Happy New Year Hygge!
Can you imagine what it feels like inside this house?
Looking in at the soft lights in a home surrounded by snow and frigid ice, I imagine warmth, safety, and peace . . .
I imagine a pot of soup boiling on the stove, slippers, candles, fuzzy blankets, a roaring fire, hot cocoa, and pajamas.
It’s totally hygge, the Danish word for a feeling of coziness that brings contentment and well-being.
So how can hygge help spark your creativity in this new year?
We live in a world of distractedness and multi-tasking, but creativity requires thinking space.
Space for dreaming up ideas and envisioning what might be possible (divergent thinking).
Space for contemplation and analyzing options (convergent thinking).
Do your best ideas come to you when you are sitting at your desk working on your computer? Probably not.
They are more likely to come while you’re taking a shower, going for a walk, cooking, or sitting by a fire with a cup of tea.
In creativity terms, this is called incubation.
Incubation happens when we are doing something completely different from actively solving the problem at hand.
When we allow our minds to wander off the problem, new connectionsform fresh perspectives.
Hygge can help us get into a new mental space that minimizes the frenetic flow of digital input as we stare at the flames of the fire, sip a hot drink, read a good book, or write in a notebook.
In cold winter climates, the harsh weather outside makes hygge natural and necessary.
But even if you live in California or Jamaica with no chance of snow, you can create your own cozy surroundings inside on a bright, sunny day. Or, achieve similar results by taking a hike in the hills or a swim in the ocean.
Whether you are thinking divergently to try to generate new solutions, or using convergent thinking to try to decide which solution is best, incubation is essential and hygge can help.
The key is to put the active thinking aside and do something completely different.
Take the New Year incubation challenge today and send me a photo or describe your own hygge scene. One submission will win a copy of my recently published book of poetry, What Do Birds Say to the Moon?, a perfect hygge companion!
Kathryn Haydon helps you maximize your creative strengths so you can do your best work. Through keynotes, workshops, and consulting, she trains individuals, leaders, and teams to find the unique spark that leads to deep engagement and productivity.