What is Hygge and how can we learn to live more like the Danes?
Hygge has become one of the buzzwords of 2019 along with terms like self-care. But what actually is it? And how can it be translated into our everyday life?
On Nyxie’s Nook we’re all about self-care. We’ve focused on various things such as luxury spa visits to simple gift collections. But it’s not just about the things we can do or buy for ourselves, it’s also about our living environment. That’s where the Danish art of Hygge can come in handy.
*Quick Disclaimer! I’m not Danish, so some things may be incorrect or ‘off’ for those of Danish origin. Please feel free to leave constructive criticism as I would very much like to update this post so that’s it’s a true reflection of Hygge. Although the internet and books are wonderful, their information doesn’t always come from the best sources.
What is Hygge?
Although similar to the German word “Gemütlichkeit” which roughly means the feeling you get when you’re content and comfortable, Hygge originates from Denmark. Much like Gemütlichkeit, there is no definitive way to translate Hygge. It encompasses many things such as the feeling of ‘cosiness’ or ‘contentment‘ through enjoying the simple things.
This idea of wellness in it’s simplest form has been a part of Danish culture since the early 1800s. It later appeared in the UK in early 2016 after several books were published about the art of Hygge in the home. As Denmark plummets into long, long winter nights, Hygge becomes not only more popular but also more important.
Hygge could be the reason why!
The Danes often describe things as hyggeligt (hygge-like) and are obsessed with adding hygge onto other words. For example, sweatpants can be called Hyggebukser, which loosely means “the pants you wouldn’t be caught dead in but always wear around the house.”
You can find Hygge strapped onto almost any word!
How can Hygge help us?
Hygge is responsible for a variety of benefits, or at least that’s the assumption. Despite Denmark suffering from notoriously miserable winters, they’re one of the happiest countries in the world, and the Danes attribute this to practising Hygge.
The idea behind creating a Hygge lifestyle is that it’s meant to promote a sense of calm and warmth within not only your living space but your life as well.
We experience our living space through the use of our five senses, therefore it should come as no surprise that a cosy living space would allow us to feel peaceful and safe. Positive feelings like this allow us to unclench our jaws and lower our defences, therefore allowing us to be more present.
Hygge has been attributed to the following:
- A drop in depression and anxiety symptoms.
- Increased positivity.
- Lowered stress levels.
Among other mental health benefits.
If the prospect of increased happiness isn’t enough for you, check out some of the other benefits of Hygge.
Creating a Hygge space.
When I think of a cosey environment I picture roaring fireplaces, a sea of knitted throws, a hot cup of coffee and Willow sleeping on my lap. The curtains are drawn, the world is dark outside and it’s just me and my video game persona. Cosy can be different for everyone. Some people want reading nooks while others want a warm bed and a good show on Netflix. It’s subjective and that’s the joy of it!
With that being said, Hygge doesn’t only exist in the home. It exists wherever we take it. It’s a feeling of contentment, comfort, joy and is everything we crave to feel in life.
No wonder the Danes have been dubbed one of the happiest nations!
Rule number one of Hygge is to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. You can’t get comfortable when you’re wrapped up in multiple layers, struggling to keep the cold from your bones, can you? You need warm blankets, a roaring fire, and fluffy pillows.
If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, as many rented homes don’t, simply pop the heating on and bundle up beneath a knitted throw.
Warmth isn’t just physical, it’s what you want to make it. You can feel warm and cosey while out for a stroll through the Christmas markets. It’s an internal feeling of contentment. That feeling you get when you’re with friends, standing under a markee with your hands around a hot chocolate. Or when you’re simply sitting watching the people go by in a cosey cafe, a good book in front of you and peace.
No matter what, make it ‘warm’ and inviting to you.
Forget about the bright, fluorescent lighting! For Hygge living, you want soft, warm lighting such as dimmable lamps and the glow of the embers on the fire. Bringing bright lighting into your living space can keep us alert and feels institutional.
Bringing in softer lighting creates a more intimate experience, allowing us to fully surrender to comfort.
How can I possibly mention lighting without candles? Candles are considered to be a hallmark within Hygge. Not only is there the option of scented candles, but they also provide soft lighting while also promoting relaxation.
