The Renewing Art and Practice of Hygge
Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish word to express a feeling or moment that is cozy, charming, or special in a particular way. Typically used in the winter and colder months, practicing hygge doesn’t require much except creating an atmosphere of comfort and contentment in the moment and with what is easy and easily attainable. Like the famous quote found on the inside of the Celestial Seasonings tea box, "Bread and water can so easily be made toast and tea." Such is the spirit of hygge... a practice that falls into delightful alignment with the practice of mindfulness.
What Is The Meaning Of Hygge?
Hygge only requires consciousness, a certain slowness, and the ability to enjoy and recognize the beauty of the present moment.. Many authors define ‘hygge’ as a ‘feeling’ – because if you don’t feel hygge, you probably aren’t defining the word properly.
Hygge can also be defined as “an art of creating intimacy” whether alone, with family, or with friends, while cozy in your home. There is no direct translation of hygge into English. However terms such as coziness, charm, happiness, contentment, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, kinship, and simplicity in combination, come close.
The Danish people created the idea of hygge to endure the boredom of the cold, dark winters of Denmark. The undefinable feeling of hygge was a way to find moments to celebrate throughout the day. Rather than sinking into a depression, creating simple and comforting rituals such as lighting a fire or candles, making a nightly cup of tea or cocoa, wearing soft and cozy clothing, and choosing programming music, and books that lift the spirits can shift the emotional load of the long and dark winter months. Creating these simple rituals help shift our mindset from a feeling of drudgery and the mundane into an art form... something to be savored and enjoyed. By incorporating these acts of personal and community comfort, hygge can become a natural extension of life and not another forced, and therefore stress-inducing event.
Whether it’s making an afternoon cup of coffee or tea in your grandmother's china every day, a cozy evening in front of the fire just enjoying each other’s company, lighting a candle with every meal, or soaking in a warm bath with essential oils and soft music, hygge is just this... becoming aware of a good moment. Hygge is simple. Hygge is mindfulness of the beauty of the everyday made special.