5 ways we could learn how to live happy from the Danish

Move over decluttering and the joys of tidying up (sorry Marie Kondo), the latest lifestyle trend to obsess about is ‘hygge’. ICYMI, the world has woken up to the fact that the Danish have a wonderfully charming concept called ‘hygge’ (pronounced hoo-gah) and we all now want a piece of it. Why? Well, because hygge invites us to truly appreciate the simple and essential joys of home life.

To put it another way, hygge is about creating the ideal conditions for us to snuggle up, and really chill out at home. It puts comfort first. In fact, it’s about embracing comfort. If there was an English word equivalent for hygge, the closest we could get is probably ‘cozy’. But for the Scandinavians, it’s more than a feeling, it’s a way of life. And when you’re living in one of the most northern and coldest regions of the planet, it is easy to understand why the Scandis place so much care into their interior lives and their appreciation for how their homes play a role in their overall happiness and connection with others. It’s clearly worked, with Denmark and other Scandinavian countries continually ranked as one of the happiest places to live in the world.

So how does one ‘hygge’ up their home? It’s about moving beyond the physical value we tend to attach to things and objects in our homes, and instead recognising our homes as a sum of all of its parts, and its role in helping us to recharge, relax and reconnect. Think about creating an ambience for your home that is inspired by all the senses to create moments that exude pure comfort and warmth.

SEE: Keep the lights down low

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Make like the Scandis, and light candles everywhere. A scattering of candlelight is enough to calm the mind and soothe the soul. We think it’s the return to the raw elements like fire, that evokes a connection with our DNA memory of sitting around a campfire – the original resting ground.

HEAR: Silence isn’t always golden

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Not when the right background music can help set the perfect mood for calm and intimacy. Spotify even has a ton of hygge-themed playlists ready for that next Sunday chill session.

FEEL: Add a soft touch

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It’s important to focus on natural textures that you can indulge in at ease, like velvety soft linen cushions and cashmere throws. Extra hygge points for ugg boots to keep you snug from head to toe.

SMELL: A winter wonderland

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Forget about fancy scents you can find in a bottle. The smell of hygge is a log fire burning, a pine Christmas tree or the aroma of freshly baked homemade pie in the oven. Yep, it’s basically what your ultimate fantasy winter wonderland would smell like.

TASTE: Good food & good company

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And finally, hygge is always best spent with loved ones, because isn’t that where we all find the most rewarding comfort? And always, always with good food and drink like a true Scandinavian. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion either; seek out the little moments like sharing a wine on a cold wintery day or while playing board games like backgammon or jenga. Now that’s cozy.