Have you ever been lost in a moment and found yourself with the inability to place a word upon how you feel? Kind of happy, kind of comforted?
You may have been experiencing hygge without even knowing it. Throughout my life I’ve had these moments where I would become transcended to this place of calm clarity, where I feel like I am floating along on a cloud. Most often it would come from listening to certain people talk who had soothing, calm tones. Sometimes it would come from watching my mum make something (she’s one of life’s artistic types who can turn a bland object into something wonderful) and other times I could be doing absolutely nothing, such as sitting on the sofa, and just an act from my family would fill me with this sensation. The word I can best use to describe it is safe. It’s like, in that moment, nothing bad could happen to me. You’re in a cocoon of comfort.
I’ve now learned that this familiar feeling actually has a name, hygge. Pronounced hue-guh, hygge is a Danish word and refers to a feeling that one can have, such as coziness, charm, happiness, contentedness, security, kinship and even familiarity. There is no one singular English word to explain the feeling, and I expect the triggers for many differ, but for me I’ve come to acknowledge that the feeling of hygge occurs when I’m around familiar faces or meeting people that I instantly click with. It’s like my soul is happy and that my body has been placed under a relaxing spell. It lasts for around 3-5 seconds, but while in it, everything that happens feels magical. Sometimes remembering a moment that gave me unfiltered happiness gives me the same feeling again and again.
So, what is hygge?
Danes created hygge as a way of breaking up the monotony of life that came with the cold, dark months of winter, when boredom for many of us is a mutual feeling. The weather is bland; it’s too cold to venture too far out. During winter, we tend to burrow down in our homes and await the beams of sunlight that informs us that Spring is approaching. But the life of the Danish is never on hold. Hygge was created as a way of making the ordinary feel special, so the simple act of making a coffee or cooking a meal felt like something to celebrate as opposed to a daily step of life that we typically take for granted.
7. Get creative in the kitchen
Food is very emotive, and something we typically enjoy more when we’re around people that we trust and love. While eating is incredibly hygge, cooking is even more so. So why not get the girls around and make some old fashioned homemade food? Something hearty and warm like a stew will go down so well during the colder months. Hosting a dinner party puts the pressure on one individual, whereas if a group of you all get together and cook it becomes a more relaxing event, and one that you’ll have a lot of fun experiencing.
Lora is a virulent wellness enthusiast. She freelances from the UK where you can find her writing about all things healthy foodie and natural beauty. Fun fact? She reads and watches more DVDs than the average human.