What Is Hygge and How You Can Start Practicing It Immediately

What Is Hygge and How You Can Start Practicing It Immediately

“Everyone can identify with a fragrant garden, with the beauty of a sunset, with the quiet of nature, with a warm and cozy cottage.” – Thomas Kincade

Do you love spending time in a cozy environment? Then you might have already experienced hygge.

Wait…what is hygge?

Hygge is a Danish lifestyle philosophy which helps you practice “coziness of the soul”. As our lives become increasingly complicated, this lifestyle practice can show us the way to all things cozy. By practicing this simple lifestyle you will be able to create a warm cozy atmosphere in your home that will make you feel comfortable, warm, safe, peaceful and happy. Now who wouldn’t like that?

Hygge is about enjoying the little and the good things in life which offer positive energy. Over the past few years, hygge has become popular in the West, yet most of us are still unsure about how to actually practice it. The concept was primarily popularized by Meik Wiking’s “The Little Book of Hygge”. Moreover, it was shortlisted as the Word of the Year in 2016 by Oxford Dictionary.

But what exactly is Hygge? And how can you use it in your life to make it ‘cozier’? Let’s get to it.

What is Hygge?

“Hygge is all about appreciating the little things in life and being thankful for them.” – Sofie Pedersen

The term hygge, pronounced as hoo-gah or hue-gah, is derived from the ancient Norse word, “Hugga”, meaning console or comfort. It is no surprise that the English word “hug” is also derived from the same source as hygge. It is mainly about feelings of closeness, comfort and warmth, which is exactly what you feel when you hug someone. There is another related term “hyggelig”, pronounced hoo-gah-lee, used to describe hygge-like experiences and things. For instance, “Your home is very hyggelig.” Or Sunday afternoon was so hyggelig.”

However, it is much more than just a word for the Danes. This philosophy is an essential part of the Danish culture and promotes the crucial practice of being cozy by enjoying the simple things.

It is claimed that because of the practice of hygge, Denmark has been identified as the happiest country in the world by happiness economists despite their wet and cold climate. Initially documented around the 18th century, the concept of hygge is to enjoy and experience life in a comfortable and relaxed way.

By practicing this lifestyle, you deliberately get rid of negativity and other annoying, stressful things from your life by adding soothing, gentle and positive things.

Understanding Hygge as a practice

“Hygge was never meant to be translated—it was meant to be felt.” – Pia Edberg,

Living a hygge life is about focusing on being cozy. You can start practicing hygge by surrounding yourself with what makes you happy…with what makes your life better. It can be good food and drink, warm ambiance, the right lighting in your home, relationships, friendship, security and laughter.

So what is hygge?

Hygge is drinking hot coffee.
Hygge is having dinner with your loved ones.
Hygge is just relaxing in your room in candlelight.
Hygge is talking a walk in the park on a relaxing afternoon.
Hygge is playing enjoyable relaxing music.
Hygge is reading a book under a warm blanket.
Hygge is enjoying tranquil solitude.

Hygge is the new mantra for happiness. The Danish philosophy is a state of mind, not just a comfortable lifestyle choice. The Danish believe that healing, health and happiness can be experienced only when you have the right state of mind and experience a comfortable life. A life lived through the philosophy of hygge should comprise of 5 basic elements:

  • Comfort
  • Companionship
  • Relaxation
  • Connection to Nature
  • Simplicity

According to author and CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Meik Wiking, in Denmark hygge is:

“A defining feature of our cultural identity and an integral part of the national DNA. The true essence of hygge is the pursuit of everyday happiness and it’s basically like a hug, just without the physical touch.”

Why you must practice Hygge

By practicing hygge you will certainly be able to live a more comfortable and happy life. But there are other physical, emotional and social benefits you can get from a hygge life.

Emotional benefits of Hygge

A hygge lifestyle instills a sense of peace and calm in your life. By following the hygge philosophy to create your environment and decor with the use of sound, sight, smell, taste and touch, you will make your living space cozy. This will reduce stress and anxiety and promote safety and emotional well-being. This allows us to connect better and more closely with our loved ones by making us relaxed and comfortable.

