In 2017, Norway takes first place and manages to narrowly overtake Denmark, according to the latest UN survey “Worlds Happiness Report 2017”, which is held annually to identify the countries whose people live happiest. The fact is that the results of the two countries are very close to each other. How do the Danes manage this? In fact, the explanation is pretty simple: it’s the Danish concept for luck, “Hygge”. If you are curious to learn the principles of the Danish philosophy of life and to unlock the feel-good secret, then stay tuned and learn more about how you can also live hygge.
What does “hygge” mean?
The word “hygge” or “hyggelig” in Danish means comfort, warmth, comfort and convenience. This word is difficult to pronounce and sounds somewhat like “huhge”, with a soft “g”. Hygge living is actually the concept around which the life of the Danes revolves. Unfortunately, there is no exact German translation of the word to describe this term in all its complexity. Of course, that should not prevent us from pursuing Danish living happiness and testing this concept.
Hygge should be understood as a holistic lifestyle. This is about well-being, pampering and enjoyment. Hyggelig living means for the Danes the joy to be surrounded by people who are close to our hearts, the luck to sip hot chocolate in front of the fireplace and to have warm, fluffy socks on. The Danes integrated this attitude into their lives to escape the depression and to feel well during the long, cold, dark winter.
Hygge live and be happy
The desire to feel safe and to live happily is of course not only reserved for the Danes. Read a book in front of the crackling log fire, drink a glass of wine by candlelight, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with your children or take the cat on your floor and pamper them. Hygge experts believe that such regular rituals are the art of happiness.
The Danes recipe for a happy life is based on the principle of enjoying the little things in everyday life, having fun and focusing on what we have and not on what we miss. The rules, basic principles and numerous tips of the Danish Hygge concept are summarized in the famous “Hygge Book” by Mike Wiking, Director of the Institute for Happiness Research in Copenhagen.
How can you make yourself “hyggelig” at home?
Although the hygge is a way of life, it does not mean that you can not do something to make yourself nice and comfortable in your own home. You do not have to spend a lot of money to get the feeling of a Hygge home. In order to make your home cosily and safe, and to create a happy, positive atmosphere, you can influence the ambience with the help of some home accessories.
A quick and accessible way to give the interior a touch hygge, are the candles. Spread several candles everywhere in the apartment or why not at work, and enjoy the warm candlelight. A real therapy for a low price, right? The twinkling lights in Denmark can be seen all over the windows, not just in homes, but also in banks, shops and kindergartens.
To the small pleasures in the everyday life and thus to the Hygge attitude to life also include the hot drinks. Whether coffee, tea or chocolate, the happiest people in the world do not hesitate to enjoy a delicious and soothing drink. It’s not just about the content of the cup, but about the moment of relaxation and enjoyment you indulge in.
Pleasant conversations about the sunny side of life, as well as eating and drinking together, are just as important components of hygge living. The Dane is considered the “Italian of the North” and, like the southern Europeans, guests are always welcome. Hospitality, cooking with your family and friends without hurry is simply part of the Hygge culture. The lovingly prepared dishes are just as deliciously consumed. As big consumers of sweets and pastries, the Northerners do not hesitate to enjoy a chocolaty piece of cake.
Your home should make room for being with family, friends, and loved ones you love. A large dining table and matching chairs give you the opportunity to host many guests. A sumptuously set table with beautiful decorations, wooden boards and rustic crockery fits perfectly into the Danish Hygge. It does not have to be perfect and you do not need to polish the wine glasses extra, because hygge is casual.
Who wants to live hyggelig, should consciously take time for themselves. Wear comfortable clothing, put on soft trousers and a comfortable sweater and do not forget to complete your cuddly outfit with fluffy and warming wool socks. Spread large cushions on the floor near the fireplace, lean comfortably and cover with a fluffy, coarse-meshed blanket. Now, nothing stands in your way to focus on yourself and enjoy the feeling of serenity and warmth to the fullest.
As already mentioned, decoration plays an important role in the Hygge trend. During the cold and dark months, the Danes spend most of their time at home. An impersonal, gray and drab interior around them would be rather unfavorable. By inserting different decorative items you can make quite hygge, that is comfortable. Of course, it is not necessary to redesign the whole room right away.
A small, nicely furnished corner is completely enough to find the joie de vivre again and to drive away the bad thoughts in everyday life. Ideally, this cozy corner and the place to relax should be near the fireplace or the window. A comfortable chair or a bench invite you to linger but are not a must. The main thing is, you feel comfortable there. Lots of soft cushions, furs, plaids and poufs are accessories that invite Nordic comfort to your home.
When decorating, avoid glaring colors and eye-catching patterns, and eliminate any signs of clutter. With hygge living you keep things simple. In terms of color, the Hygge style of living is based on Scandi chic. The neutral color palette is preferred here. Soothing tones such as gray, white, beige and brown must dominate the decor. Accents in delicate pastel colors also look good. Green and blue are also used here.
To create a feel-good atmosphere around you, you can hang photos of unforgettable moments in your life on the wall and get infected every day by the positive emotions. Whether as an XXL wall art, wall poster or an attractive, self-created collage, these pictures will reflect your special moments and fit your world of thought.