Living Hygge – Learning the Danish Art of Living in the Present

What is hygge?? 

How the hell do you say it?

Why does this word immediately make me hungry?

All valid questions I asked myself when I stumbled upon this seemingly foreign concept on 
After a quick google search I found, who puts it this way: 
“Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special.”
This was the most fascinating concept I had ever stumbled upon, sending me down a rabbit hole of research. I spent an entire day completely captured by the Danish art of hygge.

Hygge is the mindset of living extraordinarily in the present, regardless of circumstance or company, and enjoying yourself simply by being alive. 

living in present, hygge, living hygge
Why don’t we have a word for this in English??? I have no idea! Maybe it’s because the art of hygge seems to be lost on most Americans. My friend Michael from Germany stayed in America for a year and was incredibly shocked by our loud and fast paced lifestyles, he said everything was too busy and in your face. Having grown up here my entire life, I can’t imagine anything but this instant gratification type of society we live in. 
I decided to learn how to implement hygge into my everyday life because I want everything it embodies, friendship, happiness, and gratification no matter what is currently going on. Living in America, it feels like you always need to have your hand in something, like if you aren’t moving up or moving on you are a failure. It’s like if you are home alone on a Saturday night, you’re a loser and if you are out with friends drinking you should be at home getting work done! 
I have had so many moments in my young adulthood where it feels like no matter what I’m doing, there is always something better and brighter I need to have. I chased every shiny object I could find, believing there was just one more step to happiness, when that’s not true at all! Hygge. Learning how to live in the moment. 

There’s a line in a Mumford and Sons song that has become my motto in learning hygge:

 hold me fast, hold me fast, cause I’m a hopeless wanderer / and I will learn, I will learn to love the skies I’m under 

I too, am a hopeless wanderer, being blown around to different projects and groups of friends, hoping to find true happiness and always failing, and I bet a lot of you are this way as well! This brings me to a new stage of my life and one I want to urge you to take as well!

Learning to love the skies I’m under

Learning hygge and using it as a lifestyle tool can be so easy and enjoyable! I have a few tips I have starting using in my own life to increase my present-ness in everyday life!
The first step is to get rid of the “should haves”. These are the thieves of all joy in your life! “Should haves” whisper in your ear and say you made the wrong decision for your new job, or you are irresponsible for enjoying a night out with friends. They tell you that the right decision was the one you decided against. These thoughts have no benefit for you whatsoever! Throw them away with everything you have!! Taking ownership of your decisions is a great step toward hygge and enjoying your life to its fullest. 
The second step is to quit the comparisons, you are living YOUR BEST LIFE!! I cannot tell you how many times I stayed home on a Friday night getting some rest and made myself feel HORRIBLE believing I should be out partying with friends. There were plenty of times I did go do things with my friends, but on those nights I was so restless! I felt lonely and upset. If I had learned to love those nights, the relaxing nights where I could watch a movie and eat whatever I wanted, wow I’d have been so much happier! 
Comparing your choices and life to others will leave you feeling inadequate every single time. 
There will always be someone you think is having more fun.
There will always be someone you think has it “all together”.
There is always a group of friends you wish you could be a part of.
But listen, that’s all from the outside looking in. There are people thinking those same things about you, as crazy as that sounds. In this day of Instagram and Snapchat, our brains are designed to want what others have! Let’s quit the comparing and instead live our own damn lives! I personally limit my use of Instagram, and once I started doing that saw a huge increase of satisfaction in myself…I never realized how much time I spent on my explore page wanting other girl’s lives. 
The last tip I’ll give in deciding to live hygge is to create those “cozy” moments. That feeling of spending time with someone over coffee while it’s raining outside? Hygge. Watching a movie with your family and eating a fun snack? Hygge. Taking a long hot shower with your favorite playlist on? You guessed it! HYGGE! 
Learning to not only be present in your life, but also creating moments of connecting with yourself and others is an important part of living hygge. True hygge says “I love my life and want to pour into every moment of it, and I love the people around me and want to pour into theirs”.
So there you have it! A nice little crash course in the art of hygge! If you want to learn more I strongly suggest you take a look at Hygge House’s blog. Learning hygge has benefit my own life so powerfully and I hope it has the same affect for you as well! I write to inspire others, so help me get the word out by sharing on social media using any of the buttons on the side or below this post! Subscribe to my newsletter if you want periodical blog updates and content!
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Until next time, 
hygge, cozy, living, home, lifestyle


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

April 29, 2018 at 11:03 am

Great post! I struggle with this so much everyday! – Stephanie |

Living Simply Mindfulreply
April 29, 2018 at 1:18 pm

I truly loved reading this post! You got me hooked on hygge now! 😃🌺
I felt like your writing voice was so authentic and honest that I just had to enjoy reading this! You definitely reached me and next time I stumple upon the concept of hygge, I‘ll probably remember reading your great post about it 😊🌺 Thank you for sharing that and inspiring me to more mindfulness towards myself 🙏🏼😊

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