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A Soothing and Enlightening Discussion on Hygge Led by Sari Vanska

On Thursday, April 1 ,2021, IAWA members were treated to a soothing and enlightening discussion with Sari Vanska on the topic of Hygge and how the Scandinavian movement can positively impact our performance in work and in life. Ms. Vanska introduced the group to what hygge represents, which includes a feeling of intimacy, coziness of the soul, well-being, comfort, and gratitude. Hygge is about atmosphere and experience vs. material things. We learned about the Hygge Manifesto, which includes ten key components: atmosphere, presence, pleasure, equality, gratitude, harmony, comfort, truce, togetherness, and shelter. Ms. Vanska provided visuals and details as to how to create our own hygge atmosphere at home using elements such as fireplaces, candles, natural light, an absence of screens and technology, and simple/homemade objects made with natural materials.
The second part of our discussion explored how an atmosphere of hygge can put the brain at ease, reducing our “fight or flight” response and allowing our mind to calm, which in turn creates an environment for increased mental functioning. Hygge ensures that our base human needs are satisfied, which maximizes “feel good” hormones in our brain to promote a sense of calm and relaxation. This frees our mind to operate at peak performance. We enjoyed learning how to adopt a practice of hygge at home and in our offices!
Screen shot of attendees during IAWA's virtual event on Hygee