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Hygge Living

Hygge (pronounced heu-gah) is a Danish word that describes the art of building a sanctuary of cosiness with friends and loved ones, a way of stirring the senses and appreciating the simple things in life.

Despite being ranked as the EU’s most expensive country to live in by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office and its residents paying cripplingly high taxes Denmark has topped the UK Office of National Statistics list of the world’s happiest nations list and the European Commission’s well-being and happiness index – a position it has held onto for 40 years in a row!

Part of this is put down to “hygge” living. Hygge is a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, everyday life more meaningful and beautiful. It’s creating a cosy atmosphere and making every moment special. It’s lighting candles with every meal. Apparently the Danes burn the highest number of candles per head - more than anywhere else in the world!

There is no English word that encompasses what hygge is. It’s a combination of cosiness, security, happiness. It’s both a verb and an adjective – you can feel it within and create it!

Possibly because in Denmark with long dark days and freezing temperatures there’s a reluctance to go out in the evenings so making your home feel warm and inviting lifts the spirits?

By building in simple acts that give pleasure like making yourself a proper cup of coffee, or using real tea and drinking it from a china cup, sitting in candlelight on a daily basis the special feeling (hygge) becomes part of your normal routine rather than doing these things now and again.

So go hygge this year! According to the Danes it’s the way to be extremely happy!

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