Coming home to happiness

Coming home to happiness

Imagine this scene — you are sitting at home, curled up on the sofa with a good book or a piece of chocolate cake in your hand and as a light wind blows outside, you fondly run your hands over your sleeping dog (or cat; no discrimination here!) and pull it closer to yourself.

If this made you sigh with happiness, you are all set to embrace the ‘hygge’ lifestyle.

Proclaimed as one of the top 10 words of 2016 by Collins Dictionary, ‘hygge’ is a concept of well-being and is about finding a deeper meaning to life. The concept defies a formal definition though; it ranges from small gatherings with friends to the soft glow of candles to hot beverages and comfortable food.

“It is about finding joy in the smallest and simplest of things,” says Shruthi G, a professional. “For me, it is about spending time with my dog Mischa; I am the happiest when I am with her.”

She adds, “I came across this concept quite recently and I am trying to bring that feeling of warmth and cosiness into my house by using scented candles, thick, fluffy cushions and flowery plants. The feeling of joy I get when I see or touch these is undescribable. Even the most normal of days at home are blissful nowadays.”

This art of living is a Danish concept and it is said to be the reason behind the Danes being constantly ranked as the happiest people on earth. Because of Denmark’s harsh weather conditions, hygge has come to be associated with warm blankets, thick sweaters and fireplaces.

But the sudden worldwide popularity is attributed to the turbulence and violence that we saw everywhere last year. People needed to cheer up and what better than a feel-good lifestyle trend. “I am hooked to this idea,” says Pavithra Prasad, a freelance recruiter. “I love getting my close friends together and baking delicious brownies which we all adore. It is a wonderful feeling to be enveloped in the laughter and love. My ‘hygge-ness’ also lies in daily yoga sessions and walks in the beautiful park near my home. I get away from my busy schedule and find time to connect with nature.”

‘Hygge’ has sprinkled its magic over many aspects of everyday life. Home decor, for instance. Shobhna Mehta of ‘Kanchi’ says, “‘Hygge’ is something that intends to capture a feeling. It is not about excessiveness or lavishness; it’s about creating a space that is warm and cosy and where you can spend hours with loved ones.” Her son Kunal adds, “It is something that will stay in trend forever. By infusing some ‘hygge’ into home décor, the space automatically becomes inviting and creates a perfect ambience. At ‘Kanchi’, we make sure to incorporate this feeling in everything we offer; right from the cushions on a couch to a bed throw in the bedroom.”

Fashion too is borrowing lavishly from this idea. This year is going to be all about warm colours and warmer tones in the hair and make-up industry; hues which are already being called as ‘hygge’ colours by the experts.

When it comes to eating, this concept is not about raw food or green smoothies, explains Mahantesh Ishwar, a software engineer who says that solo bikes are his favourite way of ‘hygge-ing’.

“Eat foods that make you happy. This includes our favourite fatty food too. Take time to savour your favourite tea or coffee and pair it with a sweet pastry or butter bun. And take a break once in a while and be easy on yourself. Switch of your phone and allow your mind to idle. My way of doing this is a solo bike ride,” he says.

It seems like the little things in life are not so little after all.

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