What is all this Hygge? Live like the Danish and be happy!

The Danish are such a happy bunch, so what's their secret?

5 steps to understanding (and creating) hygge this autumn...

1. What is hygge?

The Danish word hygge (pronounced like “hue-gah”) is not something that can be directly translated or explained with just one English word. Hygge is more like a concept. And it is key to the Danish way of life.

Often considered one of the happiest nations in the world, the secret to the Danes' happiness is all to do with mindset. It is the practice of putting enjoyment above all else. Rid yourself of anything annoying or overwhelming, even if just for a little while.

2. Use it in a sentence...?

The word can be used as an adjective or as a noun. You can have 'a really hygge night in with friends', or descibe 'a night in with friends that was really hyggeligt', or you could say that 'hygge is really important'. It's a little confusing.

The point is, it isn't hard to achieve. In fact, the whole idea is to focus on the uncluttered and simple things in life...

3. Do as the Danish do and be happy!

Hygge is the idea that you always take pleasure in the moment; it is making a really good hot chocolate and enjoying it from your very favourite mug; it is sitting around a table, sharing good food with old friends. It is about taking time and making time, slowing down and snuggling up. Think comfort, warmth, home, friends and family.

4. Understand it

Hygge is a really social concept. It can be used to describe time alone, but generally it reflects the comfort that company brings you. Autumn is the ideal season to embrace hygge; you've got evening fires or flickering candlelight and a great excuse to hunker down under a blanket as the rain falls outside. There's a reason the idea is such a Danish thing. Notorious for its less than perfect weather, Denmark is kind of the perfect place for some hygge time. Back in the day, Vikings wouldn't have survived the really cold months with out helping each other out, supporting friends and family. There's still a really important cultural emphasis on togetherness today. It's good for the body and for the soul! The Danish have proven that if you take a moment to enjoy company with the special people in your life, you'll be happier and healthier because of it.

5. Put it in to practice

The Danish take hygge lighting very seriously. So it may be best to invest in a candle or two... Candle light is warm, calming and natural. Take yourself away from the hustle and bustle and escape somewhere wonderful with loved ones. This might be a cafe, your own living room, or a weekend country retreat. Whatever you'll enjoy the most. This autumn grab a small group of your favourite people, get cosy and have a hygge time.

Take a look at some of our special holiday retreats here.

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