AM: Throughout the book, you share the feelings and sentiments that create hygge and how it can be experienced alone, as well as in a collective, what are your favorite moments of hygge?
MW: Hygge is something I practice every day. I try to build a little pleasure and gratitude into my daily routine.
AM: In your opinion, is hygge a component of mindfulness?
MW: Not to us Danes. We have been talking about hygge for the past two centuries, whereas mindfulness is a recent trend. Also, we don´t see hygge as a trend, but more a part of our culture and national DNA. But I understand why this question is being asked, because both mindfulness and hygge share a focus on being present.
AM: With an increase in meditation studios, candlelight yoga sessions, spaces where silence is encouraged to reconnect and retreats what elements of hygge can be included in these activities?
MW: Hygge mainly has to do with the absence of sounds, which enables you to hear even very quiet noises such as raindrops on the roof, wind blowing outside the window, the sound of trees waving in the wind, or the creaks of wooden planks that yield when you walk on them. Also, the sounds of a person drawing, cooking, or knitting could be hyggelig.
AM: For those who travel extensively, how can they make their hotel rooms or create a traveling hygge kit in order to feel that sense of comfort, when they're away from home?
MW: In THE LITTLE BOOK OF HYGGE, I talk about hygge emergency kits which can include candles (good quality), chocolate, tea, a blanket and, naturally, a scarf. In Denmark, we suffer from scarf withdrawal syndrome, so it’s important to have one on you at all times. If you pack this up and take it with you, this can easily be your hygge travel kit.
AM: Although you grew up in the world of hygge, why do you think that other countries have begun to adopt it?
MW: There is so much interest in Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia because these countries often rank highly in the happiness lists. Also, I believe more and more people are recognizing that our societies have become richer, but we as people have not become happier—and that we in a lot of countries are failing at converting wealth to well-being—and therefore people are looking for new sources of inspiration to improve quality of life—and looking towards Scandinavia in general and Denmark in particular