The Danish word Hygge has been part of my design and live journey for a few years now. Growing up, I always wonder why I am so influenced by the space that surrounds me. I am the kind of person that has a deeply emotional response to the space I’m in.
Starting at a young age, I remember hating most sleepovers. I somehow always needed a certain environment to feel comfortable in. It was not purely about the look or design of a space, but rather how the space made me feel. To this day, space dictates my behavior. How I work, how I relax, how I get inspired, it all is influenced by the space surrounding me. Some might think this fact makes me inflexible and rather close minded, but I don’t feel that way. Understanding what I need in a space, actually allows me to understand my behavior better and helps me to create environment that I know will serve the attended purpose, the space should fulfill, best.
Back to Hygge
Beeing german I obviously did not grow up with the Danish language, but I do remember always searching for a word that would put my feeling toward space into context. Until Hygge came along I used the word atmosphere, which I still think applies very well but Hygge simply adds so much more depth and richness to the idea of atmosphere.
But what exactly is Hygge?
I personally wold define it as the following:
Hygge is a quality of belonging and the presence of something that makes us feel connected on an emotional level to our surrounding. Hygge longs for togetherness. It is a feeling of being safe, accepted, warm, comforted and sheltered.
Hygge is an experience of selfhood, self-awareness and self love. It is an experience of communion with people and places that anchors and affirm us, give us courage and comfort.
To hygge (yes hygge is a verb) is to be aware and connect deeply with your surrounding and all things present. It is a feeling of engagement and relatedness, of belonging to the moment and to each other. Hygge is a sense of humbleness, abundance, thankfulness and contentment. It is about being not having!
There is so much to say about Hygge and the way of living a humble, thankful and fulfilled life. I do want to continue talking about what this word means in my life. During the next couple of months, I will investigate on how we can experience a fufilling, connected and inspiring life.