In this post, we will explore a key component of the entire concept of hygge—the art of mindfulness.
To many, this is difficult to do. Being mindful is all about being in the moment. Focusing your mind on what you are doing, where you are, and not allowing yourself to be distracted by erroneous thoughts that are disruptive as well as destructive.
The problem is that often our minds are too busy. We have far too many things to think about, so everything becomes a haze and we can feel as if we are completely losing control. Hygge is all about regaining that control and bringing a sense of serenity to our minds.
Stress, anxiety, and depression are major concerns in the Western world. Research has shown that these issues are often linked to the pressures that we place ourselves under, so it’s no surprise when various illnesses start to take hold as our bodies just cannot cope. So much of this can be undone if more people seek to include the concept of hygge and its more mindful approach to every aspect of our lives.
How Mindfulness Works following Hygge
To perhaps better understand this, we need to make sure that we look at how mindfulness works following the principles of hygge. We covered the key aspects of hygge when examining its origins, so it’s best if you can refresh your memory if required.
With mindfulness, there is an image that shows it in action using the difference between humans and animals. In the image, an individual is walking their dog. The individual has a thought bubble coming from their head, and it is full of noise and is chaotic. On the other hand, the dog has a thought bubble. Its bubble has an image, and that image is the scene it sees before it, the bit of grass, or whatever its surroundings may be.
How the human and the dog approach the moment that they are in is vastly different. The human being is tense and rigid in their body language. They are stressed, and their mind is going at the speed of sound. They look exhausted.
The dog is relaxed. It is at the moment. It is connected to nature and is not stressed. It walks easily on the leash, and yet if the human was on the leash instead, then he would be pulling on it and growling at other humans that walk by.
It’s hardly a cozy and comfortable way of living.
In a hygge world, there needs to be a sense of appreciation for everything that we have in our lives. We need to look at each object, moment, or individual that we encounter and be aware of what it, or they, can do for us.
Hygge, Mindfulness, and the Mind in General
Just before moving onto the next post where we get into the main concepts of hygge, it is useful to look at what is going on in the mind. The idea of hygge is that it de-stresses you. It relaxes you and makes you feel far more comfortable in not only body and mind but also your life in general.
Mindfulness does the same thing, and that is why the two are inextricably linked. It’s no surprise that mindfulness is used as a way to reduce your stress levels as it slows down the adrenaline and instead forces your body into releasing more pleasurable and calming hormones.
This is getting too far into biology, but it does give you a sense of what you are hoping to achieve with hygge. You are hoping to achieve that point where you look at everything you own and appreciate it. You love and cherish each object as it pleases you in some way.
With each object, you should look at it and study it. Work out what it is about its appearance or use that you enjoy. There is a sense of almost giving it some thanks and gratitude for being in your life and helping you.
Now, it might be no surprise to discover that you could want an example of how this all works, as it can be slightly confusing.
Take an armchair, for example. Look at the cushions and think about how comfortable they are. The back of the armchair is very supportive of your spine, and this further adds to the comfort levels. You love the color of it, the fabric, the shape of the legs. More importantly, it allows you to rest.
By looking at the chair and being content with it sitting there in your room, you are in the moment with that object. You are not allowing external thoughts and stresses to permeate your mind. The world, for that moment, comes across as a far more peaceful and pleasant place to be.
How to Incorporate Mindfulness and Hygge into Your Life
It is somewhat understandable if you now find yourself in the position whereby you are unsure as to how to incorporate this concept of mindfulness and hygge into your life. That is normal when something is new.
However, the task at hand is far simpler than you may be aware of. Indeed, we are only looking at making a few changes to how you approach things. A few small changes can yield a huge difference.
Step 1: Finding the Time
The first step is to look at finding some spare time to get to grips with mindfulness, and also your life in general. You would be amazed at how often it is that we don’t do this as we are consumed by all of these external pressures that are placed upon us.
Well, if you are going to get anywhere with hygge, then you must make some space in your schedule or you will just go around in a stressful circle. We aren’t even talking about hours at a time, either. You simply need to be willing to stop, rest, and take stock of your life and everything that’s in it.
Do yourself a favor. When you finish work or put the kids to bed, find a quiet spot, and contemplate.
Step 2: Understanding What to Think About
Of course, you may find yourself becoming rather confused as to what you should think about, so let us help you.
Think of your life in general. Does it please you, or are you stressed constantly? If you are stressed, then why?
Look at your home and everything that you have in your possession. Consider how things make you feel and whether or not you are even able to enjoy what you own. If not, then we will help you with this later on because this is a big part of what hygge is all about.
You should also think about what, in general, makes you happy, and decide if you have those things in your life at this moment. Throw out all of those stressful thoughts as they are not doing you any good whatsoever.
Step 3: Becoming Mindful
This may very well be the hardest step for most people, especially when they are completely new to the concept of mindfulness. Trying to become mindful takes time as it is something that you must get used to. The reason why it can be so difficult is simply that our minds are trained to think about so many things at one time—but that is part of the problem.
Our minds will often search for so many to think about and deal with that it gets to the point where we get nothing done and only end up with a headache from overthinking things What to make for dinner or whether the laundry needs to be done are important tasks, but we can spend too much time thinking about them. Instead of dwelling on a never-ending to-do list, it’s important to acknowledge that these tasks will be performed. You can take a minute to plan your day: put a load of laundry on before dinner and it will be ready once dinner is finished. Then, move your focus elsewhere. If you can organize your thoughts, you can find more time to be aware of the life around you.
To become mindful, one has to work at blocking out any intrusive thoughts from entering the mind. They only stress us out and serve no purpose at all. This does take some work, but here are some ways to start the process:
Look at the room you are in at this moment in time.
Take a moment to observe what is around you and what each object means.
Have no distractions.
Have peace surrounding you.
Allow yourself to effectively daydream about an object or place all on its own.
By doing this, you will begin to experience a new sense of relaxation and calm. These are the feelings that hygge tries to bring into your life. Looking inward in your life and making the changes that are required will not only improve your quality of life but also will reduce your stress levels in general.
There is some work to do, and being aware of losing yourself in the moment, object or experience is not even the main part of hygge. Instead, we need to look more closely at those various aspects of your life, and we will start with where it all begins for everyone—the home.