Happiness and Coziness: the Hygge Concept
Hygge(pronounced hoo-ga) is a term from Denmark that is loosely translated into “cozy” in English. The Danish’s high level of happiness is being credited to this concept. This term is used to describe a cozy dinner with friends and a relaxing night in front of a fireplace with family.
After reading several different articles, I have noticed that while there are some solitary activities that are described as hygge the majority of them involve friends and family. This has led me to believe that part of the cozy contentment felt during a hygge activity involves some social interaction.
Marie Helweg-Larsen, a psychologist and Denmark native, believes that hygge is an integral part of why the Danish look upon their lives with such positivity. She says hygge buffers stress and builds comradery. Helweg-Larson states that there is no hygge equivalent in American society.
This statement is somewhat true. I would equate hygge to taking joy in the simple things: taking time to enjoy a cup of tea with a family member or taking a walk with your friend.
How can we get in on hygge happiness? Look at socializing as something positive instead of an exhausting duty. As an introvert, I tend to look at social obligations as exactly that. Changing my frame of mind so I can take enjoyment out of these things is going to my main focus.
How do you plan to make hygge a part of your life and increase your level of happiness?