Take it From a Dane: Hygge Can Be a Recipe for a Happy Life
When life coach Bonnie Rasmussen moved to the UK from her native Denmark, she missed the feeling of airy, light-filled Scandinavian-style homes. So she took to transforming her Surrey home, making it feel bright, open and cozy. Because she’s from Denmark and clearly knows how to craft a serene home, I asked her to share her thoughts on hygge — what it is, what it means to her, and how everyone can add more of it into their home this holiday season (and all year long).
For me “Hygge” is best described as the feeling or atmosphere that stems from evoking all of our senses. It is often translated as “coziness” involving good friends, candlelight and woolly socks, but it is much more than that. To me it is all about casual yet sensory rich experiences — it doesn’t matter if it is a summer’s breeze or the heat from a bonfire that warms your skin. Nor if it is the sound of a storm, rustling leaves, baby chuckles or beautiful music softly playing in the background that reaches your ears. You can be on your own or with a group of friends and family, wear the woolly socks curled up under a toasty blanket or be dipping your toes in icy cold waves with your squealing children’s hands in yours.
It is not really about what specifically you do, where you are, who you are with or what you eat, but a coming together of several pleasant sensations in our minds and bodies.
It is not really about what specifically you do, where you are, who you are with or what you eat, but a coming together of several pleasant sensations in our minds and bodies. Hygge is very much about gently embracing and enjoying those pleasant times — which in turn tend to leave us feeling light-hearted and more connected to either nature, people or both.
I am not sure what the biggest misconception most people have about hygge is, but I find that perhaps mobile phones present the biggest threat to the concept of hygge. It is very difficult to be present in the moment and enriching the experience of the people around you, if you are busy attending to life online at the same time.
Hygge undeniably increases our well-being by nurturing our souls, and if you consistently experience that, you will go to bed smiling and wake up feeling more connected, content, confident and carefree.
I strongly believe that living a life rich with hygge can be a recipe for a happy life. Hygge undeniably increases our well-being by nurturing our souls, and if you consistently experience that, you will go to bed smiling and wake up feeling more connected, content, confident and carefree. It does not mean that you won’t encounter difficult times, but if your life is enriched by high quality moments you will feel in a better position to face challenges coming your way.
See Bonnie’s entire beautiful home:
Ready to add hygge to your home? Take Bonnie’s advice → How to Add More Hygge to Your Home & Life