The Hygge Philosophy To Alleviate Stress

I went to Copenhagen last weekend. I attended a leadership course and got to experience a little taste of the Danish way of life. Although it was dark when I had time to explore, I still saw an abundance of beautifully designed furniture, cosy cafes and bars, clean and natural spaces in amongst a capital city, and a lot of attention to the small and simple activities through the day.

My meals and drinks were provided by two wonderful Danes and they took pride and time over the creation of our nourishment. We were surrounded by candles and cosy seating and incense and soft music throughout the course. The icy, snowy sub zero temperatures outside didn’t feel like a problem when so much effort was put into making the spaces we were inhabiting so comforting.

Hygge is the concept of doing the small day to day actions deliberately and with care, essentially it’s mindfulness. It’s a philosophy that allows for gratitude for the small things that surround us. It’s also a strategy that allows attention and focus on simple activities. Our brains cannot be focused and mindful at the same time as worrying about stuff. So hygge is essentially an act of un-worry, it’s a way to take ourselves away from the things that stress us out.

And so I notice myself being more deliberate in my actions, enjoying the warmth from a hot cup of tea, enjoying settling in on a dark winters night and feeling grateful for my heating and the food I am making with care.

January can be challenging for many of us in the northern hemisphere, hygge, or mindfulness, can be helpful in embracing the season, and finding gratitude in the time of year.

Sending love, Hannah x

*Image by Worth of Elegance, www.unsplash.com

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