The Little Book Of Hygge: Danish Secrets To Happy Living by Meik Wiking
This little book explores why the Happiness Research Institute thinks the Danes are more often than not rated the most happiest people in the world. The spirit of hygge (pronounced HOO-GA) is believed to be the number one reason. The question then is, what exactly is hygge?
Hygge is a place of comfort & coziness where you feel safe. It is soft lighting, comfort foods, & loved ones. It's a place to get away from the pressures of everyday life. Handmade wood furniture & floors, real unscented candles, a hot cuppa, a hand knit blanket, wool socks, a fireplace, a handful of good friends. Reading old hand written letters (not emails or text messages), reading a physical book for the simple pleasure of reading, writing a letter (on paper, with a pen) & sending it to family or friends. All of this is hygge.
The author provides so many examples of Danish hygge traditions & the value Danes place on hygge. Hygge is mostly indoors, but it can be outside too. He describes the general lifestyles, climate, work structure, social structure, & social systems behind the Danes general quality of life.
The book is colorful with Danish art & a wonderful feel good vibe. I find it very relatable to my introvert personality & lifestyle. Heck, he even describes my home as being very hyggelig. My historic log cabin with it's wood stove, it's antique wood furniture, it's history. That is hygge. Hygge is not new & modern. It is not glass & stainless steel. It is everything that invokes warmth, comfort, & a sense of belonging.
The book is a very easy read full of interesting facts, a few recipes & crafts. I enjoy reading it at least once a year while enjoying a hot cuppa. I sit near the wood stove as it glows with heat. It's hyggelig.
I'd love to see some hygge traditions be incorporated into the United States. The Happiness Research Institute rates having strong social connections as the number one cause of happiness. This is not 600 Facebook friends. Instead, all it takes is love. Be it with family, friends or both. It doesn't have to be a lot of either. A handful will do. It's a sense of being accepted & of belonging. In fact, when people are isolated, it actually registers as pain in the brain. That is how important social connections are. I believe that in our overly digital social media world, we are nurturing the exact opposite of happiness. The deeper we dig into the digital world rather than the real world, the greater our unhappiness will be.
I encourage you to sit down somewhere you feel safe, make yourself comfortable. Grab a home baked treat & a hot cuppa cocoa, tea, coffee - whatever you like & relax with this book. Maybe it will inspire you to try to create more hyggelig moments alone or even better with friends.
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