Unless you’ve been holed-up with a very good friend in a cabin in the woods or have opted to detox from technology, (both of which happen to be very hygge things to do) by now you’ve surely heard of and maybe even tried to pronounce “hygge,” a Danish and Norwegian word which can be described as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Thanks for keeping it brief, Wikipedia. (It’s pronounced “HOO-gah” for the record.)
There is no direct translation in English though cozy comes close, and it’s become very popular around the world lately. You can’t swing an oversize knit blanket without hitting something hygge it seems. Hygge is all things comfort and warmth: Lots of candlelight, layers of rugs, wool socks and fires. It’s having friends over for dinner and great conversation and there’s no silly counting of calories either. That’s where the oversize sweaters come into the picture.
The concept of hygge however, entails much more than material and physical comforts. It’s a way of being that is part of the cultural DNA of Denmark, a country that’s consistently ranked among the top 10 happiest places on earth,* despite its long, dark winters and yes, it has everything to do with this cultural mindset. Hygge is about embracing the simple, small pleasures that make life great – taking a moment to light a candle and enjoy a cup of tea or a piece of good quality chocolate. It’s about making a conscious decision to savor each moment with the people around you. Hygge is about being present.
Louisa Thomsen Brits, the author of “The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort, and Connection,” calls it “a practical way of creating sanctuary in the middle of very real life.” Yes, please. I’ll have some of that. In a world that seems to be increasingly stressful, promoting the idea of escaping one’s every day existence, hygge offers an alternative: Well-being can be achieved by making small changes to your approach to everyday life as well as your environment.
Considering that one of the key principles of hygge is to enjoy the space around you, nowhere is this more essential than in the home. Hygge is all about creating a space that feels good to be in, surrounded by items that bring you joy. Of course, IMAX Worldwide Home has your covered when it comes to creating a hygge space and we’ve assembled a few of our faves below. As for implementing more hygge into your life in the experiential sense, we recommend lighting more candles, eating more chocolate and in general, enjoying more of life’s little moments.
*According to the World Happiness Report