Hygge(pronouned hoo-ga) is a word that has gain some popularity in the last year or so. Hygge is a way of living for the Danish culture. Denmark is often ranked as the happiest country in the world and many contribute this to Hygge.
If you were to ask me what Hygge looks like I would say it would include sitting on the couch next to a fireplace, drinking hot chocolate, and sharing stories with friends. Hygge is coziness. It is about creating time to spend with close friends and family and creating this cozy environment. Hygge often includes candles and comfort foods such as cookies and warm drinks. Hygge is not for just winter time. Going on a long walk with a friend can be considered Hygge, seeing a outside movie, having a bonfire on the beach, it is a matter of being in the moment and enjoying your time.
Hygge is the opposite of the busy traditional American lifestyle. Americans are often focused on being productive and having this “time is money” attitude. Whereas Hygge is all about taking time out for yourself to enjoy life. Anarticle that I read titled, What is Hygee?( Link )quoted, Ambassador Anne Dorte Riggelsen, the Consul General in New York for Denmark, as saying “Once our basic needs are met, it is more important to focus on meaningful relationships and purpose for instance, than on an additional $100. Secondly that it is not about things—it is about an atmosphere.”
This reminded me a lot of minimalism and how maybe Hygge and minimalism have a lot in common. One important concept of minimalism is focusing on the things that matter in life. This seems very similar to Hygge in that Hygge encourages spending time with friends and family and taking time out for yourself. Many would identify with these being the important areas in their life.
Hygge is a interesting way of living and it is something I will continue to explore because I think it lines up with minimalism. I am in the process of reading “The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking’s. If you are interested in Hygge this is a great place to start and I would love to hear your thought!