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

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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.

How to Practice Minimalism for a More Fulfilling Life

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Minimalism: a style or technique that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity. You may have seen examples of minimalism lately in Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, where individuals only keep items that spark joy in their lives, or in the tiny house trend, where entire families downsize their possessions to the bare minimum and live in spaces less than 500 square feet. But what’s the big deal? Why is everyone embracing minimalism all of a sudden? 

The trend may be rising in part thanks to those who are embracing mindfulness. Mindfulness, a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, is a therapeutic wellness technique that encompasses the mind, body, and soul for holistic health. By being aware of your surroundings, it’s easier to see what you truly need and what no longer serves a purpose in your life.

Netflix currently features a film called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. In it, the filmmaker interviews people who are dedicated to rejecting the American ideal that things bring happiness. Instead, it hypothesizes that happiness has much more to do with other aspects of life rather than material items.

Think about it. What brings you joy? It may be family, friends, or pets. It may be experiencing a new place while traveling or enjoying a brave, new dish. Sure, that new pair of shoes will make you happy as you check out of the store, but in ten years, will that purchase be a defining moment of your life? Minimalism involves sorting through the clutter and the tangible to find what is worth holding on to. Maybe therein lies the key to happiness.

If you’re interested in trying out minimalism for yourself, here are a few ways to incorporate the practice into your life today.

1. Explore one room in your house, touch every item, and donate the items you no longer need.

If you take a walk around your home, you’re almost guaranteed to find at least one item that you don’t use frequently. To keep yourself from getting overwhelmed, start with one room in your home, walk around, and consider every item. Ask yourself if each item of clothing brings you joy. Recognize if you have one too many candles. See if there are books you’ve read that someone else may enjoy. Make a “keep” and a “donate” pile and share your wealth with others in need. Once you downsize, you’ll be able to enjoy every item in your space, and it may prevent you from spending unnecessary money in the future!

2. Practice karma yoga.

We love this one! Karma yoga is yoga dedicated to service and work. This could involve making donations from items you no longer need as we discussed above, but it also can take many other forms. Karma yoga is about learning to act selflessly in service of others. Seane Corn, a well-known yoga instructor who travels across the world to teach yoga and activism, is a prime example of the power of karma yoga. Karma yoga is all about letting go of your ego and in a sense minimalizing your life to share the energy that is the most important. Starting a dedicated karma yoga practice will allow you to weed out areas in your life that no longer serve you and fill them with activities for good.

3. Simplify what you eat.

Taking a look at what you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is a great way to put your health first and minimalize your unhealthy intake. Prioritize simple, organic ingredients like fruit, vegetables, and other food that comes from the earth. If you look at the ingredients list on a package, the more minimal, the better. This goes for portion sizes, too. Try cutting your portion size to an appropriate amount (as long as you’re getting the nutrients your body needs!) and see how much better you feel. Go through your cabinets and toss old, expired items. If you have too many canned goods, consider donating those to your local food pantry. Ideally, you should know at all times what you have in your kitchen. This is the epitome of minimalism.

Practicing minimalism will allow you to focus on the important things in life and rid your mind of worries that are no longer necessary. You will likely also find a new appreciation for each day and spend your dollars more wisely. How are you practicing minimalism? What are you learning? Let us know in the comments!

Chasing Nirvana Yoga offers on-site yoga and wellness classes to employers/employees, office buildings, community events, and more. To schedule your free consultation, visit us online at www.chasingnirvanayoga.com.

The Evolution of the Coworking Space, and Why CRE Professionals and Employers Alike Need to Follow the Trend

In recent years, coworking spaces like WeWork, Regus, and more have become all the rage for employees and freelancers. According to the Colorado Real Estate Journal, these spaces are fundamentally changing global commercial real estate markets. The journal estimates that currently, coworking spaces hold a little less than 5% of all U.S. office stock, but in ten years, this number is speculated to grow closer to 30%. But what is it about these spaces that tenants find so appealing?

The Colorado Real Estate Journal writes that coworking and flexible office spaces provide access to shared amenities like conferencing, coffee and food, yoga and wellness rooms, and more, giving individuals the opportunity to network and feel at home. Tenants are also seeking out these types of spaces to test out before determining long-term occupancy in an office building. 

However, CRE professionals know that tenant retention is also top of mind, so how can we marry both the idea of a flexible working space and long-term occupancy? 

Commercial real estate property owners need to consider the perks of these coworking spaces and introduce their amenities into the mix. Even just adding one dedicated space for tenants to focus on their health in a shared space, like a fitness area or a studio for yoga, is enough to keep a tenant coming back for more. Other ideas include introducing sustainable and “green” technology and products to the space, as many coworking spaces are doing, to appeal to the younger, environmentally-conscious generation. After all, this is our next wave of great minds, and their interests will define the industry!

 Keeping an eye on the evolution of the coworking space will be helpful to employers and business professionals, as well. Employees will begin seeking these amenities during their job search and may pass up on signing with an office that doesn’t support a flexible, team-driven environment. As people begin incorporating more on-the-go methods into their life thanks to the rise of technology and the ease of the gig economy, both CRE professionals and businesses will have to follow suit to stay in line with the trends.

Read the Colorado Real Estate Journal’s article for more. What amenities have you found the most helpful for retaining tenants? 

Chasing Nirvana Yoga offers on-site yoga and wellness classes to commercial real estate spaces, employers, community events, and more. To set up a free consultation, please visit www.chasingnirvanayoga.com.