Can Saving Money Make You Happier?

Can Saving Money Make You Happier In Life? Study Says YES!

Can money buy you happiness? Most of us like to believe that money can’t buy you happiness. Well, it may be true to some extent, but saving money can certainly make you happier than you currently are. 

“The art is not in making money, but in keeping it.” 

Money is controversial to say the least. Some say money is the root of all evil. But we all know we need money to live & survive. So what matters more? Making money or saving it?


Does it make sense to save money?

“The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.” – Kin Hubbard

When you barely earn enough money to pay your bills, how can you even think about saving? I know it may sound ridiculous to some, especially if you have $10 left in your hand at the end of the month. Why should you even bother to save? Well, for starters, it will make you less stressed about your financial situation. And we all need to start somewhere, even if it is not the most comfortable thing to do. If you keep at it, over time you will be able to save a hefty amount and your financial condition will improve. Saving money will give you mental peace. It will give you confidence. It will give you options and opportunities. The more you save, the better it will get for you. Saving is worth all the effort.

We all want to live a comfortable life and be able to face various financial challenges of life with ease. This is where the savings come in. Of course, it’s fun to spend money on the things we need and desire, but having a healthy bank account is even more fun. Have you ever wondered why your parents always pushed you to save money? There’s a good reason for that. And now even science has found a really good reason for you to save: Happiness. Saving money gives you peace of mind, reduces stress and makes you happier in life.


Money can’t buy happiness, but savings can 

“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.” – George Lorimer

Yes, money can buy you temporary happiness. And yes, true happiness comes for achieving your dreams and from creating better relationships & experiences. However, studies have found that savings can help you feel happier and more content. While debt leads to higher levels of anxiety and depression.

According to a recent study by Ally Bank, saving money has a positive impact on your sense of comfort, safety, security and well-being. The study surveyed around 1,025 adults in the US and found that you’re more likely to be happy if you save more. In fact, saving more money makes us happier than earning more money.


Take a look at what the Ally Bank survey found:

  • Over 38% respondents with a savings account claimed to feel very or extremely happy.
  • Only 29% of people without a savings account reported they were very happy.

Among the people with savings account who reported to be extremely happy:

  • 57% respondents have saved more than $100,000 
  • 42% respondents have saved between $20,000 to $100,000
  • 34% respondents have saved less than $20,000
  • 29% respondents have no savings at all

This data clearly goes to show that the more savings you have, the happier you feel. A whopping 15% rise in the amount of respondents feeling happy with saving over $100,000 clearly proves this fact. Moreover, more than 84% of the respondents surveyed claimed that saving money boosted their confidence and an overall sense of well-being. Having a significant sum of money in their savings account makes them feel happier than exercising, having job satisfaction or eating enjoyable and healthy food.

Bruce Lee: Be Like Water

bruce lee be like water

Speaking to the character Mike Longstreet in an episode of the short-lived television series Longstreet in 1971, martial artist Bruce Lee made the now famous statement about water, summarizing the concept of Wu Wei, of acting forcefully without force or effortlessly exerting effort.

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ~Bruce Lee

As Maria Popova of Brain Pickings points out, the quote as it lacks life context, and fails to inform us of the depth of Lee’s thought and his journey to this conclusion.


Prior to his untimely and tragic death in 1973, Lee had created an archive of personal letters, journal entries, affirmations, training notes and messages to himself, many of which ended up in the book The Tao of Jeet Kune Do . Much of this material was never made public, however, until the Bruce Lee Foundation released a more comprehensive collection of his notes in 2001 in the book, Bruce Lee: Artist of Life.

In 2016, the Bruce Lee Foundation released even more of Lee’s personal notes, adding yet more to our understanding of his true character, and in these, we find insight into how his personal philosophy of life evolved into the direct and inspiring sound byte, ‘Be Like Water.”

