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"Hygge:" A feeling, a way of being, an answer to increased happiness?

Hygge pronounced “hoo-ga” is a Danish term to help explain the importance of connection with others, enjoying the simple things in life and of course creating a sense of coziness to help sustain ourselves over the cold winter months. Some say the Danes concept of hygge is their secret to happiness. Denmark has recently been ranked as one of the worlds happiest countries. This means they feel safe and experience a sense of freedom in their country, they trust their government, celebrate gender equality and of course, of course, practice hygge. Sounds like they’re on to something!

For some folks the concept of hygge may feel a little kitchy, trendy or some sort of hipster ideal. It may even feel out of reach in our busy, Western, production-based world. Once I read about the Danes higher levels of happiness it got me thinking. What if we took more moments to slow down when we can? Pay attention to beauty or making things beautiful just because? Not to impress others, but just to slightly crank up our own happiness?? The Danes are big on candle light, cozy fireplaces, a warm beverage, homemade comfort food and just enjoying the actual warmth that exists when resting inside with loved ones on a cold blustery day. The part about hygge that I really like is the suggestion around connecting with others with major electronics set aside. Imagine playing a board game? cards? music? Reading quietly alone or with someone? Snuggling your pet while staring out the window? I’m not sure we do this much anymore. Those damn smartphones seem to always be within grasp - ready to distract us from face to face connection, from being present, from celebrating coziness and beauty.

As I search for ways to stay grounded and even joyful over the busy and at times dreary winter approaching, what the heck- maybe I'll light a candle, turn off my phone for a bit and allow myself to enjoy some quiet moments at home. Want to give it a try?!

less TV, more reading

less shopping, more outdoors

less clutter, more space

less rush, more slowness

less consuming, more creating

less junk, more real food

less busywork, more impact

less driving, more walking

less noise, more solitude

less focus on the future, more

on the present

less work, more play

less worry, more smiles


Hygge | Safe Haven Counselling

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