Hygge, pronounced "hoo-ga", has received a lot of hype recently. It originates from the Norwegian word meaning "wellbeing", but was adopted by the Danish as a term to denote what we might call "cosiness", although there is no direct translation into English. It has since evolved into a philosophy centred on the importance of cherishing quality time with loved ones in spaces that reflect comfort and joy.
Obviously, it is also a marketeers dream and is bandied about everywhere from fashion to homeware. But that aside, the values at the heart of hygge are really rather beautiful and we would all do well to cultivate more of it in our lives.
So, here are three simple ways of getting hygge with it in your small corner of the universe.
Hygge your home
Light up a candle: Candles and atmospheric lighting is the epitome of hygge living; the gentle flickering of a natural light creating a far more pleasing ambience than the harsh glare of overhead strip lamps. Have candles on your table when serving up a home-cooked meal to friends and relatives, or dot them around your bathroom while you soak in the bath tub.
Cosy knits and blankets: Work with texture as well as colour in your interiors. Think snugly comfort and tactile surfaces everywhere. Wood, faux fur, woven fabrics, cord matting and tons of blankets and rugs. Colours should be neutral and inspired by nature.
Simple and meaningful: Hygge philosophy is concerned with simplicity and slowing down to appreciate the simple pleasures that life has to offer. Let go of emotional baggage by decluttering your home and creating a beautiful space designed for relaxation and sharing precious moments with loved ones. Keep only objects that resonate with your heart and connect you with your best life.
Hygge it out in your relationships
Our relationships define us and cultivating happy, healthy connections with those around us is fundamental to our wellbeing. Hygge theory tells us to cherish time spent with friends and family in a warm, cosy atmosphere.
In The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking, he states: "The most important social relationships are close relationships in which you experience things together with others, and experience being understood; where you share your thoughts and feelings, and both give and receive support. In one word: Hygge."
Hygge in heart and soul
Hygge starts in your heart and flows out into the spaces that you occupy and company that you keep. As with the home decor; keep it simple and meaningful. Detach from complicated thoughts about the past and harbouring toxic emotions and embrace the joy of the present moment. If in doubt, look to animals for a reminder of what's important in life.