For the Danes, the word “Hygge” is not just a word, the secret of happiness is hidden in it. Discover everything about hygge, the Danish secret of happiness!
There is a very strong, tight connection between language and thought, and there are certainly words in every language that cannot be fully translated into other languages. In the Himba tribe in southern Africa, different words are used for many shades of green. The reason for this is that there are many different coloured trees in the forested area where the Himba tribe live and the colour they see most often is green. The Inuit peoples living in northern Canada have one word for snow that falls slowly and another for snow that is suitable for sledding. The geography, weather conditions, traditions and cultural elements we live in deeply influence our language and the way we think. For a Dane, the word “Hygge” is not just a word, the secret of happiness is hidden in it. Discover everything you wonder about hygge, the Danish secret of happiness!
What is Hygge?
For a Dane, the word “Hygge” is not just a word, the secret of happiness is hidden in it. Although it is used to describe the most pleasant, comfortable, safe and warm moments, it is difficult to explain exactly, but still hygge is the essence of their lives. It cannot be fully translated into other languages, in fact 47% of Danes think that this word cannot be translated, and according to some Danes, the concept of “Hygge” can only be experienced in Denmark, which is not a small percentage; 31% of Danes think so! However, we will take a closer look at how we can create “Hygge” environments in our lives today and thus increase our happiness coefficient, without paying attention to one third of the Danes.
Denmark draws attention with its passion for gastronomy as well as good living. In this article, you can find the most popular restaurants of Copenhagen, one of the first routes of those who want to make a taste tour.
The “Institute for Happiness Research” in Denmark is a centre that researches the causes and effects of happiness and we will learn the secret of hygge from them. The fact that Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world despite its gloomy and dark weather and the high tax rates in the country has attracted the spotlight to this Scandinavian country. If you think that the only reason for their happiness is that they are one of the richest economies in the world, you are wrong.
Because statistics show that happiness does not depend solely on external resources and if your money is at a level to meet your most basic needs (shelter, food, education, etc.), then as your earnings increase, the effect of your money on your happiness decreases. In short, human beings have difficulty in transforming their material wealth into happiness. As Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi states in his book The Science of Flow-Happiness, happiness is a conscious choice and the Danes seem to have chosen happiness with “Hygge”.
The concept of “Hygge” has been trending for several years all over the world except Denmark.
Hygge is actually, in our opinion, the ability to add meaning to life with small touches. Hygge is actually derived from a Norwegian word meaning peace. Because these 2 countries were a single kingdom for about 500 years until Denmark lost Norway in 1814.
Hygge first appeared in the Danish written language in the early 1800s. Beyond the pronunciation (hüge, höge, hoga, hoogah, etc.), translation and history of the word, let us remember Shakespeare’s sentence and focus on the intention of the concept: “What is a name? Would not a rose smell so sweet even if it were not called a rose?”
According to a hygge environment, that picture would be like this: A cosy sofa in a warm house, friends and family members gathered around the fireplace or lit candles with hot drinks in their hands, a film watched together under a blanket and shared food, the warmth of laughter spreading in waves, a comfortable, safe home. A simple picture of happ
Environment: Switch off the lights and light the candles.
Mind: Be present here and now with awareness and switch off distractions such as the telephone.
Pleasure: Enjoy coffee, chocolate, cookies, popcorn, whatever is available.
Equality: A table prepared together tastes different, we are superior to me.
Gratitude: Your happiness will be multiplied with the feeling of gratitude. Be grateful for what you have.
Being in harmony: Don’t try to prove yourself, stay in the flow.
Comfort: Allow yourself to take small breaks and create comfortable spaces.
Truce: No need for drama, no need to argue, make peace.
Togetherness: Make memories with your loved ones. It will be good to look back and remember.
Sanctuary: Your home is your fortress, your safest place. This is your peaceful home, take care of it.
