Hygge - The Cure For SAD
With the colder months ahead of us and darker mornings and even darker evenings, many of us might suffer from the so called SAD. Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins in the fall and continues into the winter months, robbing your energy and making you feel moody. Thankfully, there is a cure and it is called HYGGE. Ever heard of it? Well, you surely have, as it was one of the 'words of the year 2016' according to The Oxford Dictionaries’ shortlist. Hygge (pronounced “hoo-guh,”) is a Danish term defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Fairly difficult to translate, the term derives from a sixteenth-century Norwegian term, hugga, meaning “to comfort” or “to console,” which is related to the English word “hug.” During a stroll through our local library, I happened to find a book written by Meik Wiking called The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well. I had a good laugh and I recommend this book to everyone who is affected by the lack of sunshine during colder months. Anyway, this book was written by the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, so who else should know better?
How to live happier with Hygge
Learn to appreciate the small things in life
If you are one of those people who is never satisfied and always craves more, you can't really grasp the meaning of hygge. If your basic needs are met, you and your family is healthy, you should pause every day to express gratitude. It can be a small ritual just before going to bed or early in the morning - think of all those things you are grateful for.
Live in the present moment
There is a quote in a kid's movie which has a deep wisdom to it: “Yesterday is history, Tomorrow a mystery, but Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present. ”
Life is not a competition
Even if it might look otherwise, life is not a competition. You don't have to have a bigger car, newer clothes or more up to date phone. When carer Bronnie Ware wrote a blog in 2009 listing the five things that most haunted her terminally ill patients, she was really surprised. People did not regret not having the newest plasma TV or IPhone. Their top five regrets were:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Happiness is a choice. I'll explain more about hygge lifestyle in my next post. But for now, take a cup of tea, grab a good book and live a hyggelig moment.