Monday, August 7, 2017
Published January 2017 by HarperCollins Publishers
Source: Bought for my Nook
Embrace Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) and become happier with this definitive guide to the Danish philosophy of comfort, togetherness, and well-being.
Why are Danes the happiest people in the world? The answer, says Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, is Hygge. Loosely translated, Hygge—pronounced Hoo-ga—is a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. "Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience," Wiking explains. "It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe."
Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day.
The Little Book of Hygge introduces you to this cornerstone of Danish life, and offers advice and ideas on incorporating it into your own life, such as:
Get comfy. Take a break.
Be here now. Turn off the phones.
Turn down the lights. Bring out the candles.
Build relationships. Spend time with your tribe.
Give yourself a break from the demands of healthy living. Cake is most definitely Hygge.
Live life today, like there is no coffee tomorrow.
From picking the right lighting to organizing a Hygge get-together to dressing hygge, Wiking shows you how to experience more joy and contentment the Danish way.
In the English language, we seem to have multiple words for every thing but there is no word in English that hygge translates directly into. In fact, there doesn't seem to be a word in any other language that means exactly the same thing. Other Nordic languages have similar words but those words don't seem to convey quite the same spirit. Hygge is a concept, but it is also a verb. The Danes live their lives around the idea of hygge and compound words have grown around it.
This is a little book that made me want to pull out blankets, candles, and put a stew on to simmer. So, yeah, maybe a book to study in the fall or winter, rather than the summer. In Denmark, of course, they don't get summers like we have in Nebraska so I'm not sure what they would do to introduce hygge on a day when the temps are in the 90's.
Or do I? After reading this book, I sat and pondered how I can make the ideas work for me this time of year and I came up with some ideas that I think are hygge, summer style - comfy cushions on the patio furniture, a table full of candles, soft light-weight cotton blankets for the evenings when it gets cool, blooming plants, friends around a fire, and summer comfort foods ( you know, strawberry shortcake and s'mores). Yep, I think I've got this. This quarter Danish girl has got this.
There's nothing in this book that anyone can't do. It's largely a matter of putting it all together and getting yourself in the right frame of mind. For an introvert like me, the hardest part will be making myself spend time with my tribe. Not that I don't enjoy that, I just have to remind myself of the happiness it brings me and make it happen. If the Danes can be the happiest people in the world with their weather, I think this might just be my ticket to survive Nebraska's winters.