If you take a moment to reflect on our lifestyle, you’ll notice that we live in a period which only a few years ago (not to mention decades or centuries) would have been perceived as total science fiction. Think about the internet, smartphones, transportation, augmented reality, the growth of the digital world and the big advantages technology brings about.
This period of innovation however comes at a great price – people are addicted to their phones, they seem to never be present in the moment, instead focused on their responsibilities and unaware of their surroundings; Fear Of Missing Out (or FOMO) on what other people are doing is becoming a real mental hazard and it seems that we are growing apart as humans.
On a positive side, people have started to realize that this way of living can only lead to stress, anxiety and a general life imbalance. More and more people all over the world are taking the time to increase their overall wellbeing with relaxing methods such as Yoga, Tai-Chi, meditation, and there seems to be much more emphasis on a stress-free lifestyle than ever before.
People have started to realize that this way of living can only lead to stress, anxiety and a general life imbalance.
Talking about stress-free lifestyles, there has been lately much comment about the Danish way to happiness and a term known as “hygge”.
It may come as a surprise to many that Denmark came up on top of The World Happiness Report by the United Nations in 2012, 2013 and 2016. You might wonder how come a country so cold and cloud-ridden has made it to the top of a happiness ranking?
Hygge might be the answer.
The Danish word, which is pronounced “hoo-gah”, means comfortable, cozy, pleasant. It has no direct translation into English, but if you ask a Dane what hygge means, the answer will be that it is lots of sweet things on a winter day, or that it means more than cozy – it means enjoying a chat with a friend or having breakfast in bed on a Sunday, or that having a hygge time equals scented candles, woolen socks, having a glass of wine and watching a movie.
(By the way, it is a word that kind of reminds of the word hug, and funnily enough, what could be more cozy than a warm and friendly hug?)
Hygge is about celebrating the simple things. It is a general word for anything that takes your mind off the the stressful aspects of your life, and draws it towards nicer, more relaxing places.
Hygge is spending time with your family, friends and loved ones; enjoying a meal out in a park, reading a book, watching a good hearted comedy or enjoying a quality time on your own watching the sunset.
Multi-tasking would be the opposite of hygge and a sure recipe for stress. Hygge can be experienced even in the most simple acts such as drinking a cup of tea or coffee or taking a warm bath. The secret is to do these simple tasks on purpose, with greater attention and intention.
In a way, hygge and mindfulness share some similarities. By becoming aware of these little hygge moments, we might actually begin to appreciate and enjoy even the most mundane chores, such as doing the dishes or cleaning the house.
By becoming aware of these little hygge moments, we might actually begin to appreciate and enjoy even the most mundane chores.
Whenever you find yourself stressing again, just return to the hygge state of mind, and try to enjoy the current moment or do something that would make you feel more comfortable. More hygge.
No matter your situation, you can always find cosiness and warmth and let them into your life. Think about Denmark, the birthplace of hygge, a very cold and cloudy country, so the fact that in such gray conditions people are still happy is an evidence that happiness has more to do with an attitude than with our circumstances.
No matter your situation, you can always find cosiness and warmth and let them into your life. Click To Tweet
Is it rainy outside? What a great time to snuggle up and read a book!
Too cold to go outside? Turn on the heat and treat yourself with some comfort food.
Feeling down? What a great time to touch base with a loved one.
Life seems like it’s on the same track over and over again? A splendid opportunity for a new make over of your living room.!
Hygge is not just a funny word, it’s a whole state of mind, a way of living and being.
Have a Hygge day!
Today, try to allow yourself a little more time to be comfortable with yourself or with someone close; don’t feel guilt for sitting on your couch to watch a sitcom. Celebrate the simple things, create a nice atmosphere for your home, light some handles – and make sure you savour every second of it. That’s the Hygge way.