What’s fascinating about these notes is the insight it gives us into the long process of Bruce Lee’s self-awakening and self-actualization, an endeavor all of us may be well served to take on.

Again, according to Maria Popova, “Lee traces the thinking that originated his famous metaphor, which came after a period of frustration with his inability to master “the art of detachment” that Yip Man was trying to impart on him.”

As Lee is quoted in the book, Bruce Lee: Artist of Life:

When my acute self-consciousness grew to what the psychologists refer to as the “double-bind” type, my instructor would again approach me and say, “Loong, preserve yourself by following the natural bends of things and don’t interfere. Remember never to assert yourself against nature; never be in frontal opposition to any problems, but control it by swinging with it. Don’t practice this week: Go home and think about it.”

Upon reflection and meditation in the following days, Lee came to some enlightening conclusions about his ability to practice Wu Wei, or the art of detachment, making the connection to water and to the fleeting influence of thoughts and attachments which normally cloud our thinking and color our outlook on life.

After spending many hours meditating and practicing, I gave up and went sailing alone in a junk. On the sea, I thought of all my past training and got mad at myself and punched the water! Right then — at that moment — a thought suddenly struck me; was not this water the very essence of gung fu? Hadn’t this water just now illustrated to me the principle of gung fu? I struck it but it did not suffer hurt.

Again I struck it with all of my might — yet it was not wounded! I then tried to grasp a handful of it but this proved impossible. This water, the softest substance in the world, which could be contained in the smallest jar, only seemed weak. In reality, it could penetrate the hardest substance in the world. That was it! I wanted to be like the nature of water.

Suddenly a bird flew by and cast its reflection on the water. Right then I was absorbing myself with the lesson of the water, another mystic sense of hidden meaning revealed itself to me; should not the thoughts and emotions I had when in front of an opponent pass like the reflection of the birds flying over the water?

Rethinking Mental Illness: Are We Drugging Our Prophets and Healers?

Rethinking Mental Illness: Are We Drugging Our Prophets and Healers?

Rethinking Mental Illness: Are We Drugging Our Prophets and Healers?

“How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?”
~Bob Marley

I met Ken in my own force. Seeing a comment he’d left on a friend’s blog post, I felt I needed to know him. Looking deeper, it turned out that he had a book about battling mental illness.

Fast forward just two weeks, and I’m sitting glued to Ken’s book while visiting family, one person after another coming in every little while to comment on how far I’d read. I finished it in two days. It wasn’t short. And if it hadn’t been for mealtimes, politeness, and sleeping, I’d have read it in one.


What struck me, throughout Ken’s entire mental illness experience (which included hospitalization, hallucinations, and eventual psychiatric commitment) were three things:

1.  Everyone around him thought he was crazy and dangerous while Ken gained abilities that some people vie to access with daily meditation and ceremony

2.  Our current mental health care system hasn’t progressed since the asylum days as much as we’d like to think (physical straitjackets replaced by chemical ones)

3.  Mental illness is a dream so bad that, if you’re lucky or well-supported, you might just realize you’re dreaming and wake up in a world where everyone else is still asleep

Ken and I swapped books. He was reading The Love Mindset while I read Detour From Normal. As he consumed my book in equally record time, he became incredibly emotional in his communications. He told me he read my eulogy to Vironika Wilde and that she sounded like every woman he met in the psych wards. He told me he was fully in the love mindset when he was manic, but since he didn’t end up there purposefully, he wasn’t seen as a guru or a master. He was just another crazy guy who needed to be doped up.

He realized he wasn’t the only one, he wasn’t crazy, and he certainly didn’t need medications. He needed some sleep, some support, and some encouragement to become the healer that he’s now blossoming into.

After I consumed its satisfying ending, Ken’s story planted itself in my mind, interweaving his memories with my own and with the memories of people I’ve met.

An old friend of mine, whose art is so captivating you could stare at it for hours, was put on Ritalin for drawing in math class.

