The Art of Connecting - Thrive Mindfulness & Wellbeing

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‘It’s marvellous to be – one should never be anything else’

Mogens Lorentzen

If you have entered a book shop recently, picked up a lifestyle magazine or browsed the Internet/Facebook you are probably already aware of hygge (pronounced hue-gah)
A Danish concept that roughly translates to ‘cosy’ although it’s much more than that. It’s about wellbeing really at its core, often extolled as embracing the elements on a cold winters night, a candle, a cosy blanket, it’s really about connection. Connection with family and friends. The problem when the media jumps on something is it often reduces things to the lowest common denominator and so hygge becomes a candle to sell or a book to buy with a list of products on the next page of the glossy magazine. Don’t get me wrong it’s great that more has become know about mindfulness and the concept of hygge but the problem is when it gets seen as a fad, not something integral to our lives.

So what is hygge? It’s about relationships, looking after yourself and enjoying life more. It is part of Denmarks national identity and culture, perhaps something to do with Denmarks short summers and lots of rain, an antidote if you will to the dark winters nights. Denmark was ranked as the happiest country in the world according to United Nations happiness report. People are starting to contribute this to hygge and whilst this is probably a touch too simplistic. It’s a nice idea and it probably contributes to this. hygge is about connecting with others, relaxing, being in the moment with all your senses. It’s not about what you have got but rather how you can appreciate life. We know all these things, connecting with others, relaxing rather than stress and living a simpler life contribute to happiness so it makes sense they are connected.

‘Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly in your shoulder’

Henry David Thoreau

I guess the reason why I decided to write about this today is because we can all bring a moment of hygge into our lives without just buying a candle or a cosy blanket although feel free to do this as well. We can take time to connect more with family and friends, it can be as simple as a moments connection with our children before they go to school or greeting our partner after work. Turning off our phones etc to really engage with someone, enjoying something you love to do with no distractions and taking time for yourself, connecting with one of the most important people in your lives, yourself. It’s not selfish to care for yourself, take time to have a bath or read a good book whatever feels good. If you want to do something a little more drastic think of one way you can simplify your life, perhaps declutter, say no to taking on another responsibility, don’t respond to work emails at home time. These are all ways we can improve our wellbeing and connect with others and ourselves.

‘Just living isn’t enough, said the butterfly, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower’.

Hans Christian Anderson

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