What is Hygge?: The Benefits of Slow Living


What is Hygge?

Hygge, pronounced (hooga), is a Danish/Norwegian word that means a quality of comfort, creating a cozy atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. 

It’s admirable how the Danish have a whole word dedicated to appreciating one’s life, the people surrounding them, and the opportunity, when it presents itself, to simply relax in a snug environment. 

This is undoubtedly a way of life that more of us can learn from; as someone who’s spent time in Europe, I couldn't help but notice how happy and at ease everyone appeared to be. Enjoying a slow lunch at a cafe, delighting in long conversations with no overwhelming urge to rush—the differences were stark. It's time we get into the mindset of working to live, not living to work.

Living A Mindful Life

A lot of the hustle and bustle of society is out of our control, but what if we took inspiration from our Danish friends and incorporated Hygge into our lives? What would a life free of rushing look like? 

The Research

Recent studies of modern life suggest that, due to social factors like those named above, humans have entered into a phase of rapid decline. Slow living, mindfulness, and resisting the social norms that lead to burnout have been identified as potential remedies for these ongoing economic, social, and environmental issues we experience in the West.1 

Research into the lives and motivations behind those who adhere to a slow-living lifestyle also suggests that these individuals experience greater well-being, sustainability, purpose, and enjoyment.2 Doesn't sound like a bad deal to me. After all, we only have one life to live, so why spend it racing to the finish line or hankering to cross things off our to-do list.

Where To Start

Since we are now leaving Summer behind, when the days become shorter, and our motivation decreases, it’s the perfect time to incorporate some of this philosophy into our lifestyles.


  1. Home: Ambient lighting, refreshing decor, or pleasant smells can all help make a house feel like a home and give us an ideal environment to practice mindful presence. 

  2. Digital: Digital detoxes are essential for clearing our minds of any gunk that might be distracting, cause us to compare our journeys with others, or encourage any otherwise unhealthy habits.

  3. Time: Choosing to fill our time with enriching activities, like spending quality time with loved ones and engaging in activities we enjoy, can help us lead more fulfilling lives. 

  4. Diet: Cooking or eating nourishing foods or building a supplement routine, has positive health impacts, from increased mental clarity to improved physical well-being.


Other ways of embracing Hygge might include reading a good book, spending time in nature, wearing comfortable clothes, setting boundaries around technology use, and enjoying conversations with people you love. 

These minor lifestyle tweaks may seem insignificant or like they’re already things we do but may take advantage of, but they are an effortless way to slow down your life and experience goodness. 


To sum it up, we’ve learned to move fast as humans. So, optimal health looks like slowing down to prevent lasting detrimental impacts on our lives. Research proves that implementing these lifestyle changes can significantly affect individual well-being. 

We can’t fully control the speed of our society,  but we can control our way of living and pace. During this cozy season, I encourage you to take a page from the Danish book and become acquainted with Hygge. 



  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016328715001676

  2. https://researcharchive.lincoln.ac.nz/server/api/core/bitstreams/3e4bf313-1b43-487b-9fd4-5f01089a1066/content