I had never heard of this word until my beautiful and wise sister-in-law brought it to my attention (I do love my sister in laws – lucky me!). “Hygge” (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a Danish word used when you become aware of a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary, as cosy, charming or special. Now how brilliantly mindful is that!!!!!
You don’t have to learn how to be “Hyggeligt”. You don’t have to change your lifestyle or buy something to get it. You can’t buy a ‘Hygge living room’ and there’s no ‘Hygge foods’ to eat. Just like buying a mindfulness candle or statue of the Buddha doesn’t make you more mindful, being sold something as Hygge is just marketing.
The Danes created Hygge to break up the boring months of long cold nights and very short days. It is the undefinable feeling of finding moments to celebrate or acknowledge and thereby break up the day, months or years. The simple act of a candle glowing with a cup of coffee in the morning or a home cooked evening meal with friends can make a huge difference to one’s spirit.
Hygge only requires consciousness, a certain slowness, and the ability to not just be present – but recognise and enjoy the present. It is synonymous with cosiness, charm, happiness, ‘contentedness’, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, kinship, and simpleness.
By creating simple rituals without effort, the Danes see both the domestic and personal life as an art form and not a drudgery to get away from. They incorporate Hygge into their daily life so it becomes a natural extension rather than a forced and stressful event.
Hygge is just about being aware of a good moment. How Hygge is that?