Hygge, (pronounced ‘hue-ghh’) originally a Norwegian word roughly translating to ‘well being’, first appeared in Denmark around the 18th century and it has stayed there ever since.
Put simply it means to take joy from the simple things, those run of the mill everyday moments that are often either ignored or even seen as somewhat drudgerous. The Danes figured out that to survive their long, dark, depressing winters they needed to come up with a way to combat the harsh environment. It had to be something easy to do and accessible by everyone, for example the simple act of lighting a candle each evening. Or, turning the morning coffee into a much loved ritual, as opposed to a hastily made cup, slurped whilst you dash out the door. All of these small moments lead to a feeling of contentment, cosiness and of being at peace with the world, all words that could be used to describe the very meaning of hygge.
Here at Break The Loop we’re fairly new to the word hygge but we’re definitely not strangers to the concept, it’s even in our bio and it’s what we try to do daily…
‘A lifestyle blog with heavy emphasis on food, fitness, music, travel & most importantly finding happiness in the little things by constantly striving to inject new life and meaning into those everyday activities.’
Don’t get me wrong, we’re only human and we definitely have days that we ‘forget’ or days that we let the madness outshine any attempt at hygge but it’s always in the back of my mind. My modus operandi for life.
As someone who has a tendency to overthink things and who has also suffered from bouts of anxiety for as long as I can remember, slowing things down and taking these moments to focus on calmness, positivity and most of all gratitude, can be a real lifesaver. For me personally, that is really what it comes down to, gratitude. A feeling of gratitude for life that can be expressed through the smallest of moments. After all, if you can be happy and thankful to simply be home with your loved ones, drinking a coffee, then you certainly won’t take the bigger things for granted, as many of us do in the day and age of excess.
We recently watched this documentary on Netflix called ‘Minimalism’ and although the main characters took it to the nth degree, a few of the key points really resonated with us, for example the practice of buying quality over quantity. Knowing just how much of the items you will find on the high street that are made in appalling conditions and with little to no regard of the health, safety or happiness of the individual doing the making, I find it extremely hard to spend my money there. Before you jump in, I know that not everyone (including me!) can afford to live a life filled with designer items, however we can choose to live a lifestyle filled with fewer, better quality pieces. Another point made was that you can still follow the principles of minimalism without throwing everything away. You do this by de cluttering to the point of ensuring that everything in your life, every single object brings you joy in some way, everything else? Gone.
Imagine the hygge points if everything in your life brought you joy?
Even in the time that’s passed since beginning this post, I feel a renewed motivation to simplify and to start paying attention those small moments again. I think I’m going to go back to the habit of enjoying my first cup of coffee (or tea) whilst thinking about the day ahead, revelling in that luxuriously slow start. Rather than hopping straight into the world of work and social media, as has become the habit recently.
What will you do to bring more moments of hygge into your life? Comment and let us know below!