Hygge: The Simple Philosophy That Will Make You Love Winter

Ever heard of hygge? If you live in Michigan through the winter, you need to know about it. Pronounced “hoo-guh,” it’s a Danish term defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” In other words: doing everything you can to feel cozy and content all winter long. As of late, hygge has exploded in popularity with several new books published in the last year, with more coming in 2017, and the term was a finalist for 2016’s word of the year.

Rather than dreading staying indoors during a rough Michigan winter, hygge helps you see your home as a sanctuary. Why bother? Most of the Nordic people who practice hygge are happier than the rest of us (and have been for years).

Adopting the hygge mentality in your own life is surprisingly simple and the results are important, especially considering stress has some serious effects on your heart. All it requires is focusing on comforting moments. Long-time hygge participants encourage consciously enjoying the presence of soothing things in your life, like a super soft sweater, steaming cup of tea and cuddles with your pet. Get started practicing hygge with any of these other simple steps:

  • Eat a warm, nourishing bowl of oatmeal
  • Read a book by a fire
  • Bundle up in a thick hat, soft scarf and mittens when you go outside
  • Wear fuzzy socks or slippers when you’re home
  • Hug a friend or loved one and have a good catch-up conversation
  • Watch a feel-good movie under a knit blanket
  • Take in the views out your window and the sounds of rain or snow
  • Burn a candle or two
  • Drink a cup of tea before bed
  • Take a technology-free meditation break

Hygge is about doing the simple, little things that make you grateful, content and at peace. The concept of being present and grateful can lead to inspiration, better coping skills and a greater sense of self. It’s as simple as that.

Photo credit: Trandlands

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  1. Paul: AS you know, I’m a Rasmussen. Pretty darn Danish. I do all this stuff. Quite frankly, I’m just not a fan of the cold and I like the warm sun, green grass and sand and warm water. I just don’t like being a prisoner in my cozy home. So screw it. I’m heading south to warm sand and sun when its gets this cold. Doc

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