Hygge is actually, in our opinion, the ability to add meaning to life with small touches. Hygge is actually derived from a Norwegian word meaning peace. Because these 2 countries were a single kingdom for about 500 years until Denmark lost Norway in 1814. Hygge first appeared in the Danish written language in the early 1800s. Beyond the pronunciation (hüge, höge, hoga, hoogah, etc.), translation and history of the word, let us remember Shakespeare’s sentence and focus on the intention of the concept: “What is a name? Would not a rose smell so sweet even if it were not called a rose?”
According to a hygge environment, that picture would be like this: A cosy sofa in a warm house, friends and family members gathered around the fireplace or lit candles with hot drinks in their hands, a film watched together under a blanket and shared food, the warmth of laughter spreading in waves, a comfortable, safe home. A simple picture of happiness that creates positive feelings even while reading. The 10-point hygge manifesto shapes this picture:
If this concept excites you and “Hygge” environments slowly come to life in your mind, we will give examples of how to carry this to the basic points of your life. We will provide a short guide on home decoration, clothing, eating and drinking, and what you can do outside.
Lighting and Candles
The most important elements of a hygge environment are the absence of direct overhead light and the temperature of the light source. There is no environment that is not as hygge as an environment with fluorescent lamps. If we say that there is no hygge environment without candles, we would not exaggerate. Therefore, definitely prefer candles that will help you create a warmer, cosy and peaceful environment in your home.
Hot Drinks and Chocolate
According to a statistic, hot drinks are the first thing that Danes associate with hygge. When you wake up in the morning, can there be a more positive start than a calmly prepared coffee or tea that will warm you up? Turn even the office environment into a “Hygge” environment.
The things that turn even the office environment into a “Hygge” environment are hot drinks, a few pieces of chocolate and the pleasure of chatting during a break with colleagues. Sugary foods are indispensable for Danes and they consume 2 times more sugar than a standard European. We still recommend you to be balanced in this matter and we recommend you to add more herbal teas to your life that will help you relax and unwind.
Wood Textures and Ceramics
The Secret of Happiness Imported from Denmark: Hygge
If you prefer more natural materials in your home and life instead of glass, metal and plastic items, the pleasure of the hot drink you drink will multiply. Wooden furniture, vintage items, handmade ceramics, artificial hides will all make you happier with their textures.
Nature and Houseplants
Any part of nature you can find will be your supporter to create a hygge environment. Live houseplants, branches, dry plants, hides, provided that they are artificial, you can provide that warmth by bringing nature into your home. If you allocate some of the time you spend outside the house to spend time in nature, and if you have the opportunity to stay in a wooden hut or bungalow, the concept of hygge will penetrate your bones. You can start by looking at indoor plants to welcome nature into your home:
Comfortable Clothes, Warm Socks and Shawls
Hygge is about silencing your inner responsible and stressed adult, even if only for a short time. An environment and clothing in which you do not feel comfortable is never hygge. For this reason, you should choose clothes in which you feel comfortable. Shabbier, looser sizes, trousers that do not tighten the waist should be your first choice. As for fabrics, you should prefer natural fabrics such as cotton and linen instead of polyester. Of course, since it is a cold country like Denmark, warm woollen socks and shawls are indispensable. In winter, woolen and warm accessories will be your saviour.
Pillows and blankets
Imagine how comfortable and peaceful you can feel on a hard floor that digs into your back. Therefore, the softer, the more hygge. If we teleport you to a moment where you feel the texture of the blanket on you while reading your favourite book with soft pillows behind you, while sipping your tea, it is impossible not to be happy.
Camping or Picnic
We mentioned above that fire is a part of the hygge equation. You can take this experience outside by lighting a fire in the camp. There is no truer hygge moment than the soothing crackle and warmth of the fire. Instead of large spaces, secluded corners and narrow spaces are also places where this concept is well experienced. Did sleeping in a tent hugging your loved one, having a picnic in nature or on the beach and sharing your food melt your insides even while reading?
Books and Music
The Secret of Happiness Imported from Denmark: Hygge
You may have noticed that hygge environments activate all 5 senses. The positive feelings created by good and quality music coming to your ears to nourish your sense of hearing are priceless. If you add the act of reading a gripping and full book under a blanket to the picture of a hygge environment, you will see that it is the shortest way to experience hygge when you are alone.