By Liz Shiro
In recent years, there has been plenty of attention on the country of Denmark, as it ranks as one of the happiest counties in the world. What is this secret to happiness that the Danes have figured out? Well, it might be that they have mastered the art of the work-life balance, or it could be another popular trend in this country known as hygge (pronounced as hoo-gah).
What Is Hygge?
The word hygge comes from the Norwegian language, but it is deeply engraved in Danish culture. Similar to the English word hug, Hygge is a sensation and a state of being comfortable, feeling at home, cozy, and creating well-being for yourself and others. Some characteristics include warm-toned lighting, eating comfort food, and surrounding yourself with good company.
Instead of the emphasis being on material things, it focuses more on the atmosphere and the people. Creating hygge is an art that is mastered by the Danish people.
The Importance of a Hygge Headquarters AKA Your Home
In the book, The Little Book of Hygge, author Meik Wiking discusses some key elements of hygge and how to use them to make your home a hygge headquarters. In an online conversation with the author, Wiking said, “Our homes are where we find comfort and safety, where we can let our guard down and connect with loved ones. In a world demanding more and more of our attention, our home is the place we can retreat to and seek refuge.”
This point is so powerful. On average, we spend 90% of our time indoors and during the pandemic that number only increased as our homes became our workplaces, gyms, restaurants and safe havens. Creating healthier and safer home environments is now more important than ever. Hygge in the home can promote benefits such as, increased happiness, improved mood, less stress, better sleep and a sense of belonging.
The Art of Creating Hygge at Home
Another well-known fact about the Danes is that they have a knack for interior design. Their focus is on simplistic, clean design with light walls and floors and incorporation of natural elements and materials such as wooden chairs and tables.
Since Denmark is a Northern European country, they can have long periods of daylight in the summer but tend to get less natural light in the winter. This is part of the reason this practice of hygge became so popular. In The Little Book of Hygge, Wiking talks about how bringing nature inside your home can help create hygge. This can involve elements such as natural material furniture or even having lots of plants in your home to make it feel more cozy.
Biophilic design is the idea that we, as humans, have an innate desire to connect with nature. When we go on a vacation, we often choose to go to the tropics or the forest to get outside of the busy city environment. Nature makes us feel happier. We feel good when we are in surrounded by wildlife. That's why it is important for us to implement biophilic design and elements of nature into our homes; it can make us feel calm and help us find a sense of meaning.
Hygge and Respira are both aligned with this value of reconnecting to the natural world from inside your home. A smart living wall garden is an easy and beautiful way to invite nature into your home while also creating a healthier home for you and your family. Respira also offers many other benefits, including natural air-purification and additional humidity to improve the overall quality of the air you breathe.