Hygge and Soul
A few years ago, I stumbled across a little book in an airport called “The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish word that describes the concept of an achieved comfort and coziness. Because English does not have just one word that articulates this feeling, I have done my best to adopt hygge into my own life in its authentic form. The Danish believe in indulging and acting in a manner that creates hygge. This concept is rooted in tangible things that produce physical sensations that impact the reward center of the brain by producing oxytocin and dopamine. These chemicals are produced by enjoyable stimuli related to being satisfied in relationships, socializing, and in a physical space.
This intention to create hygge, accelerated this year when I started home renovation and working from home. I was grateful to use this concept that can make me feel more at home and peaceful by intentionally creating hygge in my space and implementing it in my lifestyle. I like to remember hygge when I am having a stressful or overwhelming day to help indulge my body and brain in a comforting feeling of joy by wrapping up in my favorite sherpa throw and making a cup of my favorite tea. In a year like 2020 where we spend so much time in our homes, they truly serve as our sanctuaries—and hygge can help create that sacred feeling of comfort we could all use so much right now. Especially as the winter months approach, people struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder, and external conditions become harsh and cold, I believe practicing behaviors that create hygge can help us brave the winter with some added moments of peace.
In “The Little Book of Hygge”, the author categorizes ways to engage with hygge as atmosphere, presence, gratitude, harmony, comfort, pleasure, equality, togetherness, and shelter. I wanted to share with you all some of my favorite places to implement hygge by categorizing it into home, food and drink, clothes, and surroundings.
Wrapped in Hygge
Hygge at Home
Hygge and Food
Have you heard of hygge before? Perhaps you’ve been practicing it without knowing that it’s a concept with its own term. I’m treating this week as hygge week because I will be featuring my favorite ways to create hygge in my life on all my social media platforms, and I’d love to learn your hygge strategies as well!