Pronounced ‘hue-gah‘, the Danish word has recently captured the whole world’s attention. Oxford Dictionary defines it as ‘a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being’. While the term is new to English-speaking part of the world, Hygge is an important concept of Scandinavian culture. The Danish practice of Hygge is really a means to an end. It is often called upon to fight off the depression the winter brings with itself.
Between 2016-2017, when the weather was bitterly cold, and people were overtaken by a sense gloom and doom, Hygge became popular among the masses. Hygge is not limited to hugs and having a time of your life. It is more than that. We can use English words such as inner calm, tranquility, security, friendship, charm and comfort to describe Hygge.
It could be a glimpse of snowflakes falling from the sky through a misted window while you sit curled up in a blanket with an awesome book in your hand.
It could be a moment when you are surrounded by your loved ones in your favorite spot, having a piping hot pizza and merely enjoying being ‘present’.
It could be needing to spend Christmas day at work. But it is all right because you and your colleagues are well-connected and know how to bring joy to a rather tiring and mundane day.
For me, Hygge is spending quality time with my family every morning before we all go about our business, having tea and cookies, and watching the sunset through my bedroom window.
One of the best parts about Hygge is that you don’t have to ‘acquire’ anything to practice it. You can be yourself, simply with more awareness. Often, we are burdened with invasive thoughts that don’t let us enjoy the present. Through Hygge, you can let go of your worries and acknowledge the moment by living in it and feeling content in it.
What are your thoughts on Hygge? What does it mean to you?Next, click here for the Japanese IKIGAI