Norway was named the happiest country in the world. Why are they so darn happy and what exactly is hygge?
Hygge is not easy to translate, but the Danish to English dictionary describes it as “coziness, comfortable, cheerful atmosphere, pleasant time”. Hygge can be used as an adjective, verb or noun.
The Danes love to “hygge” with family and friends. That usually consists and sitting around drinking, eating, talking and enjoying each other’s company and having lots of candles lit. Lighting candles in Denmark is a national obsession. The Danes love CANDLES! Even at work, people like to “hygge”. The workplace should be an enjoyable place to be.
The term is also used to describe a person’s home. It is very “hyggelig” meaning it is a “cozy and inviting home”. People also say, “I had a “hyggelig” time”, meaning, “I enjoyed myself”. It is always better to say “Det var hyggelig” than “thank you for a nice time!”.
You will soon realize that “hygge” is very hard to describe, but you will know it when you experience it in a real Danish home.
How to Hygge
1. Take some time to rest and relax a few times a day-once in the middle of the day, once in the late afternoon, and once in the evening. During your rest times, don’t text or use other technologies. Don’t watch television. Just sit down and relax with a cup of tea or coffee.
2. Do a simple meditation a few times a day, preferably in the morning and evening. If you could manage one in the afternoon, all the better. Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated.
It could be as simple as sitting down in a comfortable chair, taking a few deep breaths, setting a timer for ten minutes, closing your eyes and focusing on your breath.
When the buzzer goes off signaling the end of your ten minutes, open your eyes slowly, and just take a few seconds to feel how good it is to be relaxed. Then you can resume your normal activities.
3. Live in the moment as much as possible. Try not to overthink situations or aspects of your day. Instead, try and focus on your breath a few times a day.
Take the time to enjoy the view wherever you are. There is always something beautiful around us. All we have to do is look and see it.
4. Commune with nature. This could be a simple walk in the park or just getting outside on your lunch hour and seeking a quiet green area. This can restore your energy and help you feel much more relaxed. It can also help you to center and to live in the moment, not in the past or future.
5. Experience happiness from the simple act of giving. Take a moment and write, text, or call a friend. Give someone a big smile to brighten their day and perk up yours as well.
Make it a point to do something nice for a stranger or give someone a sincere compliment today. When you get home, give a loved one a big hug.
Make your dog’s day with a walk around the neighborhood, a treat, and an extra pat on its head.
Relish each bite of dinner. Watch the sunset.
Enjoy your favorite comedy and laugh loudly. At the end of the day, remember each blessing and give thanks.
By taking these steps, you will be gaining more peace of mind. This can help you feel a lot healthier and happier. And when the weekend comes, you could practice more of these tips. It will completely restore your peace of mind and equilibrium.