Hygge & Lagom: Living a Cozy & Balanced Life
I’ve been reading lately about the concept of hygge (pronounced hooga). In his book, The Little Book of Hygge – Danish Secrets to Happy Living, Meik Wiking provides two definitions of hygge – “taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things” and “cozy togetherness. Meik is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. He studies what makes individuals, businesses, and countries happy. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. True to form, I had cozy feelings reading the book and a sense of satisfaction after finishing it, recognizing how simple it actually is to live a life filled with hygge.
For comparison, I also read Lagom – The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life, by Niki Branmark. Lagom is best defined as “the right amount is best, and moderation is key.” Both books describe creating a home environment that is not cluttered, but is filled with quality objects that you love, similar to Marie Kondo’s groundbreaking books on the KonMari Method – a way of life that encourages cherishing things that spark joy in people’s lives. Other similarities between hygge and lagom include a reasonable work-life balance, appreciation of the moment (mindfulness), regular quality time with family and friends, sharing household tasks and childcare, savoring wholesome meals, holidays, board games, and seasons, and treasuring candlelight, sweaters and socks, sweet treats, and coffee.
The Little Book of Hygge reminds readers that money only goes so far in creating happiness and importantly, Lagom reminds us of small ways we can care for our environment to extend our hygge outward to our community and the world. Both very useful reads in your quest to establish a more meaningful and joyful life.