How Can “Hygge” Help You Beat Depression?
Mar 05, 2020
Did you know that Denmark is routinely ranked as one of the happiest places in the world? According to the World Happiness Report released by the United Nations, Denmark is the second-happiest place to live in in 2019, with Finland being at the top. And this is not the first year that Denmark has found a place in the World Happiness Report; it came in second in 2018 and 2017 as well. In 2016, it came in first.
What Is Hygge?
If you read Meik Wiking's Little Book of Hygge, it goes into the secret behind the happiness of the Danes. According to Wiking, the answer is hygge, the Danish word for cozy happiness.
Many of us think that happiness is a very active feeling. We assume that in order to be happy, you have to be running around doing a bunch of things and achieving a lot. And although happiness can be found in this kind of activity, it can also be found in a cozy, restful, centered way of spending your time. And this is what the Danes refer to as hygge.
A Hygge Scene
Imagine yourself sitting by the fire with your family, playing games, reading or just chatting a little bit. Maybe some of you are drinking something warm like hot chocolate. The lights are dim and there is no TV blaring. Some of you are wrapped in cozy shawls or sweaters while others are lounging on the shag carpet. Everyone feels comfortable and at home. This is a hygge scene.
Hygge and Lighting
So there are many things you can do to create a sense of hygge. The one thing that Danes tend to do a lot is use dim lighting. In fact, they often use candles instead of electric lights. Now you might think that candles are a fire hazard, but it's a fact that the dim, flickering light of candles is gentle on the eyes which are probably tired from a full day at work.
If you prefer, you can also get some other sources of dim lighting for your home. Small lamps scattered around the room are often much more soothing to the eyes than bright overhead lamps. Not only will they make your evenings more pleasant, but they will also help you to go to sleep faster and to sleep peacefully.
Hygge and Warm Drinks
Another strong element of hygge is drinking something warm. Any warm drink like coffee, hot chocolate, tea, herbal tea etc. can help to create a sense of hygge. You may not want to drink coffee or anything highly caffeinated in the evening but you can drink something decaffeinated. Even a warm bowl of soup can create a sense of hygge.
Hygge and Physical Coziness
Physical comfort and coziness can also create a sense of hygge, especially if it's a cold day. Make sure you're wrapped in something cozy, soft and warm like chenille or cashmere. If it's a warm day, this is not necessary but the idea is to keep your body at a comfortable temperature.
Try incorporating some hygge into your life if you're suffering from feelings of depression. It may not help you in banishing depression completely but it can, at the very least, introduce some pockets of happiness into your life. Contact us for more information.