We all want to be happy - We all want to enjoy life's simple pleasures without stress or worry about other things. But do we sometimes put too much effort into trying to attain happiness as a thing we can possess, rather than a thing we are or can be, without appreciating it in the present? Do we focus too much on what has not yet come to pass? Do we put too much pressure on ourselves rather than being content in the moment?
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Denmark is the happiest country in the world. (I think Scandanavia wins at pretty much everything). 'Hygge' (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish concept which is a bit difficult to describe because as ToveMaron Stakkestad has said, "Hygge was never meant to be translated - It was meant to be felt." If we were to try to translate it, we may say 'well-being', or 'cosy', but the essence of hygge goes much deeper. It is all about creating a nice, warm atmosphere, being kind to yourself, and enjoying the little things in life. (And perhaps those 'little things' are actually not so little after all?)
The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Warm socks and a cup of coffee is hygge. Mulled wine, card games, long conversations by the fire, pastries, books, blankets, spending time with friends and family...These are all hygge. Though it shouldn't be seen as something materialistic because, at the core, it is about an atmosphere, a feeling. With Autumn and Winter approaching, perhaps here in the UK we should take a page out the Dane's book and ensure we stay fully present in the moment, being mindful of showing gratitude, and having the, cosiest, warmest, happiest winter possible!
What are your simple, every day pleasures? Perhaps it's something you've never even realised before, like a hot shower on a rainy day, your ritual morning cup of tea, pulling on a jumper when it gets chilly, lighting an Arya candle after a long day, or a warm hug from the one you love. Whatever your pleasures, please share with us in the comments below!