H Y G G E ….
It was one of the most talked about words in the UK in 2016, and yet most of us haven’t heard of it today.
What does this word mean, especially at this time of the year?
Yes, it’s that time of the year again: December.
The end of another beautiful year. A time when we can reflect on the year gone by. A time when we go through a multitude of emotions and feelings.
A feeling of happiness
A feeling of excitement
A feeling of gratitude
A feeling of sadness
A feeling of being overwhelmed
A feeling of anxiety or stress…or both
The end of the year can be a very difficult time for some people, so I wanted to explore how we can reduce this feeling of sadness, being overwhelmed, or anxiety about the holiday season and the year ahead.
We have all heard about certain relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and talk therapy, all of which are known to help de-stress us.
But have you heard about HYGGE?
For those of us who had not heard of this word before, I will explain the meaning and relevance of the word for all of us at this time of the year.
HYGGE- A Norwegian word pronounced (HUE_GAH) means “well- being.” The Danes have frequently attained the title of the Happiest People on Earth.
Could this be one of the reasons why?
This word first appeared in Danish writing in the 19th century and has since evolved into the cultural idea known in Denmark and Norway today. It is now used in the culture as a word referring to a “form of togetherness.”
Hygge is being in the moment, enjoying the company of others
and the simple things in life.
Hygge is about sitting around a table with family and friends, enjoying a hot drink and some comforting foods.
Hygge is about creating a certain atmosphere--not about accumulating things or expensive gifts.
The Harvard Happiness Study has shown that social connectedness is a powerful predictor of happiness, health and longevity.
So at this time of the year when we are considering holiday gifts, maybe we can consider HYGGE--making time to unwind, slow down, enjoy the company of good friends with the warmth of hot drinks and comforting foods, just enjoying discussing the big and small things in life, appreciating the little things our lives--we can all do this.
How will you practice hygge this holiday season?
Happy holidays from the Mindful Medicine Team.