Copenhagen is one of my favorite cities. All the people riding their bikes. Nyhavn is gorgeous and where the people gather. Tivoli Gardens is this quaint amusement park. Green spaces and parks are everywhere. And there is a beach. The Baltic water is freezing, but there is a beach.
Hygge is a Danish word and is pronounced hoo-ga. It doesn’t translate into English, but you need it and so do I. It is experiencing things like friendship, rest, laughter, and simplicity. Enjoying life’s little things and recharging your soul. Here are six ideas to experience more hygge.
Think about the best moments of your life. All of them involve other people. Few things in life are to be prized more than friendship. Life is meant not to be lived in isolation, but in community. Hygge is doing the things you love with the people you love. Make the previous sentence happen frequently.
Hygge is the opposite of exhausted and stressed out. Listen to the words we use to describe ourselves: tired, busy, and confused. Hygge allows us to reflect and recharges us. We emerge from hygge as ready, refreshed, and renewed. Hygge could be reading a good book or taking a walk or lifting heavy weights. It could be sitting around a fire pit or taking a nap or praying in a quiet space. Do those things that sharpen your ax and fill your tank.
Laughter isn’t the opposite of seriousness. Laughter is the opposite of despair. Laughter connects people in profound ways. Research demonstrates laughter is physically good for you. Laughing at yourself is humility. Humility is a good thing. Laughter elicits joy and delight. Two more good things. Laughter isn’t just something we do—it is a point of view, an attitude, and a lifestyle that can help people communicate better and therefore live more abundantly. Experience hygge by laughing hard and laughing often.
Simplicity means having less noise, clutter, and obligations. It means have more awareness, focus, and balance. Simplicity is about being, as opposed to, having and doing. Hygge is more likely experienced through subtraction—not addition; through centering—not distraction. Do some subtraction. Say “no” to unessential things and tasks. Do some centering. Seek silence. Listen to others. Listen to your dreams. Listen to God.
Enjoying life’s little things
Somebody once said something like, “Enjoy the little things because someday you will discover the little things are the big things.” They were correct. Playing catch with your kid. The taste of fresh raspberries. The colors of fall. The smell of wood burning. Golfing with a buddy, catching a few fish, or knitting a blanket. Making a new friend. Encouraging or serving somebody. Life is comprised of thousands of little moments. Enjoy all of them.
Recharging your soul
Hygge won’t be fully experienced apart from the One who creates it. Experience grace in old ways that work for you. Explore new ways to encounter God. Worship. Pray. Give. Meet with a group. Be coached. Serve. Read. Watch. Accept and enjoy the hygge that comes from God.