What is hygge and why is it important?
This Scandinavian word has become somewhat of a legendary myth in contemporary society, in connection to the often-fantasised collective of the “happiest countries in the world”. It’s a word that’s hot on trending scales yet seldom understood as being more than owning some nice furniture, cozy blankets and sitting under dim lights with tea. Hygge is so much more than this and is a big part of life that is well lived and loved throughout Scandinavia.
What’s it all about?
Bringing tranquillity into the home is more than a state of aesthetic; it is a meeting point between our external life and the peace that one finds when relaxing into the familiar space and energy of the home.
Hygge is all about a state of mind – a beautiful moment either shared with others or simply in the presence of the self. It is awareness and it is focus of attention on the here and now in the state that we find ourselves in.
This concept is beautiful and does also bring with it some weight. How do we want our space – internal and external – to be? How are we actively participating in the reflection point between what is outside and how we allow this to influence our inner state of being…
Making it hyggeligt
There are a few steps that I have learnt over the winter which have allowed an open dialogue between a state of inner-wellbeing and sharing beautiful moments with loved ones.
Sharing moments with those we care about carries with it a certain responsibility. When we open our hearts to the world it is so important to look inwards and reach a point of reflection, to understand our own pace of life and to know when we are in a state of wellbeing or if we need a little extra care. It is so often overlooked, this presence of being steady within oneself. Once we can stand on our own two feet we can not only share good times, we feel worthy and willing to open our hearts to them as well.
The importance of habit
What works for one person does not work for everyone. It is so important to find our daily rhythms so that we can feel content with the self as we are in the present. This allows us to share our thoughts and ideas honestly and place a certain gravity and rhythm into our days. When we have good times, the reliable habits keep everything in a state of flow. In those that are less good… the habits we establish become a point of support to move us through from one state to another with ease and integrity.
Build a nest
Creating a space that we can define as “hygge” is so much more than buying nice candles. It is about defining a focal point where we can be entirely present and enjoy our time in – whether this is alone with a beautiful book or sharing our thoughts with loved ones. To build a space for the self and also for the ones we want to fill our time with… this is such an important step to looking after our space and the way in which we interact with it.
Comfort with the self
Presence and self-awareness. Knowing when it is good for the spirit to get outside, interact with the world… and when it becomes necessary to look inwards, take the time to nurture the self and catch up on some maintenance. To find our centre-point, the gravity of our humanity as we let go of our stresses and worries… to simply breathe, this is all part of what defines hygge and it is all something that every person can benefit from.
Impact on self and sustainable happiness
To be as we are is so important in all aspects of our life. When we allow ourselves to be entirely present with the self – as we are now – and to share this willingly and openly with those around us… this is really something special. Our sense of wellbeing lifts so quickly when we have a balance between finding joy in our surroundings and being able to stand strong on our own two feet. To look after the self, our surroundings and those we care about… this all creates the right conditions for beautiful hyggeligt moments to arise.
Picture credit: Living + Nomads