Hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) is a Danish term referring to coziness or feeling warm, comfortable, and safe…a space that promotes emotional wellbeing. Hygge has been gaining popularity. Back in 2016, The New Yorker published an article that it was the year of hygge.
Hygge has been a cultural practice in Denmark since the 18th century as a celebration of “coziness and comfortable conviviality” during the long, dark Scandinavian winters.
Hygge is an atmosphere you create in which you enjoy the simple joys of life together with your loved ones. Perhaps this is the reason why Denmark ranks among the happiest countries in the world according to the World Happiness Report.
If you haven’t joined the trend yet, the winter season is a great time to start. These are the points to remember when considering hygge.
- Hygge is a lifestyle, not just an activity. It’s embracing a way of BEING.
- Hygge is part of self-care because of its health benefits (inherent when you create a relaxed, loving atmosphere).
Some examples of hygge components are:
- Warm, dimmer light – in a research study in February 2020 people perceived warm, dimmer light as more relaxing compared to bright, white lights.
- Spending time with loved ones – nurturing social connections is good for physical and emotional health according to several studies including this review. In one study, it was found out that premenopausal women have higher levels of oxytocin when they get frequent hugs from their partners.
- Aromatherapy – being around certain scents such as orange or rose induces physiological relaxation in the brain.
- Positive and relaxed mood – when we are more positive and relaxed, we tend to be better at problem solving, are more creative, and get along with each other more.
Here are some ways to get started in creating an environment that is cozy, inviting, appealing, and that benefits your well-being:
- Adjust your lighting – You can dim the lights and light some candles, depending on what is appropriate at the moment. The goal is to make the atmosphere cozy, warm, comfortable, and relaxed.
- Hang out with close friends, even if it’s just a small circle – Togetherness is the essence of hygge. Spend time with those you can freely express yourself, where you are heard without judgment, where you can laugh out loud, and bare your pains as well.
- Be comfortable – With your clothes, home, work, and other aspects of living. Wear comfortable clothes–clothes that don’t make you self-conscious and don’t distract you from whatever you want to do. Arrange furniture in your home so that you’d feel relaxed and safe. If disorganization is distracting you, consider clearing the clutter to create more ease.
- Cook – Yes, preparing and cooking food is also an important part of hygge. Cooking can feel meditative when you lean into the process without distractions and focusing on the joy of creating nourishment for yourself and/or others. There can also be added joy when done with friends or family.
- Be mindful – Enjoy and appreciate the present moment. Give yourself a break and just focus on the moment. Practice mindfulness and gratitude. Soothe yourself with a relaxing moment or a warm bath–away from social media, work, and other demands. Recharge.
- Make a bedtime routine – That is a bedtime routine that calms you down and prepares your body to sleep. You can try breathing exercises, drinking tea, cuddling on the sofa, listening to relaxing music, and making your bedroom the coziest place in the house.
Sending you lots of warm fuzzies and I hope that you are inspired to embrace hygge.
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!