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Hygge is the secret to happiness, the magic ingredient which makes Denmark the happiest nation in the world. Pronounced as hue-guh or hoo-gah, hygge is a Danish word that lacks a literal English translation and a proper explanation. It is a coveted way of living and before you call it an over-hyped trend, there are some hard-to-ignore facts. The Danes boast the happiest workforce in the world, with 52 weeks of parental leave, and are well aware of the decoupling between wealth and well-being. After our basic needs are met, more wealth doesn’t necessarily equate to more happiness and the Danes are great at focusing on what brings them a better quality of life.

Hygge can be loosely translated as a state of cosiness and wellness, or taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing stuff. Hygge is akin to a hug, without the physical touch. You’ll know hygge when you feel it, but some of the key ingredients are comfort, presence, indulgence, relaxation and togetherness. Applicable to any time and space, the concept of hygge traverses winter and summer but the idea really comes alive in the harsh winters that Denmark is renowned for. It is in these winters and cold weathers that the Danes remain the world’s happiest people, even when it is the time of the year that almost everyone should be feeling down.

Interested to find out more? Here are 8 ways to hygge your life up, and it’s all about chocolates, comfort and candles…

 

1. Lighten up

To hygge, it’s crucial to pay attention to lighting and to create a sanctuary for yourself. Rumoured as one of the largest consumers of candles in the world per capita, the Danes burn more candles than anyone else.

Collapse onto plush cushions and cuddly blankets with warm, cosy lighting all around you. Get instant hygge by lighting candles as the warming glow of a flickering flame creates an intimate atmosphere. Also, candles are an antidote to harsh strip lights and spotlights, which are now common in offices and homes. Arrange candles of different sizes and shapes in clusters so that they form pools of light around your space. Light scented ones for extra oomph but of course, cheap tea lights will do the trick as well.

 

2. Make a hygge treat

Image cred: jeztimms on Unsplash

Think rustic, slow, wholesome food. Think cookies, pastries, loaves of warm bread and mugs of creamy hot chocolate. Go even more hygge and make these delicious treats with your loved ones. We’d recommend a cook-out where everyone gathers to cook together because that maximises the hygge factor and guarantees a relaxed, informal evening. Below is also a wonderful, old-fashioned recipe for hot chocolate:

1 litre full-fat milk
100g brown sugar (omit if desired)
100g cocoa powder
150ml crème fraiche
2 teasponns of vanilla extract

Heat the milk and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder and crème fraiche. Return the mixture to a low heat and bring it to a simmer while stirring continuously. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the mixture is thickened then add in the vanilla extract and whisk till frothy. Following so, pour into mugs and enjoy together!

 

3. Learn a craft

Get down to the knitty gritty because knitting is super hygge. The slow and steady rhythm is relaxing and could help you focus in a laid-back style. But if knitting is not your pastime, learn another craft or practice an old hobby. In general, crafts are super hygge as it gives you a chance to slow down and create something handmade.

 

4. Stock a self-care emergency kit

Image cred: Pinterest

Had a rough day? It might be nice to come home to a self-created emergency kit that contains comfort items such as chocolate, sweets, organic herbal tea, a soft cotton blanket, comfortable lounge wear and a good book. Throw in anything that will allow you to unwind mindfully in total bliss.

 

5. Practise gratitude & celebrate simplicity

Hygge and gratitude go together because it’s all about savouring the simple pleasures in life that can be achieved on a shoestring budget. Be thankful for the little things, such as beautiful weather or a good cup of tea, as research has shown that those who give thanks are happier, more helpful and understanding. In the land of hygge, it’s also about celebrating pure simplicity – a way of being, not an acquired lifestyle. Don’t worry if your time or budget is limited, use what you have. Don’t overcomplicate matters, live well and live simply!

 

6. Put down your phone

Hygge is somewhat the cure to modern life. It’s all about embracing experiences wholeheartedly and living in the moment, which is tough to do when staring at a little tech device. Turn off your phone and play a board game, bake cookies or just relax.

You can hygge on your own or with friends, it’s a really fluffy term and it involves having genuine contentment with a given situation with any worries or discomfort. The more you practise hygge, the more natural it will feel and your mind, body and soul will definitely feel a positive difference. Will you try to hygge?

By now, you must have seen the word ‘hygge’. And if you haven’t seen it, you probably have heard of the word before, but maybe you didn’t know that it was spelt in this way. Pronounced as ‘hoo-gah’, the term originates from the Danish and Norwegian, which places have some of the highest happiness rating in the world. And that has little to do with coincidence, because apparently, many people attribute these countries’ happiness with hygge.

 

What is hygge?

According to Wikipedia,

"Hygge is a Norwegian and Danish word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment."

Thus, it is not surprising that people who practise the art of hygge have high levels of happiness and satisfaction in their lives. Being in a state or cosiness, warmth and comfort can feel very good and rewarding. And when you are immersed in a culture where so many people are involved in hygge, you will be also sucked into the notion, and a good one at that.

 

What do you do in hygge?

Everyone has different forms of relaxed state, and different preferences for activities that make them calm and blissful. But there are some things that many people deem them to be “hygge”, things that help one to immerse in their state of euphoria.

 

Candles

Denmark and other Scandinavian countries are some of the top candle-burners in the world due to their hygge lifestyle. In practising hygge, it is not uncommon to see people burning candles. After all, the soft glow of the flame gives people a warm and fuzzy feeling. And imagine huddling in soft cotton blankets, you will feel a sense of bliss overcoming you.

 

Blankets

Speaking of blankets, everyone loves huddling and cuddling something soft and warm. Seldom does anyone wants to sleep in a cold bed, unless you’re in a warm tropical climate. That feeling of wrapping yourself with soft cotton blanks or covers will give you immense joy and happiness. In a dim room with candles surrounding you with their warm glow, and cosying up with softness, there will no doubt be a sense of satisfaction and joy blossoming from your heart.

 

Sweets, Cakes and Chocolates

And just when you think there is nothing more that can make you happier and more relaxed, there spring more surprises, because you actually can do more to enhance your hygge. Denmark and other Scandinavian countries have some of the highest amount of sweets, chocolates and other sugary goodies consumed. In these countries, you can find many pastries shops and their desserts are both beautiful and delicious. With so much sweetness on their tongues, it is no wonder people practising hygge have so much sweetness in their hearts and in their life.

 

The Importance of Hygge

After telling you the essentials of the hygge lifestyle, you may definitely want to try them out! But hold your horses, because with everything you do, you need to know the ‘why’. Why would you want to adopt the hygge lifestyle? What are you looking for?

Happiness would be a good answer, if that’s yours. After all, people often do things in pursuit of their interests, goals and passion. But if you are unsure, and the thought of having a cosy and warm feeling in your heart and soul is enough to move you towards the direction of hygge, perhaps there is something more underlying that intent, and perhaps it is because your life has been too fast-paced.

Living in a society that is constantly moving and constantly on the go, it can be difficult to find time for yourself to rewind and engage in some self-care. Our electronics like our laptops and phones are always near, and so we are never truly by ourselves: family, friends and work commitments can reach us easily.

Practising hygge can allow us to take a step back and truly focus on ourselves. the initial setup may be a bit confusing, but the logistics aren’t much and you can easily create the blissful environment and surroundings to pamper your body and your mind for a bit. Mark my words, you won’t regret hygge.

 

Nilufer Tea

Nilufer Tea offers organic herbal tea that can also help you achieve a calm mind and balanced soul. With the power of various herbs and flowers, these herbal teas can help boost your energy levels and improve your overall well-being. Our large selection of teas means that there is something for everyone!

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