Learn more about decorating to get the most our of you home here.
Spend some time doing the things you love. Read a good book, play your favourite video game, or watch a good movie. If you feel more relaxed in the company of people, you can invite your friends around for an evening of hot chocolate and Netflix.
Relaxation is what grounds you and allows you to escape for a while.
Many Hygge experts tell you that Hygge decor needs to be kept simple, comfy, and filled with pillows and blankets. Although that may be true for some, I’m of the opinion that you can make any living space Hyggeligt. With the right lighting and a calming atmosphere, you could even make your office Hygge. Sometimes just having my lamp on, a lovely scent in my diffuser and plenty of warmth can make my office a cosy place to be.
But it’s entirely up to you. How you want to create your Hygge space is all based on what you find comfortable and inviting.
Mostly because I can’t get enough of that word, but also because they’re basically essential. When getting into our hyggeligt state, having comfy, warm clothing is paramount to help us feel at ease.
Whether you’re wearing your winter PJ’s or you have designated hyggebuskers, if it’s comfy then it works for hygge.
Food & Drink.
Certain foods are considered to be more Hygge than others. Hot chocolate is possibly one of the most written about. Include some marshmallows and cream, and you just might have yourself the ultimate winter-warmer.
Just think of your favourite comfort food and you’ve found your perfect companion to the hygge lifestyle.
In fact, my number one goal this winter is to have a hot chocolate for the first time in ten years!
Hygge is what you want to make it.
There are many more ways you can start living like the Danes. Hygge isn’t just about being warm and cosey on the outside, it’s also about feeling those things on the inside too.
Very interesting ideas! I’ve only heard about hygge from you, but it sounds really nice! I recently bought a bathrobe that reminded me of hygge- it’s so thick and soft! I also find it interesting that there’s a food category too, but it makes sense. Food can be so comforting. Thank you for sharing!
I have a book about Hygge which I haven’t read but would love to get around to it this year. It’s a lovely concept – one that us in the UK definitely need to adopt more of!
I love the idea behind hygge and loved finding more about it in your post Nyxie! Need to try and get more of this hygge lifestyle within my day to day life!
I’m a fan of the concept of hygge, so it was great to read more about it in this post. I can definitely see how it increases positivity! Lovely post.
I loved learning about ‘hygge’! I think it could help me at the moment because I usually get depressed in the winter. It sounds very comforting and the opposite of how my eating disorder wants me to live.
I totally loved reading this and I think we all need some hygge in our lives! cosiness and warmth are such a must and not only in winter, so while reading I decided to turn off the light, light a candle and oh, so much better! Can’t wait to settle in and read x
I’ve always been fascinated with words that have deep meaning and I encountered this Hygge word before and I love the idea behind it. Definitely love the concept of this word and thanks for sharing this detailed post.
I’ve heard of Hygge before and that Denmark was the happiest country. I love the idea of making life cozy on every level. Thanks for the reminder.
Such a great post to read! I love the feeling of being cosy too!
I totally loved this post! I was not aware of the term Hygge but reading about it here made me realize how much I aspire its philosophy in my life. I do try to make all my spaces cozy and warm. It makes me feel in peace and happy with myself. I will look into the Hygge a bit more since I find it really interesting. Thank you for letting me know about it.
Hhhhmmmm….it’s nice to learn something about hygge, finally! I have heard a lot about it but never had a clearer picture of it like I am having now. It’s high time I put it’s rules into practice. Fingers crossed, hoping for the best.
This is so fun to learn! I love the feeling of being cosy too! This is really great to know!
I definitely love being cozy for sure! This was an awesome post. Thanks for sharing!
I think I need some softer lighting too. Great article.
I always feel less stressed when I’m warm and comfy! Winter PJ’s are my favorite!
First time to hear about it, and it sounds really a good way to give you the relaxation that you need. Thank you for sharing these ideas.
