The latest buzzword making the rounds is one most of us can’t even pronounce. It’s “hygge” (pronounced HUE-gah), a Danish word that roughly translates “cozy.” It’s the biggest lifestyle trend to grab headlines since the breakfast smoothie. That’s because hygge just might be the secret to lifelong happiness. At least that’s what the Danes says and they should know. In a country with almost 17 hours of darkness per winter day, Denmark is consistently ranked one of the happiest places in the world.

And they give all the credit to practicing hygge for a few moments every day. Hygge is slowing down and enjoying the simple pleasures of life, like a good laugh with your bestie. Or lingering over a silly magazine sprawled out on a soft, cushy carpet. It’s not only about experiencing these moments but also noticing that you’re enjoying the experience.

 

Perennial besties Lucy and Ethel knew how to enjoy life’s simpler moments.

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Simple pleasures not taken for granted are hygge.

How can we slow down and expand our hygge-ness? It starts with the basics of coziness, like basking in the glow of candles, the warmth of your favorite nubby sweater or savoring comforting foods. Hygge is the opposite of shopping along busy streets or frequently checking your mobile device for updates. Hygge is really easy, actually. It’s mostly doing what you love and already enjoy. It’s a wonderful attitude shift that naturally happens when we “cozy up” and appreciate life’s small treasures.

How delicious would it be to wrap yourself in the coziness of your favorite sweater?

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A hive-themed candle adds a decorative touch as well as a calming atmosphere.

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First step to developing a hyggeligt (yep, that’s the adjective!) lifestyle is to put on some comfy clothes and find something that makes you laugh. Having a sense of humor is important. Nature is also a key. Go for a walk and notice how fresh air smells. If you can’t go outside, bring it in — start an indoor planter for a little touch of greenery. On a rainy day, spread out on soft carpeting and read a dumb magazine.

Create a playlist of songs that make you feel good. Eat cake. Cake on a whimsical place setting is hyggeligt. Hot chocolate is too. Popcorn is healthy and hygge, especially if you share it with friends. Hygge extends beyond physical comfort to embracing the joy of moments well spent.

This intriguing MacKenzie-Childs dinnerware pattern should put a smile on your face.

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Start an indoor garden to remind you how connected we are to nature’s influence.

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Danes recommend making hygge a part of your everyday routine in order to maximize the opportunities to feel relaxed and happy. Remember, it takes almost no time to light a candle and pour a cup of tea.

What little changes can you make to enjoy hygge in your life? Let is know in the comments!