The Science Of Hygge

While many of us are more than ecstatic to be able to go out and do all of our favorite activities again, there are some valuable lessons we’ve learned in previous years. In particular, our new found ability to appreciate our time snuggled up at home. Here are some practical, easy-to-try ways to help you harness joy, security, contentment, and comfort during this season:

Indulge your senses – Pay attention to the world around you and recognize what fills you with good feelings. Take a moment to appreciate these things — maybe it’s a hot cup of coffee, sitting in the sun, or cuddling under a cozy blanket. Take it a step further by listening to music, lighting a candle, or eating something delicious. You can indulge in a cup of warm tea, wear something soft, or even just cuddle a pet. You likely are doing many of these things already, but you’ll enjoy them more if you really focus on the sensory experience while doing it.

Create a nook – Make a “hygge zone” for yourself. There are no rules of where or how — dedicate a place in your house to make yourself feel safe, snug, and secure. It can be as simple as arranging some pillows and blankets on the floor, turning a closet into a little cave, or making a couch fort (yes, it’s OK, and even encouraged, to make couch forts as an adult).

Embrace traditions – What simple rituals do you enjoy performing every day? Whatever those are, continue doing them. Maybe it’s a cup of coffee while reading the newspaper in the morning, playing with your pet, or having a morning conversation with someone. Look back further and consider the traditions of your family and childhood. What recipes did you make? What games did you play? What stories do you remember? Revive these traditions to help yourself feel more rooted and secure.

Go low-tech– In this very digital age, many of us suffer from screen fatigue. To be clear, this is not the same as banishing your devices. Simply try to carve out some dedicated time without screens. Try not looking at your phone for the first 30 minutes after waking up, or eating breakfast without a screen and thinking about each bite. Regardless of what “low-tech” activities you do, allow yourself to be more present in the moment without the distraction of a screen.

Hygge is more than a trendy Danish buzzword. By adopting this mindset and practice, you can better get a better feeling of comfort, security, and well-being.