What is Hygge?
No, it's not a bookshelf from IKEA and it's not a type of fish. Although it might feel like Hygge is a relatively new concept, it's actually been around for quite some time with uses of the word dating back to the 19th century. But what does it actually mean? Where did it come from? And how can you embrace it to the fullest?
What does it mean?
Hygge (pronounced hue-guh, not hoo-gah) is a Danish and Norwegian word meaning "to give courage, comfort, joy." It's a form of everyday togetherness. Some believe the word actually originated from "hug" or the Old Norse term, hygga, which means "to comfort." And while there's no direct translation to English, several close words to describe the concept of hygge would be cosiness, charm, happiness, security, comfort, kinship, simpleness, and being content.
Where did it come from?
Hygge was created because the Danish people were trying to survive the boredom, cold and dark of winter. Every day would feel the same and their sense of enjoyment was stifled. By introducing hygge into their lives, they added a warmth and sense of celebration to their lives. Even today the concept is such a fundamental part of their lives that it is considered "a defining feature of our cultural identity and an integral part of the national DNA," according to Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.
How can you live hygge?
There's a chance you've experienced hygge without even realizing it. Reading a book indoors under a blanket. A cup of hot chocolate on a snowy morning. Those big old socks you wear for that extra bit of warmth. It doesn't cost anything to achieve hygge and it's all about finding the simple pleasures in the everyday. Taking time to shut off the tv and read a book or turn off the lights and use the fireplace or candles. AND DON'T FORGET BLANKETS.
Be comfortable. That's the key to hygge. Not only can it help you relax, but the power conservation of hygge will also help your home's energy use too. And we could all use some extra comfort and care these days.
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