3 Steps To Minimalism and Hygge (Plus The Right Hygge Pronunciation)
Who doesn’t like a life of coziness and contentment, right? Well, that is what “hygge” is all about. But wait, do you know the right hygge pronunciation? Well then, read as we will tell you about that and more.
According to Oxford Dictiornary, Hygge is defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” It is regarded as the characteristic of the Danish way of living.
While most of us will probably pronounce it as “hii-gee,” the correct hygge pronunciation actually sounds like the word “hug” in English. You must be curious by now. Alright, for your information, it is pronounced as “hoo-gah”. Yep! You read it right.
No raising of eyebrow, please. It is what it is. Wondering why Scandinavians decided to pronounce it that way? Well, it’s none of our business. What we should look into is the beautiful meaning of the word.
But wait, before thinking hygge is all about warm lights and candles, then you are wrong. Hygge also refers to a person’s mindset – it is being at ease, being comfortable, being satisfied and being good to yourself. No wonder, the Danes were named the most contented people year after year.
Hygge pronunciation may be far from how it is spelled, but its meaning is rather wonderful. Hygge promotes the idea of appreciating and pampering one’s self with good things in life – it can be by hanging out by the beach with your family and friends, eating your favorite chocolate cake, or drinking your favorite frappe.
Hygge is about living a life that is simple yet produces contentment to anyone who does it. You know, it can be associated with minimalism. Well, Scandinavians, after all, loves living a minimalist life – with all whites and greens and a little spark of bright colors.
Speaking of minimalism, like what hygge promotes, minimalism brings a certain degree of contentment and coziness in life. It adds meaning by clearing out the tangible clutter (or even the intangible ones), which in turn adds immaterial value to each day.
While some may see it as impossible, well, we tell you, minimalism is possible. In fact, it is a powerful lifestyle decision. Here’s why:
*You get comfortable letting go (probably the most useful life skill of all). When you learn to let go, you can move through life without such strict attachment. Attachment is natural. But it becomes toxic when you cannot detach without falling to pieces.
*Gain clarity of space and mind. You can see better and think better in uncluttered space. Ever tried working productively on a desk that was piled high with papers and folders? It’s pretty tough, isn’t it? The mind is affected by its surroundings. When you clear space in your home and workplace, you’ll feel lighter and better about your environment.
*There are less daily decisions to make. Even minor decisions (what to wear, what to eat on, what to spend on) add up to massive energy expenditures.
*You stop letting possessions define who you are. You are not the car you drive, the house you live in, the phone you use. You are infinitely more than that. Don’t let those material objects define who you are as a deep, multi-faceted being.
*Care less about what strangers think. Non-stop material consumption is driven by approval-seeking behavior and toxic worry over other people’s opinion. You need to stop caring so much. It adds unnecessary stress and angst to your life that you just don’t need. You’ll feel a monster weight lifted off your shoulders.
*Have more money to save or to spend on experiences, not more stuff. This one needs no explanation. In fact, you already know this. You know, deep down, that you’d have more money at the end of the month if you stopped buying so much stuff that you don’t even need. Nobody needs to tell you this. But just in case you wanted a reminder, here it is.
Now that you’re fully on board with how and why minimalism adds meaning (and lowers stress), we’re going to lay out a plan. You can use this plan to ease into this lifestyle, slowly adopting the mindset and approach. You don’t have to go all in and empty your house today. That would be outrageous.
Take it step-by-step, especially if you have a family. It will take time for you all to come around to this way of life. You don’t want to force others to adopt the lifestyle, but through gradual changes and communication, your entire household may make the switch.
Remember, the goal is #hygge – comfortability and contentment!
How to be a Minimalist (in 3 simple steps) and Relating it to Hygge Way of Life
Figure out what gives you joy
In Marie Kondo’s fabulous book, Spark Joy, she explains that when de-cluttering, use joy as a test for whether to keep something or not. Look at the item and think: does this bring me joy? If it’s a no, toss it. If it’s a yes, keep it. If you’re unsure, keep it, also.
This simple little question (does this bring me joy?) can become your guide for life. Use it as a barometer for what to keep or give away/discard. Of course, this excludes things that you need (such as medical equipment), but everything else is fair game. This is such a powerful concept. When you exercise this, you’ll end up with a household of goods and clothes and furniture that bring you joy, rather than a collection of items that are no longer serving you. The joy test is your measure of how valuable your household items are to you. This is undoubtedly one of the simplest and most profound ways answers to the question of how to be a minimalist.
The key to have your ultimate joy is to be content – which is translated to? Yes! Hygge! (Reminder: Make sure you do the correct hygge pronunciation as you read it. *High Five*)
Schedule (yes, schedule) regular purging sessions
That little joy test we just went over? You didn’t think we shared it just for fun, did you? Oh, no. We’re putting it to practical use. It’s time to purge.
Start giving (or throwing) away items that do not pass the joy test. Schedule purge sessions. If you have too much stuff and think you’ll become overwhelmed, schedule this room by room. Take out your calendar and fill in a date and time for your purge sessions (or one mega purge session).
Also, to kickstart your journey of how to be a minimalist, give yourself a push by purging something today. You read that right. Today. Without emptying closets and cabinets, make one simple choice of an item that you don’t need and that doesn’t pass the joy test. Then, get rid of it. Just this simple act alone will feel empowering. It will start you off on your road to minimalism. Taking fast action always feels rewarding. It’s also a sign that you are serious about making this a way of living.
Relating it to the hygge philosophy, don’t you think your space and life itself will be more comfortable when you only have what you need?
Simplify (life) as much as you can
In the Scandinavian culture, simplicity is the key. Hygge, meanwhile, is most associated with food. Finding comfort and joy in food.
So, how is it related to minimalism? Well, when you live simply, you find comfort and joy in little things – food is one example. A good food can brighten your day. No, we are not talking about fancy food but you know, those simple cuisines we call “comfort food”.
Going back to minimalism, when you think about how to be a minimalist, you think of material objects. But minimalism is bigger than that. It’s an entire approach to life. This is what makes it so powerful.
Minimalism is about simplicity. Use this concept as a theme for your life.
For example, you’re planning a birthday party and feel it spinning out of control. What do you do? Cancel the whole thing? Not necessarily. Here’s what you can do: Stop, breathe, and simplify! How can you simplify this entire party planning? Maybe you’ve gotten carried away with decorations or an elaborate party design that is well beyond your means. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
Use this same principle throughout your life. Look for opportunities to make things simpler and clearer. When you do this, you lower your stress levels. And who doesn’t need less stress? We all do.
That’s it. Three simple steps. But, simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy. The ease will come with time. But in the beginning, this is a new way of living and a new thought process behind how you live. It will feel challenging. Challenging but worth it.
On one hand, being a minimalist is not just about living with less, it’s about appreciating what you already have even more. It’s about making focused, empowered decisions around what you consume and spend your energy on, over being overcome by temptation and trends. It adds meaning and peace of mind to your life, neither of which can be purchased.
On the other hand, living with hygge perception is about finding joy and contentment in little, simple things. After all, life is all about these anyway, right?