I’m sure many of you reading this blog will have heard of the Hygge trend that reached the UK in 2016. I’m sure many of you will have also read the bestselling book by Meik Wiking called ‘The Little Book of Hygge’. That’s exactly what I’ll be talking about on my blog today so if you haven’t read it, hopefully this will convince you to give the book a chance. If you have already read it, let’s talk about what we liked about this book!
I recently bought this book from Tesco for only £5 because it seemed like a perfect read in the season where everyone is setting their January resolutions. The author works at the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and for years he has been researching what makes us happy, particularly among the Danes who are regularly claimed to be one of the happiest countries in the world. Wiking claims that much of this happiness is related to the Hygge factor which Danes work so hard to inject into their lives.
So you may be reading this and thinking, so what actually is Hygge? Well, from my understanding of the book it appears to be about your overall wellbeing and the environments that you create in order to feel happiness. For example, candles are highly associated with Hygge with 85% of Danes mentioning candles when they were asked what they most associate this term with. But that’s not the only thing. Lamps, cosiness, warm drinks and togetherness are all important features of the Hygge ideology. Sounds like a pretty great concept, right?
In this book, Miking goes into deeper exploration of Hygge and has created a Hygge manifesto which includes: atmoshphere, presence, pleasure, equality, gratitude, harmony, comfort, truce, togetherness and shelter. These all sound like very simple terms but they can often be overlooked in our busy lives. Take presence, for example. Sometimes even in our really great moments, we are not 100% present as we’re looking down at our phones or taking pictures rather than just living in the moment. We’re all guilty of this. But it’s so surprising how much happier the Danes appear to be overall as they are said to appreciate the smaller things in life.
I appreciate that happiness doesn’t have the same formula for everybody and whilst these ideas may work for some, they might not for others. However, what made this book most interesting for me was the personal touch that Meik Wiking brought to this book with his anecdotal Hygge moments in his own life and in the lives of those closest to him. To me, it was an example of how Hygge can work for individuals and is encouraging for readers like myself. After reading this, I’m keen to give parts of the Hygge lifestyle a try – I like a good cup of tea and lighting some candles, so the only way to go is up from here.