How to be Hygge: The Danish art of Happiness

As an introvert, Hygge is a movement I can really get behind. Candles, warm drinks and low-pressure socialising? Count me in!

I’m late to the party on writing a blog post on hygge, but when going on a journey of mindfulness it would be inappropriate not to mention the Danish Art of Happiness. Like many readers, last year I became enamoured with hygge, the Danish word for all things cosy, and as I learnt more about how to be hygge I became more convinced it described my ideal lifestyle.

Is Hygge just for introverts?

In Meik Wiking’s The Little Book of Hygge, Denmark is described as being ideal for introverts. Though it’s entirely possible to be hygge on your own, much of hygge is focused on socialising. Rather than big nights out, however, a hygge social gathering is more about conversing in a more intimate setting. I have never been one for huge social gatherings but love spending time with a select handful of friends – the idea of filling your social circle with great quality friends, rather than quantity could not be more appealing!

Though in British society the default social gathering is drinks, many people don’t always find bar situations enjoyable or comfortable. Though drinks with some close friends can be very hyggeligt (hyyge-like), a night in with board games or a film is even more so. The idea that more people may start embracing socialising in the comfort of their homes is very appealing to me!

Treat yourself to small indulgences

If you don’t react well to a ‘tough love’ approach, the indulgence and easy-going nature of hygge will probably appeal to you. As someone who often needs to fall back on treats and work-breaks in order to keep functioning, Hygge’s allowance to indulge every so often gives me the perfect excuse for some self-care.

Though huge shopping sprees and binge eating multiple chocolate bars aren’t particularly hyggeligt, small indulgences such as treating yourself to your favourite magazine, buying a more expensive brand of pasta sauce or allowing yourself to use your posh makeup on a normal day fit into this idea of how to be hygge.  Learning to embrace and savour these small treats provides delight and satisfaction beyond blind consumerism in our ‘treat yo self’ world, and will have a healthy effect on your bank balance!

Embrace candles

Candles are almost synonymous with hygge, with Denmark being the largest consumer of candles in Europe. The fact that The Little Book of Hygge devotes an entire section to the importance of lighting speaks volumes over the importance of creating a soft, warming glow.

Candles seem like such a minimal part of hygge, but I genuinely think that soft lighting helps the soul. We’ve all had those moments when all we want to do is curl up in a ball with a cup of tea and shut the world out, and turning down the lights always has such a calming effect over me. If your lease doesn’t allow candles, why not invest in a smart light bulb? There are plenty of these on the market, and you’re able to control your light levels (and colour!) via your phone or a remote.

The more I read about hygge, the more inclined I feel to pack up my bags and move straight to Denmark. If anyone can teach me a thing or two about how to be hygge it’s the happiest people on Earth!

What hyggeligt things do you enjoy embracing most?

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