“Hygge,” pronounced hoo-gah, is a Danish word for capturing a moment of bliss and an arguably healthy obsession of the way one views and lives life. It’s “the Danish art of coziness,” as explained by VisitDenmark.
You know when you’re driving in the dead of night, and all you’ve been seeing for miles and miles is an occasional signal of life from another lonely car or a factory building, or just a lot of nothingness?
And then all of a sudden, the light peaks from behind the night, and a crescendo of colors erupts as the sun rises. Scenes of mountains and fields whiz past, vying for your attention. And you think to yourself, “How blissful.”
Or that time you’ve been away from whatever is home for so long. You’ve been busy working, traveling, studying and striving. And then you go home—to family, to a place, to a certain meal—and you didn’t realize how tired you’ve been.
Not just your body and mind, but your heart and your soul as well. And you collapse into the arms of someone who loves you dearly—in the arms of someone who doesn’t expect anything from you other than yourself. Bliss.
Whatever bliss looks like for you, or whatever shape or form bliss takes in your life, hopefully you’ve experienced it. And if you haven’t, it’s more likely you haven’t stopped to truly capture it. It might’ve passed through eyes that weren’t really seeing beautiful things or ears that weren’t really listening to words of truth and affirmation.
Hygge has been a way of culturally framing a certain mindset of noticing and pausing in the pursuit of a life marked with gratitude.
You know that great cliche, “stop and smell the roses?” Well, hygge is a way to do it. When we’re living in constant expectancy for blissful things to pass by, the more we will be able to find them.
It’s this wandering heart that knows what to find. We won’t know really what it will be, just that it’ll be a moment worth holding on to for a short time. And the more of these we collect and carry, the more prone to prioritizing valuable moments and times we will be.