Esther O'Loughlin 1 Mar 2018 04:08pm

Six ways to achieve hygge

The Danes are considered to be one of the happiest people on earth, despite their long, hard winters. Central to this is the Danish concept of Hygge

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Caption: Hygge is the Danish concept of cosiness

Hygge is most closely translated as cosiness, but Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hygge – The Danish Way to Live Well, better describes it as the feeling of “a hug without the touch”. So as the snow sets in and people hunker-down indoors, economia explores six ways we can achieve Hygge in your own home

Light a fire

A blazing fireplace becomes a place of communal comfort in a home, as well as saving on your central heating bills. But for those not lucky enough to have one in their house, then any flame – a lantern or a basic candle – is believed to foster a sense of connection and peacefulness reminiscent of hyyge.

Be present

The hustle and bustle of everyday life can often distract us from “living in the moment”. A chief practice of hygge is mindfulness and stillness, which can be obtained by doing something as simple as turning off your phone for a couple of hours, pausing on your walk home from work or people-watching with a cup of tea. 

Get comfy

 Your home is your hygge headquarters, so it should be a place you can completely relax in. Everything from interior design, to clothing, to music, to location will play a part in this. Texture and smell are not to be overlooked, and the Danes are said to be fans of “bringing the outdoors inside”. Consider introducing some wooden furniture, woollen blankets or adding pot plants around the room.

Take a soak

Few people consider the bathroom when trying to make their homes cosier, but this is a great place to start. Try taking some time out and swapping the shower for a soak in the tub each evening. Candles, essential oils and some big fluffy towels or robes can add to the experience.

Surround yourself with stories

Reading a book can be a great way to slow down and unplug, but there are other kinds of stories that we often don’t think about. Every object tells a tale, so think about where you place the ones that are important to you. Items like photo albums, favourite gifts or artworks will help surround you with memories and develop a sense of belonging.

Take pleasure in food

We are often told to avoid “guilty pleasures” when it comes food, but hygge allows an exception. Whether it’s taking the time to savour a hot chocolate or preparing an oven-cooked dinner to share with family, food can directly impact our comfort levels. Importantly it is largely communal, and there is no guilt in a treat shared among friends.