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How Hygge Can Lead to Happiness: Everything You Need to Know About This Danish Lifestyle

Skincare. Sustainability. Self-care. These are just a few of the “S” topics we really enjoy covering here on the MOZ blog. Today, we’re furthering our discussion surrounding the importance of self-care and ways you can incorporate personal wellness practices into your daily life. That’s right folks, it’s time to unwind, slip your slouchy, warm socks on, and dive into the ins and outs of a Danish lifestyle known as hygge. To learn how this peaceful and purposeful state of mind can lead to happiness, keep scrolling!

What is Hygge?

Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) dates to as early as the 1800s, where the word made its first appearance in the Danish language (but it’s derived from a Norwegian word meaning “well-being”). In present day, hygge is not only a simple concept and cozy way of living in Danish culture, but a lifestyle trend that’s taken over the hearts and homes of many worldwide. And for good reason, too.

Simply put, anything and everything that brings you a sense of joy, peace, and fulfillment is hygge. To live a hygge life means to take time for yourself, whenever and however you can. If that’s binge-watching the Harry Potter series with your family, do it. If it’s lighting a candle and taking an hour-long bubble bath, do just that. The only rule to hyggeling (yes, the word can be used as a noun and verb) is staying clear of anything and everything that’s elaborate and/or complicated. If you’re continuously preoccupied with consumerism, the digital realm, and materialism, you’re just not doing the hygge life justice.

How-To Practice Hygge

Now that you have a better understanding of what hygge is, let’s jump into how it can be applied to your personal wants, needs, and interests!  

Create a Cozy Atmosphere

Think of soft lighting, wood-burning or electric fireplaces (even digital ones can get the job done), warm-scented candles, neutral or deep colors, knitted blankets, plush pillows, rustic décor (such as wood storage boxes, greenery, and glass mason jars), and soft music. That’s it. That’s hygge.

Establishing a sense of coziness is key when trying to create a hygge-esque space and you can’t go wrong with any or a combination of these elements. And we can’t forget to mention that coziness doesn’t start and end with atmosphere. What you wear is also important. With that said, ditch the tight high-rise jeans for some slouchy sweats and you’re good to go!

Take Up a Calming Craft

Knitting is, by far, the most hygge craft you can think of. It’s slow. It’s rhythmic. It’s soothing. And enjoyable for many. And just think, you can create a plethora of soft, comfort items with all your balls of yarn. The possibilities (and color combinations) are endless.

Knitting not your thing? No worries! Quilting, calligraphy, stenciling, sketching, clay sculpting, and more are all crafts you can do in your quaint hygge space. Even if some of these art forms aren’t as laidback as knitting, they’re still great options for those looking to lose themselves in a favorite pastime of theirs!

Practice Daily Gratitude

Gratitude is at the root of the hygge philosophy. Whether it’s writing down the things, people, and moments you’re thankful for in a journal or listing them quietly to yourself or out loud every day, appreciate all that many may not be fortunate enough to have or experience.

Are you grateful for your grandmother’s smile? That first sip of coffee or tea every morning? Your dog’s tail wag after every walk? The homemade apple pie your mom makes? Your steady job? The roof over your head? Your own strength and resilience? Then write it down. Say it. Feel it. You’ll feel much happier when you do.

Unplug from Social Media

We’re not saying you must completely abandon your social media accounts and throw your laptops and cellphones out the window if a hygge life is what you want to lead. But spending countless hours stuck in the digital space (work is an exception) is not encouraged among those trying to be more present in and productive with their lives.

Unplugging from social media can help to ease anxiety, avoid burnout, regain creativity, and more. And it’s easier to accomplish than you think! Try moving distracting apps into a different folder on your phone or even removing them completely, turning off notifications in the evenings when you’re looking to relax, or setting designated times to devote to internet scrolling and browsing.

Enjoy Comforting Treats, Meals, and Beverages

Hygge and comforting treats, meals, and beverages go hand in hand. Picture this. You’ve been scrambling through a large wholesale retailer like Costco all afternoon. You’re starving and decide to grab a hotdog and soft drink on your way out. You finally sit down in the passenger seat of your car and take your first sip and bite. That, my friends, is hygge. It’s all about feeling comforted by all of life’s pleasurable foods and drinks (despite how high in calories and fat they may be).

This lifestyle, however, is particularly in tune with baked goods such as tarts, pastries, muffins, and pies. Even rich meals like macaroni and cheese, pot roast and mashed potatoes, and shepherd’s pie never fail to disappoint any hygge-loving human.

Digging all that is hygge? You can read up more about the Danish lifestyle here and/or check out some rad home décor to give your space a touch of warmth and ease.

At The End of The Day

We often fail to acknowledge and appreciate the small joys when we’re so focused on attaining and celebrating the big wins, but neither is less valuable than the other. All the moments, both big and small, equally amount to what makes life worth living. But the hygge lifestyle is a reminder not to forget those small moments. And so, friends, this is your sign to take the time to bask in all that is cozy and comforting. It’ll bring you more contentment than you think.