The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort & Connection

The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort & Connection by Louisa Thomsen Brits

HYGGE: Definition

HYGGE (pronounced “hoo-gah”) is a quality of presence and an experience of belonging and togetherness. It is a feeling of being warm, safe, comforted, and sheltered.

HYGGE is an experience of selfhood and communion with people and places that anchors and affirms us, gives us courage and consolation. To hygge is to invite intimacy and connection. It’s a feeling of engagement and relatedness, of belonging to the moment and to each other.

HYGGE is a sense of abundance and contentment. HYGGE is about being, not having.

Hygge is a feeling that most of us know but can’t quite define. To give a name to an experience is to pay attention to it. Hygge can describe feelings that are already familiar to you. It is there in the rhythm of your daily life, in your habits, routines, and rituals. You don’t need Danish recipes or the secrets of a Scandinavian lifestyle to learn how to hygge.

It can be found in asking yourself where you feel most at home, what are the activities and customs that anchor you, who makes you feel at ease, what is it that contributes most to your sense of well-being, what do you do to unwind, what do you reach for to create comfort?

The word hygge has been sifted to the surface in recent years, but the concept is not new. It is a practice as old as sitting around a fire or sharing food with a friend. Words emerge from culture, history, topography, and place. They’re formed by time and habit and are passed from one generation to the next through stories, ritual, and values.

Hygge helps us to communicate what it’s like to be human; it is part of a global vocabulary that speaks to our humanity and addresses our basic human need to belong. It’s an old word for a new language that we are beginning to explore in order to share values common to us all.

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Author : Louisa Thomsen Brits
Pages : 192
Publisher : Plume Books, 2017
Language : English