What is Hygge and why it is what you need for happiness

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What is Hygge and why it is what you need for happiness
Oleksandr Vasetskyi

In 2016, this concept was included into the top ten most popular words of the year by the Collins dictionary. And if hadn’t been for "brexit" and "trumpism", everyone would have been talking about hygge. So, what is this mysterious "hygge"?

Сreated in association with Conscensia 

It is hard to explain what exactly that word means, since it cannot be translated literally. In short, it is coziness and spiritual comfort. It’s that feeling when you sit by the fireplace in your warm socks, sipping hot cocoa and reading your favorite book, snuggling up under a fluffy blanket while it’s raining or snowing outside.
In fact, it’s a whole lifestyle based on the ability to enjoy simple things, feel "here and now" and be grateful.

The secret of happy Danes4

Homeland of hygge is Denmark

According to studies of recent decades, the Danes are considered to be one of the happiest peoples of Europe. And this despite the constantly bad weather and exorbitant taxes. So how do they manage it? I share with you the secrets of simple Danish happiness.

Secret # 1. Cozy place

Create hyggekrog in your home - a small corner in the kitchen or living room, where you can spend time with pleasure. Ideal is a balcony or a wide window sill with a bunch of pillows and warm blankets. Here you can drink tea with honey and enjoy the familiar view. In Denmark, realtors (real estate brokers) even indicate the presence of such a corner as an advantage when selling an apartment. In general, to create Danish- comfort is not so difficult. Minimalism in the interior, more wood, a soft sofa and a few memorable little things - that's enough.

"Simplicity and functionality – the main features of the Danish classical design. In short, the bigger th ebrilliance, the less hugge, "- M. Wicking," The Little Book of Hygge. Secret of Danish Happiness "

Secret # 2. Lighting

As in Lviv, in Denmark rain falls almost half a year. Therefore, in order to get rid of oppression, it is important to choose the right lighting. Lamps must be soft and warm. Ideally, separate islands of light should be created.
And of course candles. Without them, hugge is not hugge. 28% of Danes light candles every evening. On average, one resident of Denmark burns 6 kilograms of wax per year – the highest figure in the world.

The secret of happy Danes3

Secret # 3. Time with the nearest and dearest

You can feel hygge even being on your own, but more often it is born in contact with other people.
The best company for hygge is three or four people. In such a relaxed society you can completely relax and be yourself. Try to start a joint tradition – to play board (table) games on Tuesdays or together to prepare dinner on Saturday.

Secret # 4. Food

For centuries, the harsh climate forced the Vikings to eat high-calorie food. Times have changed, but this rule is still valid - meat dishes and pastries are still in favor of Danes. As they say, hyggecannot be reached on the hungry stomach. Therefore, the main rule is–to be sure to treat (pamper) yourself with delicious and several times a week to turn a blind eye to a healthy diet.

"Sweets are hugge. Baking is a hugge. Coffee and hot chocolate also. And here's the carrot sticks - not so much,"- M. Wiking" Little book Hygge. Secret of Danish Happiness ".

Secret # 5. Movement

In order not to get worried because of consumed calories, you need to be active. However, do not hurry to run for a subscription to an expensive fitness club. Remember: hygge is simple. Grandmother`s sticks for the Nordic walking, grandfather`s vintage bicycle - no matter what you take to arming, the main thing is to get pleasure from the process.
By the way, about the bike. Most Danes favor it when it comes to how to get to work.


Secret # 6. Work

It's easy to feel cozy and comfortable at home, when your family is near you, hot tea and Netflix. And why do not you feel hygge at work?
Danes argue that work should also include the principles of hygge, because we spend about 8 hours a day there. I visited the Danish company Conscensia and asked for some tips on how to make my work more hygged. Here's what I got:

  • Create coziness and add personality to the workplace

Do not take a place where you work only as a practical boring space, instead make it special, where you will feel comfortable, inspired and productive. Bring your favorite home cup, make a minimalist decor with family photos or your favorite pillow.

  • Look for happiness while working

Speaking of hygge at work, it's important to mention another Danish word arbejdsglæde, which can be translated as "happiness at work" (or "working happiness"). In Denmark and other Scandinavian countries, work is not just a way of earning money. While working, people tend to enjoy pleasure and happiness. This can be achieved through greater freedom in decision making in the daily workflow and opportunities for continuous learning and self-development.

  • Maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life

Danes do not sit up at work and are good at relaxing. Vacation and time with family is sacred. This is facilitated by a flexible schedule and a wonderful tradition - a short Friday. In the company Conscensia, we were confessed that this is one of the most pleasant benefits.

  • Use the lunch break at the fullest

Come outside! Even if you have had a lunch in the office, use a lunch break to enjoy a stroll in the fresh air.

  • Strengthen communication with colleagues

Strengthening contacts with colleagues is extremely important when it comes to truly hygge work. It does not matter what you are doing: bring a cup of coffee to your colleague, or invite to a walk-and-talk, or even go so far as to start organizing what is traditionally done in Conscensia - you organize a mega hygge party for colleagues. Everything you need: candles, mulled wine and pancakes.
Whatever you decide, believe me, it's worth trying, because there is nothing hugger than the time spent on people.


What is Hygge and why it is what you need for happinessCarsten Hansen, CEO of Conscensia

(Danish software development company with development center in Lviv)

“For us, Danes, a hygge lifestyle is not about perfection but about slowing down to truly enjoy and be content in even the smallest of moments. Reaching for a little hygge in your personal and work life is healthy for mind, body and soul.”


Secret # 7. Clothes

The main rule - it should be warm and comfortable. Woolen socks, knitted sweaters, soft scarves - all this undoubtedly. Creative disorder on the head will complement the image.

"Relaxation Danish hairstyle borders with idleness. As you woke up, go out. "
- M. Wicking "The Little Book of Hygge. Secret of Danish Happiness"

Secret # 8. Simple pleasures

Remember, the most valuable is that you are non-material. Children's laughter, the voices of loved ones, an evening with the nearest and dearest - this is real happiness. Therefore, if you want to achieve hygge in your life - first of all, remember simple pleasures. After all, the real thing is not so much in things as in the atmosphere and sensations.

Don’t worry, be #hygge

P.S. Before you cultivate the hygge, consult your doctor. Side effects can include an increased level of happiness, productivity and well-being :)

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