Ken weaving tales of a utopian society, reaching out to help people believing his presence could heal them, and seeing the world through a lens of perfection—court-ordered Lithium.

My first vivid hallucinations when I was 18. My boyfriend at the time looking at me like I was a psycho. And then, the incredible amounts of nightmares and flashbacks that accompanied my healing process—all of them allowing me to process through traumatic, painful events. And what if I’d thought I was a psycho? What if I took the pills I was offered? Would I still be here?

My favourite book of all time—Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance—the main character becoming obsessed with discovering the truth about reality, a truth so beautiful and ancient that few could deny it, only to be given electroshock treatment for his so-called dangerous mental illness.

A woman who reached out to me to tell me about keeping her son, clearly exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia, away from doctors and pills—the son recovering fully a year and a half of sleepless nights later.

Sam Shelley being diagnosed with bipolar and, after engaging in frequent and dedicated meditation, coming forth symptom-free and ready to help heal the world.

With all these stories in my head, it was hard to sleep. Darkness loomed over me—the darkness of a realization too painful to digest.

Our mental health care system is breaking people. We have no room for the sacred, only normal.

The narrow range of accepted behaviour and emotion expected from us is more restricting than most people realize. That is until we experience beyond it. Until we’re judged. Until we don’t fit in. Until we’re told we need to fix ourselves.

I’m not sure how I ended up stumbling into this article today, but you know how these things happen. It’s called What a Shaman Sees in a Mental Hospital.

All Oppression Is Connected

All Oppression Is Connected - Mind Talk

A well intended person commented with something along the lines of being affected by being on the other side of an oppression that others cannot understand.

More to the point, what can a white girl living what appears to be a middle class life possibly know about standing behind the gate of a burning oppressive hell?

I find it a dangerous assumption to categorize others based on social ideas of “who” lives under the thumb of oppression.

My dreadlocked friends find themselves oppressed by a culture. My black friends find themselves oppressed by police. My clients find themselves oppressed by their spouses.

It is a dangerous assumption to believe that someone other than your race, your religion, your culture cannot understand oppression.

Ferdinand Mount presents the idea that marriage in and of itself is a threat to the institution of the government. The union of two people in essence creates a nation onto itself which the government wanted desperately to control, so they did, by implementing marriage certificates along with spiritual binding ceremony.

The reality that a dyad creates a culture, which creates a family, which lives and breathes the culture the dyad creates, is the key component.

Families are power. So powerful that the government is threatened that they cannot entirely control the values and morals and actions they implement. The government cannot control their thoughts, beliefs, or traditions. So the government wants in.

I saw a picture once of an angel sitting with his back turned on his knees and an adult with very large scissors standing behind him clipping his wings saying something along the lines that a parent shouldn’t be our first oppressor. But, huh hum, in a shit ton of situations this is the case, and this case bleeds into generation after generation unfolding under them.

Families are so powerful that I could say only someone coming from a family that has oppressed them could understand oppression, but I wouldn’t. When my deadlock friends get into a car fearing they will get pulled over by look of their hair, or my black friends fear they will be the first to be charged, or my clients fear their spouses actions when they enter their home, and when the child who cannot understand one thing onto himself but is told from day one that he is a piece of shit, and who to think of and how to think of why, what is where… (you get my point)…they know what it is like to be oppressed.

You can take the kid out of the city but never the city out of the kid, the same is true for family patterns of oppression. We either fall into it with our own children by using them as tools to heal our own desires for reprieve or we reject oppression for their sake, but ultimately, oppression is the tipping point in the middle that we are avoiding and terrified of to the point of it consuming us, or us rejecting it. Still, feelings of oppression are in control.

My partner says, “If you are a white man in America you have nothing to complain about.” I understand his point deeply, but am also conscious enough to understand this possibility: the feminist movement has made it as such that the notion of a workshop for men entitled, “Don’t be a pussy, grow a vagina” may be in the works. This. Is. Oppressive. White men in America are fighting their emotions to uphold their manhood, or bleeding from them and considered less than a bitch of a woman.

