images-9“…‘hygge’ means more than just cocoa and tea lights. It’s about a feeling – a sense of warmth and companionship.” ~ Lonely Planet Guide

Yes, hygge is a word and its even been named as one of the top 10 words of the year by Collins Dictionary! Chances are however that unless you listen somewhat obsessively to NPR (as I do!) or read the New York Times closely (which I don’t) you might have missed it. What is it and how does this apply to us? I’ll let you read more about it in whatever source you pick but here’s how it relates back to wellness and happiness ~ hygging is essentially all about the art of making things cozy. Cozy is another way for us to think about adding in some happiness to our lives. See how that all fits together?

Warm, cozy, happy – pick your word and concept. Here’s what I care about; that you pick something and get it into your life. People who identify themselves as happy tend to have fewer stress hormones cruising through their system, get sick less often and tend to be better self-regulators of their behavior.

Happy folks also tend to have broader and more social connections. Social connections allows us more of a base of support, more experiences, more opportunities for fun stuff. You’ve surely heard me talk about the need to feel there is purpose in our lives or perhaps you’ve read, “The Purpose Driven Life”? Having that sense of purpose makes our days full of much more meaning as we’re slogging through the dull stuff like dentist appointments and scooping poop after our beloved dogs. Oddly enough, folks who report they are happy but get that sense from self-gratification have the same gene expression as those who are chronically distressed. Yikes!

How to get the happy or hygge into your life? Well, in Denmark, where this all began, they are apparently fans of many candles, staying in for meals, snuggling up by the fireplace and perhaps knitting. Doesn’t sound too appealing to you? How about if you were to turn off the TV, cook a meal with friends or family or both, hang out for a while listening to music and maybe reading a book or playing a good game of Scrabble? Maybe take a nice long walk?

However you choose to get some happy and purpose into your life I’m going to urge you to start today to do something that brings you some hygge. Who knows? You might like it!

Wishing you the best, hyggelig day!

~ Lisa