My name is Jackie Picchi MC, LAC and I am a Licensed Associate Counselor, new to Thrive Counseling Services. I absolutely love the field of mental health and wellness, particularly because it is always evolving, introducing new, supportive therapies to our world!
One concept that I was recently introduced to is “Hygge” – pronounced “hoo-ga”. What is hygge you ask? According to Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen (and author of my new favorite book, The Little Book of Hygge), “hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience…it is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe." Why did I not know about this concept sooner!?
Hygge is NOT an IKEA décor style or trendy Danish secret, it encompasses so much more! In The Little Book of Hygge, I have uncovered so many amazing little nuggets to incorporate into my daily life that speak this Norwegian concept of coziness and wellbeing. More than just a trend, hygge is practiced by the Danish in almost all they do; from hygge comfort food, low lighting (this is a critical element believe it or not), big fluffy blankets, earthy elements, clothing and ….togetherness!
Perhaps my most favorite aspects of hygge is practicing togetherness! This idea of spending time with our closest friends and family in an intimate, close-knit environment releases oxytocin (the “happy hormone”) and brings us an amazing amount of pleasure. This is so true, right?! Going out to coffee with your best friend or having an evening in enjoying a nice, home cooked dinner with your neighbors, enjoying good conversation…this is very hygge! The Danes look forward to getting off at a mid-afternoon hour to incorporate this critical element to their lifestyles.
The Danish are on to something – after all, they are the happiest people on earth! Literally. According to the World Happiness Report, Nordic nations consistently rank as the happiest nations. We have a lot we can learn from and adapt to our environments that the Danes do very well….
Here are a few quick tips from Meik Wiking to help you incorporate a little hygge into your daily life:
- Atmosphere – turn down your lights and enjoy the warm glow of your favorite lamp.
- Presence – disconnect from devices and electronics, be fully present.
- Pleasure – enjoy a favorite piece of chocolate or a favorite dinner dish.
- Gratitude – be grateful, even for the little things!
- Comfort – load up on plush pillows and fluffy blankets, get COZY!
- Togetherness – enjoy the beautiful relationships in your life.
Now, time to hygge – go snuggle up, grab a good read over a cup of your favorite tea and maybe a chocolate treat (or two!)…and let gratitude bring peace in your heart. Incorporating some of these simple elements may make a big impact on your overall health and wellness. I hope you all enjoy a little hygge in 2018.
Jackie Picchi, MC, LAC