Hygee: How to find Cosiness Everywhere
The Danish word Hygge (pronounced ‘hoo-gah’), is the art of being cosy.
Hygge is the use of soft warm lights around a room full of comfy furniture and a roaring fireplace. It is reading a book in bed with a cup of tea. It is sharing a drink with your friends around a table of freshly made food. Hygge is a feeling of warmth and togetherness built from light and love.
The Danes and Norwegians have harnessed how to be happy in their tradition of Hygge, which has helped them become one of the top-ranked happiest countries in the world, according to an article from the BBC last year.
Last year I read the book ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wiking. This book changed my life. Providing a detailed guide to the elements of Hygge, it explained the history of the tradition, the cultural hold Hygge has on the Danes and ways you can implement Hygge into your life.
Perhaps the main piece of advice I gained from this book was going into Hygge with a positive mindset and building your atmosphere to be one you are comfy in. This means, designing your home to truly be a home, with colour, life and light. Think of fairy-lights strung across the walls, with thick blankets on every sitting surface and warm light splashed from odd angles around the room. This cosy atmosphere is the key to Hygge.
Light - this was the main element described in the book to be easy to control in your space to create a feeling of Hygge. No big overhead ceiling lights, no neon lights - just lots of little lights casting warm shadows around the room. The use of candles is more or less essential for creating Hygge. Of course, not everyone is comfortable using candles or is even allowed to use them - so instead work with electrical lighting. I hate using my main room light and prefer to have my fairy-lights on, with a desk lamp to create the main source of light.
However, Hygge is more than just improving your physical space for comfort, it is also about mental health and creating a positive growth mindset. Hygge is about enjoying the good things in life with good people. Hygge creates an anti-anxiety environment, it is designed to be calming, it is the art of slow-living. Taking time in your day to journal, read, to take a moment to breathe in the fresh air, this is Hygge.
How to embrace Hygge:
Find some inspiration
I recommend Pinterest as a good source of aesthetically pleasing images to help inspire your Hygge environment. You can also just look up Google Images, or think about places in your favourite movies and shows. Places like the Gryffindor Common Room in Harry Potter is one such place.
Play with lighting
As we have mentioned, lighting plays a huge part in creating a sense of Hygge in your space. Turn off the harsh overhead lights, use the little lamps and warm colours to cast a soft orange glow. Fairy lights and candles are also a must.
Cosy surfaces and warmth
Blankets and cushions everywhere - cover plenty of spaces in soft textures for you, your friends and family to sink into and enjoy the environment.
Enjoy the smaller moments
Next time you are tucked in a blanket reading a book, take a moment to let that feeling wash over you, experience the moment rather than just push through it. When you next have a warm cup of tea, savour the flavour, feel the warmth of the drink soothe your throat. When you have friends and family over, be an active part of the conversation and enjoy the company by stepping back and taking in the moment.
By implementing Hygge into your life it will become easier to find cosiness everywhere you go.