Norway was named the happiest country in the world. Why are they so happy and what exactly is hygge?
Hygge is not easy to translate, but the Danish to English dictionary describes it as “coziness, comfortable, cheerful atmosphere, pleasant time”. Hygge can be used as an adjective, verb or noun. It is pronounced "hoo-gah".
The Danes love to “hygge” with family and friends. That usually consists and sitting around drinking, eating, talking and enjoying each other’s company and having lots of candles lit. Lighting candles in Denmark is a national obsession. Even at work, people “hygge”. The workplace should be an enjoyable place to be, shouldn't it?
You will soon realize that “hygge” is very hard to describe, but you will know it when you experience it in a real Danish home.
How to Hygge!
1. Take some time to rest and relax a few times a day-once in the middle of the day, once in the late afternoon, and once in the evening. During your rest times, don’t text or use your phone of tablet. Don’t watch television, which can be STRESSFUL! Just sit down and relax with a cup of your fave beverage.
2. Do a simple "time out" a few times a day, preferably in the morning and evening. If you could manage one in the afternoon, all the better. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
Set a time for 5 of 10 minutes. When the buzzer goes off signaling the end of your time, open your eyes slowly, and just take a few seconds to feel how nice it is to be relaxed. Then you can resume your regular activities.
3. Live in the moment as much as possible. Try not to overthink situations in your day. Instead, try and focus on your breathing a few times a day. There is always something to enjoy around us. All we have to do is take the time to look and realize it. Take a moment to enjoy the beauty of wherever you are.
4. Surround yourself with mementos that are meaningful. Objects that have purpose and meaning will bring more intentionality into your space. Framed photos of places you've been, loved ones, or special pets are a good place to start. Images of poems that are meaningful to you are another way to bring warmth into the space. Stacked books that you've read or intend to read (!), with significant items placed on them will be a reminder of special feelings.