, flickering flame, candles can create an ambient environment that many of us can learn to take pleasure in. In Denmark, candles are very popular, with Danes going through more candles than anywhere else in the world – so I’m sure that this is a brilliant way of achieving that stress-free lifestyle we all long for.
The centre of the hygge mood is being relaxed and comfortable, so a perfect way to embrace this lifestyle is to ditch the jeans and replace them with a comfy set of PJs. Especially in the winter, this feeling of comfort can be achieved through warm clothes (that give off the same feeling as a warm hug), perched in a “hygge nook” and reading a book. Similarly, another common hygge activity is singing songs – a common Danish pastime – and releases endorphins that make us feel happy.
By bringing in these Danish pleasures, we will all be able to achieve a perfect hygge lifestyle!
Last modified: 17th March 2020