Have you adopted the lifestyle trend of hygge for happiness yet? Have you even heard of hygge?
A few years back, hygge became the buzzword for winter coziness in the UK and then here in the US. But let’s start at the beginning in case you aren’t familiar with it yet.
Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Danish word that does not translate exactly. But, in essence, it explains a feeling of contentment, coziness, and well-being typical of Danish and other Scandinavian cultures. Which sounds an awful lot like happiness, doesn’t it? Or at least a foundation for it. So just how does one hygge?
**There may be affiliate links in this article. If you purchase something through one of my links, I may earn a small commission but you will not be charged any extra. You will, however, have my everlasting gratitude. Also, I only recommend things I use or love. And regardless of any compensation, all opinions are strictly my own. My full policy is in the footer under “legal stuff.”**
Incidentally, hygge is considered a noun in the dictionary but I have read Scandinavian descriptions that would consider it a verb at times. I think that’s one of the non-translatable elements here.
Hygge For Happiness in Winter
Contrary to popular belief in the US, hygge is not limited to winter. But I totally understand the extra need for it then, having lived most of my life in Michigan.
Hygge is especially necessary to survive and combat depression in the cold, dark months of winter in Scandinavia (or Michigan.) These are some of the common elements for practicing hygge with which you might be familiar:
- Surrounding Yourself With Warmth and Light
- Having a toasty fireplace to cuddle up in front of is almost essential.
- Seasonal Comfort Food and Beverages
- Sweet or savory, alcoholic or not; you do you. Homemade Chicken Pot Pie is one of Mr. Bean’s favorite hygge foods (although he would never tell you that because he has no idea what that word means. 😉)
- Get-togethers With Friends
- Particularly intimate get-togethers with a small group of friends
- Relaxing Music or a Good Book
- Lighting Candles
- To the Danish, candles are a MUST. They can be scented or unscented but remember that artificially scented candles release toxins and cause indoor air pollution which I discuss in this post on 5 Steps Toward a Less Toxic Life.
- Warm, Comfy (often wool) Blankets
- For extra hygge bonus points, make it yourself – but only if you enjoy that. Otherwise, it’s stressful which is anti-hygge. Or get a soft, toasty electric blanket.
And anything else that evokes the hygge feeling. Including self-care. For me, this definitely includes a hot detox bath with Epsom salts and essential oils at a minimum.
Hygge For Happiness in Spring
Let’s be real. Spring sounds great and just the thought of it lightens our moods. In reality, there are potentially still plenty of dark, cold rainy days to get through. On those days, pretty much continue what you’ve done all winter.
But on the warm, sunnier days, spring hygge can include gardening, meeting friends at an outdoor café, decluttering and brightening up the insides of our homes, and even spring cleaning. Again, it includes any activities that promote a cozy, contented feeling of well-being.
Hygge For Happiness in Summer
Backyard barbeques, bonfires, time at the beach, picnics and outdoor parties with friends and family, street fairs and festivals, watermelon, ice cream, and strawberry shortcake. These all sound like summer, don’t they? Well, they’re all ways of practicing hygge also.
Hygge For Happiness in Autumn
As summer fades into autumn heading toward winter, our hygge activities transition also. Bonfires continue but we replace shorts and t-shirts with jeans and sweaters. And we fall into increased social events, apple pie, pumpkin spice lattes, and anything spicy and cinnamony. (Yep, it’s a real word – to me. 😀 )
So What’s The Big Deal About Hygge?
So what’s the big deal about hygge if it’s just the things we already do? The beauty of hygge is doing all those things INTENTIONALLY to increase our feelings of well-being. Going out of our way to do things that make us feel good, rather than not thinking about it or holing up like an unsociable hermit. Don’t worry introverts… You can absolutely include intentional down-time AWAY from people to recharge but not to the point of hermit-age. Being part of a community is an important aspect of hygge.
Because doing these things to promote cozy, comfy, content feelings of well-being really are a big piece of the foundation for happiness. You could easily say that the Danes and their neighbors have got this happiness thing figured out. In fact, the Scandinavian countries consistently all top the list of the happiest people/countries in the world!
So try intentionally practicing hygge for happiness and see if YOUR happiness-ability increases.
You can start by adding happy artwork into your life and surroundings. Get this fun Happy Subway Art Print delivered straight to your email inbox. You can use it as phone wallpaper, a printable to frame, or with a cutting machine!