The Little Book of Hygge (Danish Secrets to Happy Living)
About the Book:
Get consciously cozy.
The Danes are famously the happiest people in the world, and hygge is a cornerstone of their way of life. Hygge (pronounced Hoo-ga) loosely translates as a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right. It is about gratitude and savoring the simple pleasures in life. In short, it is the pursuit of everyday happiness.
Thought Number One: You say HOO-GA. Moving on.
I'll admit, I had no idea what hygge was until a few months ago when a friend enlightened me and loaned me this very book!
This New York Times bestseller by Meik Wiking is an easy, fascinating, and dare I say cozy read. In it, he outlines what hygge means to Danes, both in his home in Copenhagen and around the world. Although, as he says,
"To paraphrase one of the greatest philosophers of our time -- Winnie-the-Pooh -- when asked how to spell a certain emotion, "You don't spell it, you feel it."
It’s about finding joy in the little things. Being grateful for what you have. Fostering connection and intimacy with the ones you love. Being content with well-loved, simple things. Taking comfort in the rhythm of tradition and appreciating good food and ambiance and gathering around fireplaces.
Am I warming your heart at all?
He then moves through practical outworkings of a hyggelig way of living. The sights, sounds, feelings, atmosphere, and even taste and smell of true hygge. (Hint: candles are a huge part of instant hygge. 85% of Danes mention candles when asked about what hygge means to them.) It can look different for introverts and extroverts, but it centers around feeling safe and fostering deep connection with the people you love.
"Hygge has been called everything from "the art of creating intimacy" to "coziness of the soul"... Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down. You may be having an endless conversation about the small or big things in life -- or just be comfortable in each other's silent company-- or simply just be by yourself enjoying a cup of tea."
We know true joy comes from contentment in Christ. But happiness can come from contentment in the gifts He has given us in our everyday lives, as well.
I think as Americans, we have a lot we can learn from the Danish culture in our world of hustle and bustle -- making conscious decisions to rest in spite of the chaos, love the ones around us, and take time to be intentionally still.
Go get this book. It's such an easy, inspiring read! You'll probably want to read it in your hyggekrog (nook) in your hyggebukser (favorite comfy sweatpants) while you have a hyggestund (moment of hygge.) And you should probably light a candle or two.
And then, maybe, you'll become a hyggespreder (spreader of hygge)!
I'll stop now.
5 out of 5 stars, folks!