Welcome to Mindful Monday! Do you ever see a photograph and wish that you could just be a part of it for a little bit? Imagine being able to snuggle up in a big cozy blanket with your favorite book and a mug of coffee or tea. Maybe a few candles are lit, and perhaps there is even a little bit of music playing. You feel comfortable. You feel cozy.
Welcome to the world of hygge.
Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a cornerstone of Danish culture. It is defined as a quality of coziness and comfortable friendliness that brings forth feelings of contentment or well-being. Anna Altman of the New Yorker writes in an in-depth article, "it's possible to hygge alone, wrapped in a flannel blanket with a cup of tea, but the true expression of hygge is joining with loved ones in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere."
Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, is the author of The Little Book of Hygge (available here). He writes, "hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe." His book outlines a number of ways that we can bring hygge into our world in order to live a happier, more fulfilling life including taking breaks to get comfy, building relationships with our favorite people, and "living life today, like there is no coffee tomorrow."
While we may see that picture above and want to crawl into it, hygge challenges us to bring these comforts into our actual, everyday life. We can create these spaces for ourselves and put ourselves into them- give ourselves a break, and enjoy the warmth and coziness around us. As the weather begins to cool, this is a perfect opportunity to bring hygge into your own life and provide ourselves comfort in the seasons we need it most.
Be you. Be well. Be mindful.