What is Hugge?
Posted on 1st February 2021 at 08:45
This month I have been expoloring the concept of Hugge and there is more to it than you think..and its all amazing !
Have you heard of the concept of Hugge ?
“The word hygge comes from a Danish word meaning "to give courage, comfort, joy". ... Hug comes from the 1560s word hugge, which means "to embrace". The word hugge is of unknown origin but is highly associated with an Old Norse term, hygga, which means "to comfort", which comes from the word hugr, meaning "mood".”
I kind of knew what it was, and that it was a Danish concept that was something to do with being comfortable and kind to yourself in the cold weather…which they have a lot of in Denmark, but for this month I thought it was worth doing a bit more research and sharing it with you. Its cold at the moment yes but due to the covid restrictions we are spending a lot of time at home so finding out how we can make this as positive as possible sounded like a fantastic idea.
Lets just say I loved what I found and am asking myself why oh why I haven’t researched this before now !
Hugge is a central aspect of Danish culture and means so much more to them than a pair of cosy socks and blanket, it really is a way of living and a way of living that supports their health and wellbeing, which they very much prioritise as an essential part of life.
While we do seem to love a cosy day in the blankets on the sofa here in Britain, I think we miss the point sometimes. I work with people every day who are so busy in their minds and their bodies that even when they do have a cosy duvet day its either a one off or they find it so difficult to rest and switch off that they don’t benefit from the rest.
The point of Hugge is that it isn’t a one off, or even a week off, it’s a way of living and they do it and live this way because of the benefits, which are significant. Well there must be something in it if Denmark is regularly named the happiest country in the world .
So what are the benefits and what are these Danes up to that’s making them feel so happy ?
Lets start with some of the concepts. The first is to spend quality time with friends and family. Now with this it isn’t just a case of living in a home with some other people who you might happen to watch tv with from time to time, this is about making real connections with your family members on a regular basis. Covid restrictions are making this a difficult one to manage at the moment but there are still ways in which we can do this even if we cant do it physically, but why is it important to spend time with people that we like? Believe it or not, it actually lowers our stress and anxiety levels and boosts our immune system. My first thought with this one after spending a large amount of one t one time with my 8 year old child over the ast few weeks, was this. Families are under a lots of stress at the moment, the part where it states that we are spending time with people we like may be a stumbling block. I like my child ! I do, I love her but there are days when we feel like if we saw one more moment of our family members it would be way too long, and at times spending too much time with them can be a major cause of stress. Lets look at it again though. Quality time is the key here. So if you think now about the times you spend with your family when you were all laughing or chatting, what were you doing ? For me its board games, or cooking, or dancing round the kitchen, so what id say here is that making time to connect in this way with your family in the home is the way to go in order to get the real benefit of low stress, and immune boost.
The next thing is to avoid multi tasking which I think is a great one. When we are juggling lots of pots at one time we are never really giving focus to any of them and it’s a lot of stress upon our bodies and minds. Doing one thing at a time, giving it our full attention and focus gives a far more positive outcome and is actually way more time efficient.
In hypnotherapy a persons environment and outside stressors is always something that we will consider and often there are practical things that we can do that will make a huge impact. Hugge is all about creating a comfortable home environment which often can be easier to create than getting rid of outside stressors so starting there seems like a good plan. I’m not suggesting that you need to start ordering online at the next cushion selling site you see and buying a whole lot of paint, I think the point here is to make changes that mean your home is easier for you to be in. Clutter for example or those cupboards that don’t shut can have a negative effect upon our minds and when we tidy it up, and sort through what we need or don’t it can feel great. I think this is a wonderful way to think about cleaning. Its not cleaning, its selfcare ! Some house plants along the window sill are also something that you can nurture and enjoy and when it feels like nothing is growing outside in the garden which is all wet and miserable, a house plant can bring a real feeling of optimism.
The next element is something that I’m not sure anyone is having an issue with at the moment. Wear comfortable clothing. I write about this one with caution because while it is of course the best thing to be in your home feeling comfortable, but being in your pyjamas all night, then all day and then all night, day after day, can have a really negative impact on our motivation and our mood. Getting dressed, even if that is into our leggings and our hoodie, will make a positive difference to your day.
The danes are also classed as one of the healthiest people in the world and that has a lot to do with this Hugge concept. Food is seen as something to nurture the body and comfort food is not a load of sugary snacks or takeaways its foods that are full of nutrients and the comfort comes from the feeling that your body is cared for. I like this a lot, and as I write my mind is brimming with images of warming stews and fruit puddings and fragrant teas.
Truthfully I’m all over this Hugge concept, it encompasses positivity , support, gratitude and self care and what’s not to like about that. Now…when are these flights back on because I’m off to live in Denmark !
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