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The 10 Principles Of Hygge That Will Change Your Life

Hygge items sleeping brown and white cat, open book and cup of coffee.

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The principles of Hygge will change your life and how you see the things in your life. But before we get into changing anything, let’s talk about this fun-sounding word. First, know that you say it, “Hoo-ga.” Hygge is a Norwegian word rooted in Denmark. There are some differences in opinion as to what it actually means. However, the consensus is that it means “Well-being.”

Some say it means “surrounding yourself with soothing things.” Others claim it defines an atmosphere of “cozy, safe, warm and sweet.” (Who doesn’t want a dose of that?) Still others will use words like “acknowledging gratitude for simple things” or “savoring simple pleasures.” You’ll find some definitions that mention nostalgia and others that say it just means “Restful and Happy.”

All of those words encompass what Hygge represents. The word became popular in modern times in 2017. It was apparent when Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, opened its Hygge and Happiness walking tour. Wikipedia states that the Broadway production of Frozen even opens up the show with a song titled “Hygge.”

History tells us that the word has been in conversation since the early 1800’s and goes back to Europe in the 1500s. Regardless of the beginnings in time and geography, the word’s root meaning is “HUG.” How awesome is that?

Map and Flag of Denmark illustrating the place the Principles of Hygge originated.

The Danes Are Not Only Happy. They Are Really Smart.

According to The World Happiness Report (no kidding…that’s a real thing), Danish people live in the second happiest country in the world. Finland is first, in case you are wondering. Denmark even has a Happiness Research Institute to examine and understand what makes us feel “cozy, safe, warm, sweet, nostalgic, savoring simple pleasures or just a sense of well-being.” Who’s up for a trip to Europe?

Many believe Hygge became popular in the United States in 2017 due to political unrest and social media uproars. Then add 2020 to the list, and you will have an entire continent of people looking for something to soothe and calm themselves. During 2020, we found ourselves in a crash course of slow living. We were all looking for…something in those years. The idea of Hygge felt comforting, self-supporting, and fun. So, many of us jumped on that bus to keep ourselves out of the proverbial ditch of feeling stuck and frustrated.

Our Enchanted Perspective word for Hygge is “Comfort and Joy.” Isn’t that what we all seek, even when it’s not Christmas? So we’ve created our own Enchanted Perspective Principles of Hygge, which can help anyone easily create a cozy sense of well-being. Our Principles of Hygge are easy to find, and you will recognize them in your life immediately. Watch for these items, situations, atmospheres, and perspectives.

Illustration of Principles of Hygge including cozy items in picture of stuffed animal held by a gray and black tabby cat.

Principles of Hygge That Will Change Your Life #1: Create A Hygge Vibe Of “Comfort and Joy” Along With “Safe And Soft.”

Have you ever walked into a place that was elegant and fancy but also felt cold and uncomfortable? Then again, have you experienced spaces that seemed small, simple, and unassuming? Instead of feeling cramped and underwhelmed, you wanted to nest there. You could picture having a book, a cup of coffee, and a blankie to snuggle into this simple little space. This is the vibe or atmosphere of Hygge. 5 Easy And Meaningful Ways To Live Hygge Every Day Of Your Life

The Hygge vibe is one of Comfort and Joy. It feels cozy and comfortable and just sweet and happy. It also feels “Safe and Soft” as warm little nooks with gentle, soft surroundings surround you. Think Grandma’s attic, tree houses, and blanket forts. The Hygge vibe encourages us to hide away in our own little corner with an overstuffed chair, a favorite book, a sleeping kitty, and a warm cup of tea.

The nice thing is that this Hygge Vibe of Comfort and Joy is easy to create in your own space. All you need are things that make you smile and feel comfortable. Then, add that safe little hideaway feeling with soft blankets, pillows, afghans, and even your favorite stuffed animal.  I Need Hygge At Work. 6 Practical And Cozy Steps To Make It Happen 

Illustration of Principles of Hygge that includes fairy lights and fluffy pillows on a big bed.

Principles of Hygge That Will Change Your Life #2: Enjoy Candlelight, Fire, And Twinkle Lights Everywhere You Can.

We are all made of energy and light, so light speaks sweetly to our spirit. There is something extraordinary about the warm glow of fire and flame. A log in the fireplace makes any room feel cozy and sweet. Carefully placed candles make any space feel magical, romantic, and relaxing. Stringing twinkle lights across the patio turns any outside meal into an event. But even wrapping them around an artificial plant or stringing them along your headboard gives a unique essence of Hygge, or as we call it, Comfort and Joy.  7 Awesome Wisdom Steps To The Spirit Of Hygge 

Are you concerned about open flames in your space? Our favorite “flameless” idea is to place small battery-operated twinkle lights in a canning jar with some greenery. They feel like little fairy forest lanterns. Another idea is to use one of the many flameless, battery-operated candles. They glow like a real candle from across the room and are perfect around a bathtub, or anywhere pets and children might be playing.

