Let’s add more hygge in our lives

By Aparna Ramanathan

“If I wanted to predict your happiness, and I could know only one thing about you, I wouldn’t want to know your gender, religion, health, or income. I’d want to know about your social network – about your friends and family and the strength of your bonds with them.”

– Psychology professor and author of “Stumbling on happiness”, Daniel Gilbert, in an interview in Harvard Business Review January 2012.

A cold winter’s evening. A cozy armchair. A warm fireplace. A steaming mug of hot chocolate. Vanilla scented candles. Relaxed, light-hearted conversation with loved ones. A feeling of togetherness. Sheltering from the rush and drama of the day.

Sounds good right? 

It’s hard not to love the concept of regular, un-rushed downtime with the people you care about, and not just on your annual vacation. And while this sounds relaxing and fun, there’s research that shows that “emotional closeness to a parent” is one of the best buffers against psychological problems in teens and tweens.1

For generations the Danes have countered their long, dark winters with candles and hygge (spoken as “hoo-gah”) – which is enjoying good company in a cozy, chilled out atmosphere, temporarily free from life’s dramas. These relaxed moments of connection is thought to be one of the reasons the people of Denmark are consistently ranked as one of the happiest in the world.

Some of you might say, that’s well and good for the Danes, but for the rest of us, with our hectic lives, creating hygge isn’t necessarily a walk in the park. True. It’s not like we’re all not trying.  My kids have been halfway into their story when I realize that I’m not listening. Guilt kicks in and I wonder how many times I’ve missed the little windows of opportunity to talk with them about the things going on in their lives.

So how can we create a hygge moment?

Here’s one small action you can take: At the end of reading this article. Open your calendar, add in 30 minutes of  time this weekend, make sure everyone is available. Then, when the time comes, park your device somewhere else, call everyone over, grab a snack and just hang out together. And if you want something to do, bring up something that happened at your last vacation together, learn 5 words from a different language or check out this fun improv game to try.

It’s important to have more hygge-like moments in our lives. And by now, you’ve probably guessed, that’s why we called ourselves Hoogalit. And our mission is to help families and individuals increase their connection through fun and easy ideas and products.