Obviously, this is stretching ideas of oppression and my intention is not to undermine the realities of those oppressed by a larger culture or the microcosm of a culture they are surrounded by, but for those who struggle so deeply with feeling oppressed that they have not yet stepped into the shoes of someone who they’d never suspect knew anything about oppression, I ask you to consider stepping out of the idea that “your” kind of people have it worse than “our” kind of people. We the people, for the people.

I could bark off a laundry list of a lineage of oppression of mind, body, and spirit from birth till death do us part, but I’ll spare the details because those who understand the first part of this sentence, have details of their own they could fill in the blank with.

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

What Are the Ways to Get Along With Someone?

No one can declare your feelings and emotions illegal or judge them unworthy. You feel what you feel.

And often there is a reason for these feelings and emotions.

Yes, they could be reactions to perceived danger or threat that may be imagined. Also, they could be reactions to your vulnerability to matters that arise from your own insecurities. But nonetheless, they are real, and no matter the reason, are issues, which need to be acknowledged. If not, well, don’t only look at your own life, take a look at the world.

In order to get along with another person, it means you must be able to co-exist in some degree of peace.

That means you are not fighting or fleeing one another. Since fight of flight always originates from perceived danger, threat, or vulnerability, it follows that the parties in the relationship can’t feel these things.

We see this playing out in history from time immemorial. But we need not look to history.

Look at the world today. Look at my country, the United States. Democrats feel threatened by Republicans, many African-Americans feel threatened by White Americans, the poor and middle class feel threatened by the wealthy. And naturally the inverse is the same. No one religion, race, ethnicity, gender, or socio-economic group corners the market on the automatic brain, our primitive nature; that is, in our ability to react to perceived danger, threat, or vulnerability by fighting or fleeing. This often shows itself in the basest human actions.

The longstanding Palestinian – Israeli conflict is a good example of this. Although certainly on the surface the issues are different, at its core the polarized support in this conflict reminds me of the trial of OJ Simpson or more recently George Zimmerman’s trial in the death of Trayvon Martin. The vast majority of African-Americans sided with Simpson and Martin; whereas White Americans did not. Neither side can believe how the other can feel the way they do. But, they do feel the way they do.

To be sure, there are times we must protect ourselves from the primitive brain of others. However, people feel the way they feel, whether you believe it is right or wrong.

The only way to get along is to acknowledge these feelings. The only other option is to reign superior and suppresses them—not a method that has worked too well in the past.

I suggest starting in the home, certainly if your relationships are not what you would like them to be. Here are 7 ground rules to begin an honest exchange of feelings, emotions, and beliefs.

7 Ways To Get Along with Someone:

1. Write how the other person(s) makes you feel.

2. Do not try to defend your feelings. Own them. You feel the way you do for a reason.

3. Don’t site any examples of what makes you feel this way.

4. Only write your feelings. Don’t project what you think the other feels. For example, “I feel you don’t care about our family.” Or, “I feel you don’t value privacy.”

5. Don’t judge (question) the other’s feelings and try to site examples, “How could you feel that way…I have done this…I have done that, etc…”

6. Be on the lookout for manipulation, from all parties. This is not a competition, but an open exchange. The exercise, itself, may cause one to feel vulnerable, triggering that automatic brain, leading to a fight or flight. This may result in one party trying to manipulate the other for the upper hand. Be aware of this and stop it!

7. Pretend I am in the room with you as an arbiter!


Acknowledgment of another’s feelings is the first step in leading to a long-lasting peaceful, happy, and secure relationship. It is impossible to achieve when both parties are in a full blown fight or flight reaction. However, the first chance you get, I suggest you sit down and do this. Be an example to your children, to your friends, your family, to the world. Then, maybe we actually will have a chance to get along, after all.

Source – www.charlesglassmanmd.com

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