“Hygge is a mindset — an perspective and method to dwelling.”
The Danish idea of “hygge,” or “coziness,” may help fend off the seasonal blues.
Spending time with family members and creating a comfy atmosphere with scents, lighting and sounds can enhance temper and cut back stress through the wintertime.
“Hygge is a mindset — an perspective and method to dwelling that prioritizes togetherness, affection, gradual dwelling, gratitude and contentment,” mentioned Natalie Dattilo, a scientific well being psychologist at Harvard Medical College.
Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) is related year-round.
It may, nonetheless, be particularly useful throughout this time of 12 months, when shorter sunlight hours and tense vacation occasions might contribute to seasonal drops in temper.
Nordic nations, like Denmark, have a number of the shortest sunlight hours and harshest winters however usually rank highest within the annual World Happiness report.
“It will be very straightforward to be remoted and depressed. Hygge is a coping mechanism that helps them get via the lengthy, darkish winters,” mentioned Jaime Kurtz, a scientific psychologist at James Madison College.
One method to apply hygge is thru social connection.
“Social connectedness and gratitude are in all probability crucial components which were confirmed to be correlated with happiness,” mentioned scientific psychologist Pauline Wallin.
Sharing and having fun with meals collectively can improve social bonding, emotions of well-being and contentment.
That doesn’t imply you must overextend your self socially.
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“Vacation events can appear overwhelming. It’s OK to be selective and select the social occasions that may actually deliver you pleasure,” mentioned Howard Liu, a baby and grownup psychiatrist on the College of Nebraska.
However should you can’t bodily be with family members, the proper setting can evoke comparable emotions.
“Consuming, consuming and taking in comforting aromas can evoke recollections of household and associates at varied occasions of 1’s life,” mentioned Wallin. “Scent is strongly linked with reminiscence and emotion. So is music.”
Good smells and music additionally assist create a comfy ambiance, one other vital part of hygge. Go for nostalgic scents when doable.
“Fill your setting with smells that you just love and produce consolation. Suppose sugar cookies, spices, or hen noodle soup,” mentioned Dattilo.
Or attempt a sound or scent identified to spice up temper.
“Analysis has proven that the scent of lavender and vanilla is especially enjoyable to the inhabitants at giant,” mentioned Sally Augustin, a fellow on the American Psychological Affiliation.
The correct lighting in a room may enhance the atmosphere. Individuals are inclined to understand hotter lights as extra enjoyable, analysis exhibits.
“Utilizing candles or a fire has benefits in that the visible of the flames themselves are naturally enjoyable,” mentioned Augustin. If that’s not an possibility, swapping shiny fluorescents for heat lightbulbs in lamps can work too.
For one final factor of consolation, contemplate texture.
“Delicate textures make sense as a result of they’re enjoyable for us to really feel,” mentioned Augustin. Suppose cozy pajamas, tender blankets, or fuzzy socks.
In order the lengthy nights drag on and the chilly creeps in, attempt turning to hygge, Kurtz mentioned.
“Embrace the climate! Gentle a hearth, placed on tender clothes, make a heat beverage and snuggle a pet or a beloved one,” she mentioned.
Alicia Zellmer, MD, and Pleasure Liu, MD, are resident physicians in Inside Medication, and members of the ABC Information Medical Unit.