You may have heard of the Danish secret to happy living: hygge. Or perhaps you haven’t and I’m about to help blow your mind.

While the word looks like it could be a Danish dance equivalent to The Dougie, it’s actually pronounced Hoo-Ga. Don’t fret though, I had no idea how to say this fascinating word until I picked up a copy of The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. It’s written by Meik Wiking who is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institue in Copenhagen. If I’m not open to taking advice on how to live a cozy, happy life from a person like that, then I don’t know who I could take it from.

Let’s look into the 10 essentials on how to hygge your whole life, also known as The Hygge Manifesto:

I kept hearing about hygge, the Danish secret to happy living and finally decided to give it a go. These 10 essentials on how to hygge really helped me get started.

1. Atmosphere

I kept hearing about hygge, the Danish secret to happy living and finally decided to give it a go. These 10 essentials on how to hygge really helped me get started.

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Turn down the lights. Use candles. Yes, candles. A lot of us Americans get a little freaked out by having candles burning all day and especially in rooms we’re not using, but it creates such a cozy warmth in the space, how can you not? Placing small lamps throughout the room to create tiny caves of light is an incredible way to hygge your living space.

2. Presence

I kept hearing about hygge, the Danish secret to happy living and finally decided to give it a go. These 10 essentials on how to hygge really helped me get started.

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Be here now. Turn off the phones. While you can hygge by yourself, hygge mostly happens in small groups of close friends or family. Take a small trip/retreat. Carve out time to spend with your close friends at least once a week.

3. Pleasure

I kept hearing about hygge, the Danish secret to happy living and finally decided to give it a go. These 10 essentials on how to hygge really helped me get started.

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Hygge is about being kind to yourself and giving yourself a treat. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant or fancy, simply sharing a bowl of popcorn is hyggeligt. Examples: Cake, pastries, baked goods, hot drinks like mulled wine, hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. The longer a dish takes to cook, the more hyggelig it is.

4. Equality

I kept hearing about hygge, the Danish secret to happy living and finally decided to give it a go. These 10 essentials on how to hygge really helped me get started.

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“We” over “me”. Share the tasks and the airtime.

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5. Gratitude

I kept hearing about hygge, the Danish secret to happy living and finally decided to give it a go. These 10 essentials on how to hygge really helped me get started.

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Take it in. This might be as good as it gets. Just like a warm cup of soup, gratitude warms us from the inside out.

6. Harmony

I kept hearing about hygge, the Danish secret to happy living and finally decided to give it a go. These 10 essentials on how to hygge really helped me get started.

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It’s not a competition. We already like you. There is no need to brag about your achievements.

7. Comfort

I kept hearing about hygge, the Danish secret to happy living and finally decided to give it a go. These 10 essentials on how to hygge really helped me get started.

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Get comfy. Take a break. It’s all about relaxation. I’m not mad about the fact that casual is key in the practice of hygge. Staples of dressing like a hygge loving Dane are stylish, thickly wrapped scarves, black, sweaters & cardigans, layers, woolen socks, and casual hair.

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scarves | black leggings | cozy sweater | woolen socks | head bands

8. Truce

I kept hearing about hygge, the Danish secret to happy living and finally decided to give it a go. These 10 essentials on how to hygge really helped me get started.

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No drama. Let’s discuss politics another day. Pretty simple, eh?

9. Togetherness

I kept hearing about hygge, the Danish secret to happy living and finally decided to give it a go. These 10 essentials on how to hygge really helped me get started.

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Build relationship and narratives. Reflect on the moments you’ve shared over time with the people close to you in your life.

10. Shelter

I kept hearing about hygge, the Danish secret to happy living and finally decided to give it a go. These 10 essentials on how to hygge really helped me get started.

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This is your tribe. This is a place of peace and security. A shelter serves to protect not only our physical selves but our energies and joy as well.

Tell me, do you hygge? Have you wanted to start applying it?