A misty morning on a country road with flowers and dew that Illustrate principles of hygge in nature.

Principles of Hygge That Will Change Your Life #3: Pay Attention To The Little Things.

Ask anyone what they miss about home or a specific time in their life, and they seldom mention big things. Instead, most people long for little things that speak to their senses. The Principles of Hygge are all about paying attention to the things that touch our awareness of Comfort and Joy.

One of our favorite homework assignments to give in classes and retreats is encouraging people to list 100 things that make them smile. Hygge is about noticing the little things that add Comfort and Joy to your life. Just number a page to 100 using four columns of 25 each. We have students number first because the part of your brain that numbers is a different part than the section that knows what makes you smile. Then, just start listing things that bring Comfort and Joy to your life.  Get Cozy Right Now With 7 Ideas For An Inexpensive Hygge Starter Kit

A list of things to smile about illustrating principles of hygge.

Things From Our Own Personal List.

  • The smell of new crayons
  • The sound of morning doves
  • Sprinkles
  • Bubbles
  • Glitter
  • New Lipstick
  • Pink Fingernails
  • The smell of coffee while you are still in bed
  • Fresh picked flowers
  • Dandelion fluffies
  • Butterflies
  • Sunsets
  • Rain on a metal roof
  • Thunder
  • Swimming at night
  • Slow falling snow
  • Chocolate

 

This project serves two purposes. First, it encourages you to watch for the little things that create that Hygge feeling of Comfort and Joy. Second, if you are ever having a less-than-hygge day, you have a list of what to look for to help you feel better. It’s a two-fer.

Chocolate chip cookies baking illustrating principles of hygge.

Principles of Hygge That Will Change Your Life #4: Eat Food That Reminds You Of Comfort And Those Who Lovingly Made It For You.

There is more that calls us to comfort food than just sugar and fat. There is Comfort and Joy in Grandma’s freshly baked cookies, Mom’s fried chicken, and Dad’s spaghetti and meatballs. It’s not just about the comfort of the food but the sweetness of the memory that goes with it.

Sometimes, we get that Hygge feeling from foods that aren’t on most comfort food lists. It can be like the smell of tea you once shared with your neighbor. It can come from the taste of a fresh apple, just like you used to get out of your childhood backyard. A tomato out of your own garden can take you back to a simple space in another time of your life. Often, the Principles of Hygge are in play with the people or places associated with the food as much as the food itself. However, it’s the taste and smell of our own version of comfort food that gives us that Hygge feeling.

Woman hugging a tree illustrating Principles of Hygge.

Principles of Hygge That Will Change Your Life #5: Get Out In Nature And Hug A Tree (They Hug Back.)

You may have noticed that we like trees. They are in our logo and even in our “About Us” photo on our website. We know we aren’t the only ones. Nature is a lovely place to feel the Principles of Hygge, and hugging a tree is a great place to start.

One of our favorite books is The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohkkeben. In it, he shares how science now knows that trees have consciousness and speak to each other through their leaves and roots. They are pure magic that you can find in your own yard or local park if you don’t have access to the 100-acre Woods like Winnie-The-Pooh.

One of the many cool things about hugging a tree is that TREES HUG BACK. Don’t believe us, try it!

Woman teleworking in her pajamas illustrating principles of hygge.

Principles of Hygge That Will Change Your Life #6: Clothes that Feel Comfortable And Easy Can Create A Feeling Of Comfort And Ease.

There is a reason that your favorite T-shirt feels like instant relaxation at the end of the day. Because it just…does. Changing into our favorite “Relax and Chill” clothes is like changing out of our uniform of the day and all the responsibility that goes with that. Hygge is all about that soft, warm T-shirt or favorite pajamas fresh out of the dryer.

Those jeans that fit every curve of your body from memory really are the perfect thing to slip on when you are feeling frazzled or discombobulated. There is an instant reaction of, “It’s gonna be ok,” that comes with these maybe not-so-fashionable favorites.

If you have to be away from home or in an uncomfortable situation, be sure to pack your buddies that remind you what Comfort and Joy are no matter where you are.

Woman smelling a cup of coffee and smiling illustrating principles of hygge.

Principles of Hygge That Will Change Your Life #7: Savor Every Moment.

We talked about paying attention to the little things. We also suggest that you savor all things, little and big. If you are traveling, take a moment to stop and think, “Oh my gosh…I’m in Ireland.” If it’s a sweet afternoon coffee break with a friend, take time to think, “Wow, I love laughing with you.”

The little things we can easily take for granted are often the first missed when they aren’t available. Just think about when your electricity goes off or that time that people couldn’t find toilet paper. We recommend your most precious reassuring thought be, “Thank You” every morning when you wake up. It sets the tone for a day that holds intention and promise and the fact that you are still here.

