Winter is hard for many who struggle with their mental health. Yet in one of the bleakest regions during winter, you can find some of the happiest people on Earth according to researchers. In Denmark, the Danish culture has embraced the concept known as Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”). Hygge is a way of living that focuses on comfort, peacefulness, and being cozy. Generally hygge has been described as “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.” But hygge is more than just curling up next to a fireplace – it has health benefits, too.
Hygge is meant to help facilitate a sense of peace and calm in your living space by using the five senses – sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. By creating a cozy atmosphere, hygge can help us feel less anxious and give us a sense of safety and well-being. If you want to try the hygge lifestyle, there are a few ways you can implement key elements into your living and work spaces.
Make your space soft and cozy by using soft blankets, pillows, or area rugs. By utilizing soft textures, we can make ourselves and our guests feel soothed and safe in a warm, inviting space.
Instead of using harsh, bright lights, hygge incorporates soft, warm light. Consider installing a dimmer or using a light bulb with lower lumens. You could also use floor lamps if you are not able to control the overhead lighting in your space. Floor and table lamps easily help any space feel more intimate and inviting.
Love candles? They are one of the most widely used light sources in hygge-style rooms. If you cannot use traditional candles in your space, consider using LED candles instead.
Hygge decor is about creating a warm, calming environment. In hygge homes, you’ll often find wooden elements and decor, house plants, and pieces with special meaning such as family photos. Photos can also be of favorite experiences or travel destinations since hygge is all about creating connection and inviting others into conversation.
Warmth & Color
Hygge style uses warm, natural light and neutral tones. Think soft whites, browns, and blush colors. Using neutral tones creates a calm environment that is soothing and comfortable.
Even though you may not have total control over your work space, you can recreate some of the elements of hygge at work as well. Consider bringing a plant or photos of loved ones to keep at your desk. If you’re able, you can also incorporate accent lamps with warm lighting or a cozy area rug.
- By implementing hygge into your living spaces, you may experience some emotional benefits. These can include improvement in depression and anxiety symptoms, lowered stress levels, and increased feelings of self-worth and optimism. Physical benefits such as improved sleep, less cortisol (stress hormone) spikes, and improved self-care practices related to hygge may also benefit your mental health as well.
- Incorporating hygge during the dreary winter months can help bring you more comfort, connection, and peace. These elements will all benefit your emotional and physical health during what may be a more difficult time of year. Try using some of the above suggestions and see if you can benefit from hygge this winter season.