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It’s about that cosy, feel-good state when everything feels right

Danes are the happiest people in the world – and they call their happiest state ‘hygge’ (pronounced hoo-guh). However, this mysterious H-word that they swear by is beyond the realm of a defined description – it’s a certain intangible feeling that seems to have a mind of its own. The best we can articulate it is: that beautiful state when the world seems like an easy place to be, when you’re not thinking of what you might be missing out on, when you are happy about who you are and full of gratitude for all the goodness that surrounds you – like a cosy contentment with life.

Now, if you get the gist of what the Danish mean when they say ‘hygge’, take a look at some tangible things you can do to trigger those hygge moments over and over again – because what you do in the physical world makes a difference in how you think and feel.

Photo credits: Erriko Boccia

Make some time for doing nothing | We are ardent fans of ‘slowing down’ and can’t emphasize enough on the importance of those idle moments in a day – they are like that negative space that makes the main picture stand out. So if your days are planned like a German train schedule, try relaxing them a little – let there be some time when you are neither working nor socializing nor learning a new language.

Photo credits: Shawnee Wilborn

Take long, slow baths whenever you can | Bathing is therapeutic – but only as long as it’s not a rushed affair ridden by a world of thoughts. Every once in a while, take some time to yourself, get into the grooming chamber and just be your teenaged self with not a care in the world. Let there be music, sea salts and aromatic oils to add to the joy. And never underestimate the pampering power of an extra-large, soft, wrap-y towel.

Photo credits: Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Surround yourself with natural materials | Create a hygge-friendly home by bringing in lots of indoor plants, fresh flowers, natural wood, bamboo, clay and other natural materials – science says they make you happier – and happiness is the key to getting into the hygge zone. Better still, you could revamp your home in the biophilic design – an architectural concept that brings nature inside your house in numerous innovative ways and is said to be very, very therapeutic.

Photo credits: Elora Allen

Light a few candles | The soft glow of candle light is not only incredibly beautiful but also lets you enter a meditative state. Candles are therefore closely associated with the picture of Hygge and no wonder Denmark is one of the largest consumers of candles in the world per capita. So find the opportunity to light candles – for a dinner party at home, while spending some Hygge time with your partner or simply when you’re by yourself. You could always combine the flicker with divine aromas of vanilla, frankincense or cinnamon with scented candles.

Hang out in your cosiest clothes with someone who doesn’t judge | Spend time talking about life, nostalgia, poetry or other things that truly interest you – and strictly no questions and answers on how well you’re doing in business or how much your kids scored on SAT. Step out of the race! Do remember the candles and a nice warm beverage.

Embrace a slow life and spread the word about it – because hygge begets hygge – let’s create a world with loads of it!

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