Woman reading book in a grassy area and smiling.

Principles of Hygge That Will Change Your Life #8: Be In The Now.

There is really only one way to savor every moment. You have to be in the moment that is in front of you. It’s so easy to miss out on special moments because we are too bothered by something that happened yesterday. We can also miss out because we are too worried about what is gonna happen tomorrow.

Ram Dass wrote an entire book called Be Here Now. Eckhart Tolle gave us a powerful reason to recognize The Power Of Now in his New York Times Best Seller by the same name. Hygge is all about being in the moment with whatever and whoever is in the moment with you. You will get through the big stuff by savoring the sweet now moments of the small stuff.

Principles of Hygge are about cozy, comfort and wellbeing. Staying in the moment instead of living in your head will keep you in the space of Hygge. The present moment is where your power is and where your cozy, comfortable well-being lives. As Ram says, “BE HERE NOW.”

A child's hand, handing flowers to another child's hand, expressing appreciation.

Principles of Hygge That Will Change Your Life #9: Take Nothing For Granted.

This Principle of Hygge reminds you that to savor the moment and be in the moment, you take nothing for granted. It’s easy to stay in an attitude of Hygge when you are in a space of gratitude. When you recognize how many cool things are happening every day you can’t help but be in a space of well-being.

Gratitude is one of the highest energetic frequencies of emotion. Staying in that frequency is much easier when you take nothing for granted. We may come to expect things like the sun rising, the girl at the coffee shop being there to hand you coffee, or the coworker who always says, “Good Morning.” Even if expected to be there, stay in that Hygge mindset of comfort and coziness by taking a moment of gratitude that they showed up today.

Two women drinking coffee at a table and smiling.

Principles of Hygge That Will Change Your Life #10: Connect With Others, And…Yourself.

This last of the Principles of Hygge follows the principles of savoring, being in the moment, and taking nothing for granted. That brings us to the last one. Many people feel very alone, even while with others. The problem is not a lack of company. It’s a lack of connection.

Allow yourself to connect with others. This means being in the moment and savoring that co-worker’s “Good morning” greeting. When conversing with people, really listen to what they are saying. Enjoy their smile, their cadence, and their presence in your day. Share meaningful ideas. Go out on a limb and take a chance that other’s want to connect to you.

Then, connect with yourself. Sweet moments of Hygge can be found in quiet time while you sip coffee on the back porch and pet the cat. Powerful Hygge time can be created as you journal ideas and thoughts that you are just sort of trying on to see if they fit. Create quiet time to connect with yourself.

Words in image give yourself permission you've got this.

Hygge Is Everywhere, So Give Yourself Permission To Experience It.

If all 10 of the Principles of Hygge feel like too much, just pick out one or 2 of them. If you noticed, they all build on each other so you can’t get it wrong. The glue that holds it all together is permission. Give yourself permission to feel soothed, feel comfortable, and enjoy sweet and simple moments. Allow yourself to enjoy soft things and feel safe and protected. Give yourself permission to enjoy the moment and connect with who you are. The Comfort and Joy of Hygge is everywhere. Just look for it, allow it, and receive it. You’ve got this.

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Pixi-Pebbles For Discovering The 10 Principles of Hygge That Will Change Your Life… 

Pixi-Pebbles are songs, quotes, videos, interviews, movie references, and books that we each personally pick for you.

We’ve used these little Pixi-Pebbles to move ourselves from a feeling we’re not enjoying very much…to a feeling that helps us discover our vision of intention, awareness, and direction.

They lead us to hope, possibilities, and a fire under our butt to live life by design instead of default.

In our blog, The 10 Principles Of Hygge That Will Change Your Life, here is a Pixi-Pebble that came to mind…

Just a little inspiration to get you from here to there…

Anyone who hangs out with us for even a short amount of time will hear about our love of Ireland. One of our favorite ways of using YouTube to Hygge-up our space is watching Irish scenery videos. Click here to see one of our recent favorites.

Meet Nikki:

Nikki has a way of making almost anything meaningful, interesting, and fun. She loves cats, believes you can learn a lot about yourself by shooting hoops in the park, and has a mad love affair with trees. As a Certified Neuro-linguistic Programming Practitioner, Intentional Living Mentor, Reiki Master, and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, she understands how to help others create change and has a talent for making you enjoy doing it.

Enchanted perspectives creator Nikki and Jennifer sitting against tree

Meet Jennifer:

Jennifer is a woman who definitely lives life by design. As an Artist, Certified Holistic Life Coach, Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritual Studies Mentor, and Certified EFT Practitioner, she helps others find their unique, magical, and authentic selves. She loves art, music, nature, travel and believes everyone can dance. Jennifer is a compassionate teacher that enjoys inspiring others to find their own creativity, intuition, and passion for life.
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