The Danish concept of hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) has been gaining in popularity due to its focus on focus on curating happiness by indulging in creature comforts. In Western society, we often see happiness being tied to achieving goals: "I'll be happy once I reach my goal weight," or "I'll be happier when I have more money." Whether the goal is tied to physique, or finances, it can lead to a deprivation mindset. It is no wonder we are intrigued by the idea of being happy with what we have- slowing down and enjoying conversation with good friends, a hot beverage, and maybe a pastry, too.
Because of its difficulty to translate, people often mistake hygge for "coziness." Danes would argue that it goes much deeper, to a feeling of warmth and togetherness. Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute and author of The Little Book of Hygge, has developed the Hygge Manifesto. These ten facets will help you get a sense of what hygge means, and why those who practice it feel calm, happy and peaceful.
- Atmosphere: Turn down the lights.
- Presence: Be here now. Turn off the phones.
- Pleasure: Coffee, chocolate, cookies, cakes, candy.
- Equality: "We" over "me." Share the tasks and the airtime.
- Gratitude: Take it in. This might be as good as it gets.
- Harmony: It's not a competition. We already like you. There is no need to brag about your achievements.
- Comfort: Get comfy. Take a break. It's all about relaxation.
- Truce: No drama. Let's discuss politics another day.
- Togetherness: Build relationships and narratives. "Do you remember the time we...?"
- Shelter: This is your tribe. This is a place of peace and security.
The Danish use hygge to cope with the brutal weather they face. While we are located in a more forgiving climate, spending the majority of our day in an office is not always the most inspiring of locations. Incorporate hygge into your workplace to feel happy and inspired, and in your home to feel comfortable and relaxed.
Simple touches can make all the difference. Keep your favorite tea and a special mug in the office kitchen. Add framed photos of your loved ones, and a potted plant on your desk. Organize a potluck lunch with your colleagues. Light some candles when you get home to set a calm tone for the evening.
Cultivate a sense of hygge in your life by prioritizing what makes you happy.