Hygge – is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special. This is an important word in Danish and sounds as though we should be incorporating it into English.
The Danes know all about Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD, and I’m sure they created hygge to survive the long, cold, dark days. Let’s face it, they have a lot of them. So Hygge is a way for them to find moments to celebrate.
I relish the feeling of contentment when it comes upon me and thought, perhaps, that reading a book authored by Meik Wiking (Mick the Viking?) the CEO of The Happiness Research Institute of Denmark, would spur more little pockets of contentment to come my way.
Perhaps the photo of a relaxed Wiking influenced my purchase too.
He says ” We Danes talk about hygge all the time – it’s a key performance indicator of any Danish social gathering – we talk about hygge things coming up that we’re looking forward to; we point out when something hygge is happening right now and we talk about what a great ”hyggelit” time they’ve had afterwards. As you can tell, we take hygge very seriously.”
I learned that Hygge or to be “hyggeligt” doesn’t require learning ‘how to’. It’s not a thing. It’s more of a feeling. Hygge requires only consciousness, a certain slowness, and the ability to not just be present – but to recognise and enjoy the present. Sounds simple enough.
OK. But light a candle, invite a couple of friends over, and eat cake? That’s the secret to happiness? Apparently yes, especially if you like magazine articles, long magazine articles .. for that’s what this book is.
Possibly I need a harsh Winter to appreciate it more, not a balmy afternoon of 26 celsius. Perhaps I have to be Danish.
I give it 3 stars for a calming afternoon read on the couch.
My Amazon link : The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living