Getting Hip to Hygge: What You Need to Know

Getting Hip to Hygge: What You Need to Know

If you’re like us, the Danish word “hygge” has popped up here and there in your life. At Ikea, in an article, or on a design show. Hygge (pronounced who-guh) is a quant Danish sentiment meaning that fuzzy feeling of coziness and contentment. Hygge is anything from a warm cup of coffee first thing on a cold morning, or sitting in a cozy cafe with a friend. It’s a feeling rather than a practice, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take certain measures to hygge-fy your life.

Mindfulness is Key

We discuss mindfulness on the blog a lot, and this article is no different. When you get down to the essence of hygge, it really is about enjoying and appreciating the present moment. Mindfulness teacher Bara Sapir advises to take your mindfulness practice beyond meditation, and to observe the small and precious moments of your day.

“Take time to observe a candle flame, trees blowing in the wind, the ocean tide, and even more static things like a flower or a mandala,” says Sapir, who suggests observing ten new things every day. “Practice a loving-kindness meditation by looking at photographs of people, both those you know and those you don’t know. Ignite a positive feeling inside and beam it towards them. Conjure up good thoughts and imagine you’re offering this to them.”

Sapir also suggests bringing mindfulness to the most mundane tasks, like daily hygiene practices. “Take the opportunity to use a different hand while brushing your teeth and pay attention to how it feels the entire time. You can close your eyes and recognize any new sensations as you actively build new synaptic pathways in your brain!”

Find the Ritual in the Routine

“Hygge is about celebrating the things that we already do,” says design journalist and certified yoga teacher Megan Mazzocco. “Most of us easily overlook them, because we tend to rush through the basic foundations of our everyday life.”

The idea behind this is simple, but rather lovely. The more we pay attention to—and celebrate—the minutiae of our daily routines, the more content, relaxed, and even convivial we become. Finding the magic in our morning cup of coffee, or the steam from the shower, or simply looking out the window for the first time that day is a simple and easy way to achieve hygge.

It’s Not All About Candles… But They Can Help!

Type “how to hygge” in your search bar and you’ll be confronted with a lot—and we mean a lot—of candle literature. The thought behind this is that candlelight gives off a very unique, cozy vibe. Which is true! But it’s not everything.

“Having both a well lit and comfortable space is not possible without first decluttering,” says professional organizer Ben Soreff of House to Home Organizing. “People have anxiety when they are not in control, so candles and soft pillows aren’t going to help if your space is cluttered!”

Soreff suggests decluttering the home in a real way—not just cleaning countertops and putting things in closets. Hygge, he says, is about getting rid of excess everything, from knicknacks to furniture that no longer serves you or your space.

That said, a good candle (or 10) does the body good in a very literal sense. Since our lives are lived by artificial light, the candle offers a relaxing, warm reprieve. They emit a cozy, natural light so different from our screens and our lamps, candles in and of themselves create an atmosphere of comfort and contentment. Just make sure to prioritize getting your space straight and then lighting some candles!

What do you think? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you do to achieve cozy comfort!

Featured image: @_chrissygurion