Winnie the Pooh was asked once to spell the word of a certain feeling and he answered: “Feelings are not supposed to be spelled or written down, are supposed to be felt”! Therefore, according to the Danish people, it is of minor importance how we spell or pronounce the word “hygge,” as long as the deepest meaning, the essence of the word, nests in our minds and hearts and becomes a way of life.
The Danes are the happiest people in Europe, according to the European Research Center. For us Greeks, this fact is like “a pink elephant just walked into the bedroom”, as we live in a shiny beautiful country and the Greek way of entertainment and living is internationally recognized as being unique. You see, we are spiritual sons and daughters of Zorba the Greek, who in turn was the descendant of the ancient god Dionysus. I suppose you already know who Zorba was, but if not, just google it for the moment to find out and maybe we will talk about him on the next article, as analyzing about Zorba the Greek is not the issue of this certain article. The issue here is how on earth Danish people manage to be the happiest people in Europe, even though they live in a sunless and cold country. Sun is a key factor for being happy since our exposure to solar radiation is tainted with the hormone serotonin! Yet, it is! The Danes are truly the happiest people of Europe and the reason for this is the “Hygge” hidden in their minds and hearts!
What is “Hygge”
It is difficult to explain what “hygge” is because it is not just one thing. There is a whole life philosophy hidden behind this five-lettered word. But for us to understand it and maybe start embodying to our way of thinking and living, it is necessary to give a definition. In brief, let’s say that “hygge” is the art of creating intimacy. The art of living a peaceful and happy life, where any inconvenience is absent. Hygge is also the enjoyment that one feels when surrounded by pleasant people, things and situations that fulfill his heart with warmth and love. We do not really know the origin of the word hygge. The same word in Norwegian means prosperity, but it is possible that originates from the English word “hug.” Whatever the origin of the word hygge is, it doesn’t really matter. The important thing now is for us to find out how to become happier, the Danish way!
Be happy the Danish way
Let’s find out together what The Danes have to teach us about happiness! Here are some useful tips that will turn our lives to be more “huggelig”!
Create a hygge house atmosphere
To start with, the Danes say that we cannot claim a “hygge” life without candles! Thus, when we want to rest and relax at home, we should always turn off the artificial lamps and use candles. Natural flames offer emotional comfort and warmth!
Be the protagonist in your life
In other words: we should be conscious and live all our special moments authentically. To conquer that, we should learn to turn off our smartphones from time to time!
We must always enjoy our food, coffee, cookies, and sweets! We should eat and drink like kings and queens. There’s no limitation on gastronomic pleasure.
We should choose our friend carefully so as we fit together as the key fits into the lock. From the moment we chose our beloved using this criterion, we think of them as being equal to us. No jealousy, no competition, no negative thoughts!
All the good and sad things in our lives are gifts which we should always be thankful for.
A small break is always a good idea! We should chase relaxation moments during within a busy day! We must always try to suit ourselves whatever we do!
A brief “hygge” article on how to build up strong relationships with people would have the following “huggelig” words: chat, eat drink, trust.
When being with family and friends, we should always keep in mind that we have nothing to prove them. Overweening is not “huggelig” at all.
It’s time for relaxation! No dramas allowed. We will talk about politics, football or religious matters another day!
The article I shared with you today, is based on Mike Viking’s book “Hygge,” which I bought and read it from cover to cover within a day and I truly recommend it hot! Until my next article, do not forget my friends: read, learn and then learn more! This is your hygge superpower!