What is happiness? Have you ever wondered that? Apart from the abstract and often times rhetorical question we ask ourselves, is there actually a recipe, something concrete and tangible, or even a concept that will make answering the question a little bit easier? According to Meik Wiking, there is.
Wiking claims to have the best job in the world: studying and researching what makes people happy. And he does provide an answer: the best way towards happiness is hygge. Despite its Danish origin, hygge is becoming more and more popular around the world. Google “hygge” and you will find more than 1.7 million posts on social media. Pinterest is full of photos of hyggelist woollen socks, mugs of hot chocolate, lit fireplaces, and candles. In other words, cosiness.
In his Little Book of Hygge, Meik Wiking lists some of the places or situations in which you can either find hygge or create it. He also shares a great tip: if it makes you smile tenderly, swoon, dive into your most happy memories or just daydream, then you are on the right path for hygge.
From hot drinks to slow-cooked food, casual clothing and vintage books, to personal relationships and relaxation, there is always a recipe for hygge. “Hygge can often be an act of indulging yourself,” Wiking states. “Taking a break from demands and healthy eating. It is about cake and alcohol and sinful pleasures.”
And the clothes? Casual, comfortable, warm and black. In the land of hygge, “Danish fashion is sleek, minimalistic, elegant, but not highly strung”. Hygge fashion consists of thick scarves, pale colours, lots of black, and as many layers as possible, because “you can’t hygge when you are cold.” He also notes that when it comes to shopping, you save and then you wait. You don’t splurge and buy everything at once. Instead, he suggests saving your money for the clothes you have your eye on, and when you have put enough aside, you go ahead and buy them. The satisfaction that comes from an experience as such is as hyggelist as it can get.
Despite the cosiness of the concept, though, cold days are, for better or for worse, inevitable in life. That is why Wiking advises you to prepare a hygge emergency kit for days like these.
A hygge kit mainly includes:
- Good quality chocolate
- Your favourite book
- Your favourite film
- Wollen socks (of course!)
- A nice blanket
As for the sunny days, a ride on your bike, a walk under the sun, even the smell of sunscreen and salty water can be hygge. However, what matters the most is who you spend your sunny days with. Contrary to popular belief that the more friends you have the happier you are, hygge is first and foremost for the two or three people in your life that are truly special.
The people who have been there for you during the sunny and the rainy days of your life, and love you just the way you are, no matter how cliché it may sound.
Hygge is humble in everything. The things in life that make you truly happy do not cost that much. After all, “there is nothing fancy, expensive, or luxurious about a pair of ugly woollen hygge socks – and that is a vital feature of the anatomy of hygge. Champagne and oysters may be many things, but hygge is not one of them”.
Words: Elena Cami
Hashtags: #hygge #love #laughs #cosy #candles #comfy #warm