What is Hygge?

Hygge is a popular buzzword that has a tendency to get thrown around a lot in conversation and popular culture, but what does hygge mean?

Although popular hygge imagery portrays the hygge lifestyle as boarding up all winter while wearing fuzzy slippers and drinking hot chocolate in front of a fireplace, hygge is more about the feelings of comfort rather than specific activities.  A popular misconception about hygge is that it is about sitting inside and hibernating during the winter.  However, loneliness and isolation are some of the furthest feelings from hygge you can possibly get.

Hygge promotes a sense of togetherness.  Of course, sitting in front of a fireplace with your favorite warm beverage is very hygge, but so is having a road trip with a friend with your favorite music playing in the background or having your friends over for a game and movie night.

Summer activities are not excluded from being hygge either.  A day spent reading in the park in the summer heat or napping in a sunbeam by a window can be just as hygge as watching TV while wrapped up in a blanket while watching the snow falling outside.


History of Hygge

The term hygge (pronounced hue-guh) originated in Norway.  The name is derived from the sixteenth-century term "hugga" which means "to comfort."  The word is akin to the English word "hug."

The practice of living a hygge lifestyle, however, originated in Denmark.  The word first appeared in Danish writing in the 19th century and has slowly evolved into the cultural phenomenon as we know it today.

As of 2019, Denmark has ranked among the top three happiest countries in the world according to the World Happiness Report since the organization first started publishing its report in 2012.  It only makes sense that its secret to happiness transcends beyond its borders and has begun to seep into North American culture.


How to Create A Hygge Home

Hygge doesn't have to require a lot of money.  In fact, it's the simple things of life that truly promote hygge.  Practice the hygge lifestyle at home by lighting scented candles and buying comfortable pillows.

Rustic decor and artisanal food and drink are commonly associated with the hygge lifestyle.  A few fuzzy throw blankets here and there can really help provide some comfort and coziness to your home environment.  Don't overdo it though!  Minimalism is a huge part of the hygge lifestyle.

Hygge color schemes include earthy tones like saddle brown, olive gray, and sandy tan colors.  Grayscale is also a very common color scheme for hygge living spaces.


How to Live A Hygge Life

You don't have to redo your house or change your entire lifestyle to be hygge.  You can make small changes to make your life a little more hygge each day. 

Giving yourself a break from technology for an hour upon waking, taking more walks, and making more homemade food and drinks can make your life a little bit more hygge every day.

Even the things you do already can be hygge if you have the right mindset.  Be present.  Acknowledge how comfortable and calm you feel as you take a few extra minutes to relax in bed in the morning.  Tell your friends and family you love them and make sure to never take anyone or anything for granted.

Do things that cause feelings of warmth and comfort on the inside and not just the outside.  Feeling comfortable on the inside is the true goal of the hygge lifestyle.