Fancy a cosy corner or a warm fuzzy feeling of contentedness?
If you love an ambient pub or fireplace chats with warm cookies and great company- there's an excellent reason! It's a Hygge vibe.
According to the World Happiness Report, Finland and Denmark take first and second place as the world's happiest countries. What's the secret? Quite possibly Hygge! According to the Danes, our northern counterparts; Hygge- pronounced "hue-gah" or "hoo-guh is a Norweigan word that falls under a cultural category, meaning -a hug without the touch.
For the linguaphile -the word hygge comes from a Danish word meaning "to give courage, comfort, joy". Hygge stems from hyggja which means "to think" in Old Norse. Hygge is built from the Old Norse word hugr which later became the hug which means the soul, mind, consciousness.
Meik Wiking is an expert and author of The Little Book of Hygge. According to Meik Wiking, the practice of Hygge is charming, cosy, wholesome but with a sprinkle of sinful snacking like chocolate.
"Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to the cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight".
Ponderers, there is even a Hygge cookbook - ( I ordered it, and the recipes are most certainly sinful) Click here to check it out Scandikitchen: Fika and Hygge.
How do we achieve that fuzzy feeling of Hygge?
Well there are so many ways to have a Hygge moment or make time for Hygge, but the fundamentals according to Meik are;
1) Light! Ambient light. Ever wondered why the Scandi style is so focussed on lighting? The design aesthetic and colour temperature are essential to creating Hygge. Candles are also HUGE; the Scandi countries are the largest consumers of candles in the world. We have some for you here - the wonderful folks over at Angel Sent Candles have a Hygge range and they’ve shared them with us at https://shop.angelsentaromatherapy.com
2) Presence- get off the phones and be in the moment!
3) Pleasure- think cakes, pastries, hot drinks and lollies! Here's the link to that book again if you didn't see it already- Scandikitchen: Fika and Hygge
4) Equality - We over Me, sharing is caring. Share household chores. Share attention and listening. Share your love for those around you.
5) Gratitude- take it all in; this might be as good as it gets.
6) Harmony, we already like you, no need to mention your achievements or the current political environment. You get the drift.
7) Comfort, cosiness - blankets, take a break and relax. But Hygge is humble and slow, not expensive. Ugly warm socks and homemade cookies are more than acceptable vs champagne and heels. Simplicity and modesty are crucial components.
8) Truce- no drama and a sense of belonging will ensue. No topics of tension and arguments must be put to one side.
9) Togetherness, build a narrative, play a board game. Do you remember the time we...? Oxytocin is released when we are physically near someone, its called the hug hormone, so Hygge away! Cooperation, trust and love are the buzzwords here.
10) Shelter, this is your tribe and a place of peace and tranquillity.
Sounds wonderful right?
Every home I have lived in; the first thing I needed was a cozy corner. Always. I love nothing more than snuggling up in my favourite chair, pooch at my side, a candle burning, a cup of herbal tea, soothing music and if it's winter- that fireplace earns its keep.
So after reading Meik's book, I decided to introduce the family to Hygge night- Sunday evenings would be dedicated to pure Hygge-ness.
We rolled out our new Harry Potter Cluedo game, put the earlier made cookies on a plate, made some dutch cocoa, grabbed some comfy blankets, pillows and dimmed lighting all topped off with the Harry Potter soundtrack playing in the background. Phew. It was pretty magical. A cringe-worthy moment of wholesome indulgence.
I was very tired, so I snuggled in on the couch with the bunch and watched on picking broccoli seeds and enjoying the merriment. It was beautiful.
Then the dog farted- no one had explained Hygge to him so totally not his fault. Kind of ruined the vibe. When I looked at the aforementioned hound with a raised eyebrow, he stared at me right back; I imagined a Seth McFarlane Brian Griffin-Esque voice "stupid humans."
Have you got the Hygge vibe?
Check out our Pinterest curation of all things Hygge and the video below for further awesome ideas. Go to app.ponderings.com.au to get the Hygge links or check us out on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
We partnered with Angel Sent Candles - here's their new Hygge range of candles.
Wiking, Meik (September 2016). The little book of Hygge: the Danish way to live well.
Etymologisk Ordbog over det norske og det danske Sprog (in Norwegian). Kristiania: Aschehoug. p. 315.