Christmas is very much about Christmas Cheer.
As we were doing the tree and we were relaxing, I thought, relax, you are already there. Life is good. Definitely a Hygge moment.
Happiness and Positive Psyhology is one of my favourite topics, and I have read and tried so many things in my pursuit of happiness. After all aren’t we all in the pursuit of happiness in our own journey. (Can you pursue happiness?) (More on this later in another blog).
Even countries are now starting to look at and measure happiness of their population and looking at the happiness and wellness index.
Denmark rates the highest…
I used to think if I achieved my goals I would be happy. I now think that the Happiness Advantage (ie a positive mindset and a happy outlook, are actually the key to achieving your goals, better relationships, etc.) is actually important. Enjoying the journey is the path to happiness.
Early in my career, I was pushing hard to “succeed” and “get there” and my bosses would tell me to slow down, take care of my health, relationships, and find a better balance in life, etc. (we may hear them, but do we ever listen to wise advice?).
While we can learn a lot from authors such as Seligman, Gilbert, Lyumbominsky, etc. and practise everything from mindfulness, yoga, tai chi (Its all in the breath), there are a lot of things we can do now and in the present and no better time to do it than at Christmas (especially as we can take a break from the chores of daily life).
I am talking about the Danish mindset of Hygge.
Hygge is as Danish as pork roast and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There’s nothing more hygge than sitting around a table, and discussing the big and small things in life. Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are the happiest people in the world?
As PBS.org explains – Simply, hygge is about living in the moment. It’s about spending quality, peaceful time in a calm environment with no agenda. It’s about humor, warmth and making connections. It’s about spending time alone and spending time with family. And it vanishes the moment your to-do list gets involved. It even has its own adjective: hyggelig. As in, “This quiet cafe is so hyggelig.”
Sitting by the fire on a cold night, wearing a woolly jumper, while drinking mulled wine and stroking a dog – probably surrounded by candles. That’s definitely “hygge”.
Eating home-made cinnamon pastries. Watching TV under a duvet. Tea served in a china set. Family get-togethers at Christmas. They’re all hygge too.
The Danish word, pronounced “hoo-ga”, is usually translated into English as “cosiness”. But it’s much more than that, say its aficionados – an entire attitude to life that helps Denmark to vie with Switzerland and Iceland to be the world’s happiest country.
It’s about work-life balance.
Hygge is all about emotional closeness. It’s about leaving your trouble outside the door.
Behind this concept is something much simpler…. It’s about acceptance.
Relax, you are already there….
So here are a few thoughts
Come as you are. Be yourself. Relax, you won’t be attacked.
Forget the controversy. Avoid topics that generate controversy and avoid trying to win and score points.
Think us and togetherness. Think of yourself as part of the team/family.
See Hygge as a shelter or a safe place. Quiet, free from the hassle and bustle where you have to watch your back physically, emotional, or any other threat.
This is not about not having goals, or drive, or losing motivation, but it is also about being in the moment, and being able to smell the flowers and enjoying your relationships in those special moments.
It’s also about saying thank you to those special people in one’s life that make it special and saying thank you and connecting with them.