I’d love to adapt this Danish obsession with getting cozy. I’ll start with warm blankets and pillows
It’s great to learn more about Hygge. I would love to create my own Hygge space through relaxation
What a great explanation. I kind of thought I knew what it was, but this really helped clarify. I like how you broke it down – hyggebuskers to pants meaning ones you wouldn’t be caught dead in outside of the house! Plus I had no idea food was hygge – but I get why hot chocolate would be the ultimate embodiment of it! I agree
Thanks for sharing! I like the conception of Hygge and its benefits. I always try to think positively and live a less stressful life. The idea about the warmth at home in front of the fireplace usually makes me calm and happy.
So I have been living under a rock because hygge is something new to me. While I have heard of this term, I never actually understood or researched what it meant. After reading your post, I am happy to report that I would be a fan of hygge. Just the warmth and relaxation aspect of it, count me in!
Where have I been for the past 2 years that I never heard of hygge? I’m all for contentment and relaxation–especially this time of year!
That’s excellent! Wishing you all the best with your journey through meditation 😀 And a happy new year 🙂
Thank you so much for reading. I glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Relaxation is everything these days. More so with the kids home. Always adding time to meditate, and reflect on our day.
2020 is my year to practice hygge! I am doing a great job so far on Christmas break. My next priority is meditation.
Thank you pet!
Thank you so much for reading. I find being more cosy and creating a more cosy environment makes me feel better, even if it’s just slightly.
There is nothing better than a fire, a warm blanket and a good book 🙂
Nothing beats keeping warm and cozy! Especially during these winter months!
I need to start practicing hygge every single day! I suffer from depression most of the year and it always gets worse during the cold winter days. I do find that I’m happier and feel more calm and peaceful when I am warm, cosy and comfortable. I love your suggestions on how to create more hygge around the home!
Such an inspiring and beautiful post ????????
Thank you for reading 🙂 It’s a wonderful concept.
Great post! I have heard about hygge before, but its great to learn more about it.
I’ve never heard about hygge but definitely sounds like we all need more of that in our life 🙂
I had a feeling while researching that Hygge goes far beyond just a concept or a word. It’s the whole idea of being cosey, comfy and content. Thank you so much for reading.
Thank you 🙂
Thank you. Glad you found it interesting.
Thank you so much for reading. I’m glad it was so informative for you 🙂
I personally think that Hot Chocolate is the ultimate Hygge drink. But there may be many disagree with me. It’s just a personal preferen
ce. Thank you so much for stopping in and reading.
Thank you 🙂
Thank you for stopping in and reading. Much appreciated.
Thank you 😀 I’m so glad you enjoyed this.
Thank you so much for reading 🙂
I love the concept of Hygge. I am all for it I am all for having a cozy!
Love everything about this post!
I’m all about being warm and cozy as is my cat, currently hogging the fire on his cozy fleece blanket.
Being cozy and comfortable, is what I am all about. Especially when my daugter visits from college. To create a “hyggee” space and home would be amazing.
Nothing better than snuggling up and getting cosey. Have never heard of hygge very interesting.
I had no idea that hot chocolate had more hygge. Yet, I drink it every so often during the cooler months.
This does sound like a great idea. Seems quite informative too.
I have heard about hygge but didn’t know too much about it. This was very informative and now I want to learn more.
Interesting. I never knew about this before.
I am all about some coziness. So many great ideas, I need to find some time for this.
Hygge can be seen differently.. Although this word Hygge is new to my vocabulary but the art of being Hygge isnt. every body loves that feeling of being cosy, that comfort and warmth that comes with doing, eating or being in a particular state or place… lovely post bye the way, we all live to learn everyday.
That’s something true about me! In winter I long for long and warm sunny days and I dream of staying in places which are cozy and comfortable! I didn’t know such a word before, but it matches me well! 🙂
I’m all for being cozy and comfortable, I just learn a new word with you! This coming year I would love to create a “hyggee” space and home.
Oh, wow, I never knew about this word before! Glad to know it. It reminds me a little of another word I’ve recently learned, “niksen”.
Great tips on creating a “hyggee” living space; will have to apply some of these during the winter months.
Interesting read! I haven’t heard of hygge before now, but I’m already a huge fan.
I hope to use this next year when i move into a new house. It sounds very interesting
I love this share! I try really hard to keep things simple and warm and inviting in our home. it really does help with my mental state!
I am reading about this!!
