These days, lifestyle is something people can easily notice and talk about. How one lives his or her life has become a big deal and apparent to the extent of having influence on most people. In a way, social media probably has something to do with it. Though we might not know it yet, we have all been trying to brandish the hygge lifestyle.
Originating from the Danish, hygge is a concept that dates back to the earliest of centuries. It doesn’t have an exact English translation, but it is almost synonymous to the word ‘cozy’. While the word seems difficult to pronounce (it’s pronounced as hoo-gah or hue-gah), Hygge resonates simplicity and contentment.
As a concept, it could be described as a certain feeling of comfort or coziness. It’s how you feel when you’re enjoying a cup of coffee while reading a good book or just chatting with friends with nothing else in your mind. That could be described as ‘very hygge’.
In Denmark, they treat hygge as a way of life. Ranked by the UN’s World Happiness Report as the happiest country on earth for many years, it’s quick to say that the Danes probably know their way around this concept. While hygge isn’t exactly taught in school or elsewhere, people seem to just find their way to it.
In the case of the Danes, their country’s economics probably has something to do with their hygge lifestyle. Denmark has one of the world’s narrowest wealth gaps, has easy access to free healthcare and education, social security, high minimum wage, and at least a month of vacation per year. These benefits definitely impact one’s perception of how to manage life. Knowing that you’re living in a country wherein you don’t really have much trouble with sustenance is something that can help you sleep soundly at night. It might even make you look forward to each day more.
Evidently, the Danish people have shown the world that hygge is more than just an abstract concept. While hygge does focus on the individual self and contentment – it also relates to spending time with loved ones and not worrying much about anything else. We could probably even say that ‘Netflix and chill’ is an example of hygge. Staying in bed, watching movies, eating comfort food for the whole day with your friends or with someone special could be one’s idea of a perfect hygge. Some get relaxed when they have TV time, while some would prefer to prepare dinner for family and friends and spend some time with them. We can’t really make hygge exclusive to one act or situation—it could be all of the situations. A morning workout routine which involves jogging in the park and then petting your neighbor’s dog could be hygge. Listening to your favorite song while driving on a Sunday morning and smelling the cup of coffee you brought with you could also be hygge. A quick but intimate family dinner every now and then is also hygge. Catching up with friends you haven’t really seen in a long time due to your hectic work schedule is definitely hygge, too.
A lot of situations and activities could equate to this way of living and this also varies from one person to another. It’s also good to take note that hygge doesn’t require you to spend time with other people – you can also achieve it even when you’re alone. Some experts even think that the hygge phenomenon you experience when you’re alone has a greater impact on your life. It follows the idea that one’s happiness can’t always depend on other people; it has to start with your own self. Knowing how to enjoy the little things in life, on your own, is a big step to maturity as well.
Hygge is about indulging one’s self and making sure to incorporate little pleasures in one’s daily routine. This might sound odd and others would probably say that “aren’t we spoiling ourselves too much?”, but a little treat is far from being spoiled. Hygge is in the small things—things we probably don’t even notice, that give us a certain joy and peace.
Enjoying life’s simple pleasures isn’t so bad; there’s also no point in depriving yourself of it. More so, these simple pleasures even help one to look forward to each day, with an assured sense of contentment.