Why does everyone need more Hygge in their life? As a nation we've become so obsessed with being busy & working hard that we have no time to stop to enjoy the moment. Employees are under the illusion that the harder they work the higher the level of job security or salary. Whilst this may be the case in a handful of professions; the general working public are having to deal with zero hour contracts, increased workloads & the threat of redundancy hanging over them on a daily basis.
As people return back to work this January there's a deep sense of dread hanging over them. Gone are the days when you had a "job for life" & you could work your way up the ladder, now in 2017 people are under pressure just to keep their current position. It's become harder to imagine any sort of promotion or plan for the future. People are being pushed to the limit & the UK has become a nation of worriers. Anxiety & depression are on the increase & it's set to escalate this year.
There is Hope.....
Interestingly this season there's also been a steady rise in the sale of mindfulness products & "Hygge" living guides. This slower, happier, more peaceful way of life is now becoming mainstream & acceptable. With the popularity of mindful colouring books & The Little Book of Hygge being a best seller this Christmas we're finding ways to combat stress & anxiety, making life more manageable & happy.
So what is Hygge?
"Hygge" can't be directly translated into English but essentially it's a Danish way of life that creates a sense of contentment, happiness, comfort, cosiness, oneness & wellbeing. It's a feeling of inner peace & tranquility which can be shared with others & adopted into every home. It's very special & unique as it's based on simple pleasures & nostalgia which can be interpreted however the individual wishes.
The psychology behind Hygge.
As Hygge means different things to different people it's useful to look at the psychology behind it. Our brain constantly produces messages or emotions about events that take place during our daily lives. These message/emotions are processed & interpreted resulting in feelings. Our feelings dictate how we behave & lead us to take action accordingly. The result of the feelings & therefore the actions will be based on our state of mind & level of wellbeing. If we're feeling stressed, anxious or depressed the messages may be interpreted incorrectly due to an imbalance of the chemicals in the front of the brain. We may get a fleeting moment of happiness but it will only be temporary & often unfulfilling. Hygge is the art of adopting a permanent 'state of wellbeing' so that these happy feelings are prolonged & satisfying.
How can we adopt Hygge?
In order to adopt Hygge into our lives we need to understand the feeling that we're craving. Feelings are experienced through our senses so if we feel lonely, scared, stressed or afraid we link sounds, images, smells to them & the feelings are triggered. If we're to counteract negative feelings we need to look what triggers positive feelings for the senses instead. What would safety & contentment smell, taste, sound or feel like to you? Is there a favorite recipe that induces a feeling comfort? Is there a preferred TV program or family game that makes you feel nostalgic? Do you love the feeling of sitting by the fire, listening to the logs crackle? All of these are signs of Hygge. Once you notice what provides you with the feeling you're craving you'll find it easier to adopt Hygge into your everyday life.