The Danish term ‘hygge’ has quickly been adopted as the perfect phrase to describe all things cosy – the elements of every day life that make you happy, calm and fulfilled. The term encourages you to embrace these simple pleasures and amplify them where possible.
It’s become so widely used that ‘hygge’ has been listed as a ‘word of the year’ by both the Collins and Oxford dictionaries. Caroline Sanderson, a writer for ‘Bookseller’ magazine says it is the most striking publishing trend in recent times, in terms of the sheer number of titles published at once.
Hygge has gone BIG on social media: on Instagram there are almost 1.5m #hygge posts of falling leaves, roaring fires, thick knit blankets and hot chocolate with marshmallows – the list goes on! On Pinterest, there has been a year-on-year rise of 285% in hygge-themed pinning.
In a year that’s set to feel the full repercussions of Brexit, making the most of every day moments that present happiness seems to make sense, if anything it’s a requirement. The notion that it is possible to feel genuinely happier by embracing these moments is surely worth investing in if it can improve quality of life. Hygge is no flash in the pan trend, it’s predicted to stick around and who knows, it could totally rub off on us Brits for the better!
So how can we adopt a hygge lifestyle and put this theory to the test? It doesn’t need to cost a lot of money or take up all your time. There are simple and easy changes you can make to make the most of every day and promote a happy lifestyle.
Start with the every day
Try and get the most out of every day by pinpointing the highs and the lows. What was the highlight of your day? Was it chatting to a colleague? Hitting the gym at lunch? Making time to cook a home-made meal for you and your partner? Reading a new book? Whatever it was, noting these little things that make the working day easier can be key to unlocking extra happiness for you. Equally, taking time to think about what wasn’t great about your day can also be helpful in identifying what you should stop doing or take action to resolve a problem.
It’s important to make some time in the evening for yourself to relax – read a magazine, have a bath, get into your favourite PJs, call a friend, watch your favourite film, anything that can help you switch off from work.
Make simple changes to your home
By creating a home that you feel save, cosy and really enjoy living in, you will feel so much happier in yourself. The saying ‘it’s the simple things in life that count’ really rings true in this respect. You don’t need to spend a fortune to make a difference, shops such as H&M Home, Zara Home, John Lewis, Next Home, Home Sense and Primark have some lovely bits. If you want to splurge then try Anthropology or White Company. Some of the things i’ve invested in include blankets, good quality candles, vases, photo frames, pictures, serving plates, bowls and new PJs. These are all things that you’ll use and enjoy every single day so worth investing in. Another thing that makes me really happy is fresh flowers – there’s something really special about having flowers in your home. These can be expensive and fake flowers these days can look just as nice – Marks and Spencer do some fabulous one’s, I have some in my living room.
Up your exercise game
It’s no secret that sweating it out in the gym produces endorphins, the main function of this chemical is to cause lasting happiness and satisfaction. Experts say that increasing exercise can have just as good a results as anti-depressants which goes to show how important it is to include in our lives. Making simple changes to increase our step count (we should all aim for 10,000 steps a day) such as taking the stairs or going for a walk at lunch can get you on track. There are so many apps and devices for this, there’s no excuse not to be monitoring your step levels – download one today!
Make a conscious effort at the beginning of every week to decide what classes you’ll go to/when you’ll go to the gym. Book them up in advance, add it to your calendar and stick to it.
Surround yourself with positive people
The older you get the more you realise how important it is to spend time with positive people – people who support you and have a positive impact on your life. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” says American entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn. He recommends that you should think about the people you’re spending time with the same way you think about what you’re eating. Some people are ‘takers’, they aren’t invested in your friendship, it’s all about them and they suck energy and time from your life. Think of this the same way you would as eating junk food. Then think about the people you like spending the time with most, what qualities do they have? Do they support you? Do you feel happy and energised when you’re around them? Once you have decided on this make a conscious effort to reduce or eliminate the people who don’t make you feel good. Remember positive’s attract, people will be drawn to you if you give off positive vibes and are confident in yourself.
“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.” – Karl Marx
What things do you do to make yourself happy? Please leave comments below as i’d love to know!