I had never heard of hygge before, but it sounds great. We all need to relax alot more than we do, this indeed might help a lot of people.
I adore the idea of hygge! I love being all warm and cosy particularly after being outside! One day I will have my reading nook where I can curl up under throws with scented candles and fairy lights and my furry hot water bottle!
Wonderful post! My husband and I are about to move, and I definitely want to incorporate some Hygge in our new place, especially with some softer elements and lighting. Thanks!
I love the idea behind this lifestyle, it just sounds so comforting and peaceful. Might have to see if I can add some of this into my life in the coming year!
I need this in my life. I love the feeling of being cozy. The decor in my house needs more lighting for a better atmosphere and that’s what I should work for.
I love have various throws to choose from around my living room! I just think it makes the whole place look more homely.
Thank you so much for reading 😀
Exactly! Thank you so much for reading.
Thank you so much for stopping in and reading.
That’s such a good idea. Even though I work from home I find it hard to switch off, especially because I like to be organised and ahead of myself. But I certainly plan to practice some Hygge tonight while my partner is at work.
I love that feeling! The fire on, a good show on the TV or a book, and no one to annoy me.
It’s such a cosy concept!
Thank you so much for reading.
I have so many plans to decorate my house in a similar fashion next year (Excluding the office which needs to be a mess for me).
Thank you so much for reading.
Likewise. Even though I work from home I’m never done working.
I love the style, personally. I just find it difficult to execute in my home.
Thank you so much for reading.
Thank you so much for reading.
So did I LOL and then I had to ask a Dane!
Thank you so much for popping in and reading 🙂
Thank you so much! Feel free to print it 🙂
My hot chocolate, to tell the truth, is usually coffee!
Thank you so much for reading.
Thank you very much for reading and commenting.
This year is one of the only 2 years my partner and I have had a fire to light and cozy up beside. It’s magical. I highly suggest something artificial if you have the room.
I love the term Hyggebuskers! I can relate so much to them because I have clothing that I only wear in the home for comfort and would never step foot outside in lol. The fact there is a term for it is amazing.
Thank you so much for reading 🙂
Thank you so much for popping in and reading.
Thank you so much for stopping in and reading. It’s a fairly new western term, but has been around in Denmark for years!
What an interesting post! It’s the first time that I hear about this term. I had no idea that Hygee was a thing lol I’ve definitely experienced it before without even knowing hahaha
I’m going to use this word more often.
Wow I had no idea about Hygee, thank you for sharing. I’m all about feeling cozy and just relaxing.
I love this post Nyxie! I am definitely feeling the Hygge vibes.
Hyggebuskers might be the best thing I have ever heard. So much so, I am going to go put mine on, light the christmas lights, Candles and snuggle down with some yummy comfort food.
Great post x
I am definitely into the cozy, relaxation, light and airy atmosphere. What I would really like is an open fire place to complete the picture of Hygge.
I need to practice hygge more often. I would like to live a full life like the Danes, feeling contented inside and not outside only. Thank you for sharing the tips.
I’m here for all of this. Except my hot chocolate would probably be tea. And maybe a couple of cookies lol.
This is very “me.” I love comfort and coziness. And I love your list of the benefits of hygge. I should print it up and post it in my kitchen to remind me of the benefits of self care.
Very interesting concept! I like that you shared this. So intriguing.
Personally I would like to bring this style more into my home, which at times seems to me too “cold”.
I need several days like this. A warm blanket and coffee sounds best to me.
I am moving next year and my plan for my new flat is to decorate it in a very cosy way… hygge style. I know that this style is used a lot on Scandinavia, which I loved so much when I traveled there a few years ago.
I keep hearing so much about Hygge and I really like everything I have seen so far. I love that it is all warm and cozy!
Nothing nicer then the feeling of being cosy! As I get older, I find myself enjoying this state more than a evening out!!
This is mee every Sunday or any holiday when I’m allowed to stay at home. I am a dentist and sometimes when I don’t feel well, I declare my practice closed for the day and I practice the ART OF COSY in my most comfortable pajamas. HEHE.
I am SO into being cozy. I would love to try this out. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!
The best thing about winter is being able to be cosy indoors 🙂