I’m guessing some of you are wondering…

A) What is Hygge?

B) Why do I need it?

I am here to give you the details on this Danish concept — how it affects your health and happiness and why I’ve been working on incorporating it into my life.

Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga” in English) is not a tangibile item but rather a feeling. It doesn’t have an exact definition but rather has many…a feeling of coziness, the pleasure of soothing things, a feeling of home, a warm drink in your hands while sitting by a roaring fire, togetherness.

Hygge originated in Denmark, a country that is consistently ranked among the happiest nations in the world despite high taxes and gloomy weather. So why are they so happy?

They make Hygge a priority!

They light candles, have soft lighting, put on comfy clothes, spend peaceful time together with friends and family, they take pleasure in delicious, slow cooked food, they are grateful, they enjoy warm drinks….

Sounds wonderful doesn’t it? And so much of Hygge goes along with a whole body wellness. Being mindful, taking time for yourself, practicing gratitude, spending time with good friends and family — all of these are major contributors to your health and happiness.

How can you practice Hygge?

  • Light some candles (choose natural, unscented ones — candles make with artificial scents are very un-Hygge)
  • Make a warm cup of your favourite tea or coffee — try a Turmeric Latte
  • Take time to read and enjoy a wonderful book
  • Make homemade baked goods or slow food like soup or stew — try Apple Crisp and Vegetable Minestrone
  • Put on your coziest clothes and socks
  • Enjoy a glass of red wine by a warm fire
  • Take a hot bath
  • Cuddle up with a loved one and a blanket and watch your favourite movie
  • Watch the sunrise or sunset — the light is so gorgeous
  • Meditate
  • Make dinner with family and friends
  • Turn off your phone and be in the moment

The Hygge part of any of these activities is to truly savour the moment and the simple pleasure of it. Give the indulgence the attention it deserves. Be grateful and remember not to take the simple pleasures in life for granted.

I have been working on incorporating Hygge into my life and I encourage you to as well. If you want to learn more about it there is a great book called “The Little Book of Hygge — The Danish Way to Live Well” written by Meik Wiking.

Do you practice Hygge? Which of the activities mentioned feeds your soul? I would love to hear from you — leave your thoughts in a comment below.

Originally published at medium.com