Hygge (pronounced “hu-ga”) is an integral part of Danish culture and might be the scientific reason why the Danes are so satisfied with their life. The concept is quite simple: include warm and cozy moments in your everyday life. A hot chocolate by the fire. Snuggling under a blanket while the rain falls outside. All these little priceless moments feel so good. It’s worth a try, right?
Here’s how to steep yourself in wellbeing in 5 easy steps.
1. Set a warm atmosphere
A true practitioner of hygge will be well equipped with candles. Switch off glaring lights and leave room for the soft glow of candlelight. Then, bury yourself under a mountain of blankets and soft pillows. For maximum hygge effect, create a special hygge spot dedicated to relaxing, a real cozy cocoon you can use to your heart’s content!
2. Wear something comfortable
The secret is in the socks. The Danes use lots of woolen, soft, and warm footwear. You should also opt for loose clothing you’re extremely comfortable wearing. Kick off your high heels and slide into some slippers, throw off your suit and tie, and jump into a wool sweater. No need to be fussy about it! Just opt for comfort.
3. Have a mug in hand
Hot beverages are the hallmark of this way of life. You’ll have a hard time spotting a Dane far from a steaming mug of coffee. If you’re more of a chai latte or hot chocolate person, know that there is no wrong way to go, as long as the beverage warms your heart. Sippable comfort!
4. Take pleasure in eating
After spending a long day outdoors, what’s more comforting that coming home to a nice, aromatic beef stew? And make sure to plan for dessert! In Denmark, taking the time to enjoy a dessert is part of the recipe for happiness. Yes, a slice of warm spiced apple pie will certainly give you a good dose of wellbeing. And above all, don’t feel guilty about it!
5. Share these moments with others
Although this way of living like a caterpillar in its cocoon can be wonderful alone, it definitely meets its full potential when it’s shared with others. Switch off your phone, light some candles, put the kettle on, pull out a board game—and you’ll be off for a successful hygge night.
If the Danes are indeed the happiest people on earth, we’d be crazy not to try this out! To find out more about this way of living, read The Little Book of Hygge, by Meik Wiking, the president of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.