My latest read has been “The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking. He is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. What a great job!
Anyway, I’ve always thought that Hygge or ‘Hooga’ was just about having less clutter and stuff – which any of you who know me and have been to my house will agree – is not really me!
Us Betts ladies love nic-nacs, books, ceramics, plants, Christmas decorations, art and photos. We can’t help ourselves! So, when I started the book I wanted this concept of Hygge, to be more than about that.
I’ve not been disappointed! The book has some great ideas about Hygge being about an atmosphere and experience, and just being with the people we love.
“A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.”
(Page 6 – The Little book of Hygge)
I wanted to focus this blog on some chapters at the latter end of the book, that really got me thinking – about the dimensions of Hygge.
Whilst Hygge can be an intangible and abstract concept, this is the idea that we can also use all our senses to detect Hygge – our Happiness. Wiking introduces the idea that Hygge has a taste, a sound, a smell and a texture and that we should be able to see Hygge all around us and that this should make us happy.
So, I have thought about the things that give me a happy experience, feel at home, safe, loved ….. My Hyggelig things….
The taste of Hygge – “Is almost always familiar, sweet and comforting”
My Hygge food is a Croissant. They are warm, flakey, delicious. I like them with jam or lemoncurd. But also, my Granny used to love them and now I have them when I’m with family.
The sound of Hygge – “many sounds can be Hyggelige… Any sounds of a safe environment”
My Hygge sound in country music. I just love it. It calms me and I can’t help but sing along. Life seems better with a little Dolly.
The smell of Hygge – “something that provokes strong feelings of security and comfort”
My Hygge smell is incense. It reminds me of the German ‘smoking’ man mum and dad have, who comes out at Christmas and burns incense cones. It reminds me of family time at Christmas and lazy days together doing jigsaws and eating too much.
What does Hygge feel like? – “the rustic, organic surface of something imperfect or something that has or will be affected by age”
My ‘thing’ that I think feels Hygge is drinking from a hand made mug. Not mass produced, crafted by someone’s hands and fingers. Tea tastes better. I feel better. They make a living.
Seeing Hygge – “Hygge is very much about light. Too bright is not Hyggeligt. But Hygge is also very much about taking you time”
This one I think is the hardest. In my life everything happens quite fast and I’m usually multitasking. However, a few weeks ago I was at mum and dad’s and I woke up and looked out my old bedroom window. The sunrise was beautiful and then I saw a fox!…. Quietly running across the back field. I watched him until he disappeared into the undergrowth and watched the sun come up too. That was quite Hygge.
Finally, the sixth sense of Hygge:
“Hygge is about feeling safe. Hence Hygge is an indicator that you trust the ones you are with and where you are. Hygge can be tasted, heard, smelled, touched and seen. But, most importantly, Hygge is felt.”
So, thankfully, to have some Hygge in my life I don’t have to throw out half my stuff!
I think Hygge is about being comfortable…with yourself, with your surroundings and with others.
Reminiscing, sharing, entertaining, having good relationships with family, friends, pets, spending time by yourself, lighting candles, dimming the lights, reading, laughing…. Eating croissants! They are all ways to increase your Hygge!
So let’s have more Hygge this Christmas everyone! Focus on the things that matter, make you happy and comfortable.
p.s. I won’t get to blog again until the New Year, so Merry Christmas one and all.