Updated: Sep 12
The material accoutrements that are often displayed in the pages of a magazine to signal this way of life are not actual facets of hygge; they are merely factors in creating the feeling that encapsulates hygge.
You know by now that hygge is much more about a state of mind and an intensity of feeling that, as a British journalist, Helen Russell writes in The Year of Living Danishly, enables one to “take pleasure in the presence of gentle, soothing things.”
Whether those “gentle, soothing things,” are a warm blanket, the companionship of a friend or family member, a good book, or the happy ache of stretched limbs after a long hike through the hills, is not as important as the fact that they have engendered a feeling of contentment or well-being.
Yet how does one person return from a Sunday stroll with family members, complaining about the cold weather, the annoying conversation, and the fact that they have so much to do before their work week starts the following day.
While another person may think on the same experience as inspiring and pleasurable?
The most likely reason is that the second individual was fully engaged in each moment of the experience, while the first person was not. This simple practice of wholehearted participation is a cornerstone of a hyggligt-lived life. It reflects the ability to slow down in a hyper-fast world and just be in the present moment.
In mindfully focusing on what is happening in a given moment, a person can clear their thoughts of clutter and distraction, and instead consciously appreciate what is in front of them, however slight or insignificant it might appear.
When we hygger, we remove the clutter of perception and reach a singleness of purpose.
These are the small moments that can steer big changes in how you engage with your own life, making you embrace it with the wholehearted attention it deserves.