What is Hygge, and How Can It Improve the Quality of Your Life and Mental Health?

Hygge.jpeg

Today, we’re going to talk about a phrase you may have heard that has grown in popularity in western culture over the past few years: Hygge. This Danish word, pronounced “hoo-ga,” is more of a feeling or a concept. It refers to a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.  

You know that feeling when you light a new candle in your house that has just been cleaned? Or that feeling when you settle down into your favorite arm chair with a cozy sweater and a cup of tea? These are all examples of hygge. Hygge can mean something different for each individual, as well, making it a very special concept.

Taking note of hygge and trying to incorporate it into your every day life is a great way to live with an overall sense of peace and support. According to Very Well Mind, “there have been a variety of benefits tied to the practice of hygge. Happiness researchers continually find Denmark to have some of the happiest people on earth, which Danes attribute to the practice of hygge. Feeling increased happiness could certainly be a perk of practicing hygge, but there may be other emotional, physical, and relationship benefits as well.” Examples of emotion benefits include a decrease in depression and anxiety, increased feelings of self-worth, increased optimism, and lowered stress. Examples of physical benefits include improved sleep, weight regulation, and a reduced need for unhealthy coping behaviors. 

Have we piqued your interest yet? If so, here are a few ways you can practice hygge today.

1. Light a candle.

Lighting a candle is one of the easiest and best ways to practice hygge, according to the Danes. Some articles on hygge suggest lighting a new candle in every room of your home to provide a comforting feel. Take a trip to Yankee Candle and pick out a few of your favorites, and try switching up the scents with each change of season!

2. Keep cozy items in the most-used rooms of your home.

What does cozy mean to you? Be it a thick blanket, multi-colored throw pillows, or warm socks, be sure to keep cozy items within arm’s reach. This will also give your home an inviting feel for guests. There is nothing better than lighting a fire and hunkering down with a warm beverage and some cozy items to calm the mind!

 

3. Buy a few new books to read.

Books are food for the soul, and they allow you to take a break from your regular day-to-day and slip into fantasy. Embrace your individual hygge practice by picking out a few new books from your local book store. Try reading them outside for the added benefit of being in nature!

 

4. Purchase some plants to enjoy indoors.

Speaking of nature, try purchasing some greenery for inside your house to bring in a happy feel! Plants are great for purifying the air and increasing oxygen flow. Many offices and commercial real estate spaces are now placing great emphasis on indoor greenery. Plus, they just look so beautiful, it’s impossible not to feel at peace with them in your presence!

 

5. Eat comfort food.

Okay, we all know what they say about a healthy, balanced diet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself once in a while! Carve out an evening where you try a little bit of your favorite dessert, or cook a nice, hearty, warm meal for your family. Focus on what makes you feel nourished and tune into that feeling of comfort to practice hygge while eating.

 

What other ways do you practice hygge? Translate this practice to your home, your desk, your daily commute, and more and watch how your life changes for the better!

Chasing Nirvana Yoga offers on-site yoga and wellness classes for employers, employees, commercial real estate places, community events, and more. To learn more, or to schedule your free consultation, visit us online at www.chasingnirvanayoga.com.