Reconnecting with Reality

Four Scents Team

Does Mindfulness Ignore Real Life?


The common misconception of mindfulness and meditation is that it’s a state of escapism from worries and the issues life throws at us.
Far from that, it helps us to lovingly reconnect with what’s in front of us to help transform it. Instead of resisting what’s difficult, we can reach out to embrace it. Probably the best example of this is the Danish principle of Hygge (sounds like hyerga) that’s become something of a buzzword.
      A cosy image of a blanket, cup of coffee and books to represent Hygge   

What Does Hygge Mean?

This word that gets thrown around a lot is difficult to translate. It’s the concept of cosy, profound simplicity. It’s countering the dark days of Winter (reality) and countering it by making the best of simple pleasures (reconnecting), such as making a fire, wearing cosy socks, making a hot chocolate and lighting candles. But more than this, Hygge celebrates togetherness, cultivating connections and being present. Jeppe Trolle Linnet, a Danish anthropologist, suggests that in Denmark, the focus is not on ambitions, but happiness and contentedness in the way you live. This makes for a transformative perspective shift! It’s about being fully in the situation, however much we don’t like it, and to bring warmth and goodness into it.

        Lighting a candle

How Can Reconnecting and Hygge Work for Me?

Simply put, it can look like making the most of the simple things in life.

Creating a cosy home environment, gathering friends or family for a hearty meal is especially Hygge-like. Take note of the senses that small things bring – the smell of freshly brewed coffee, the texture of a cosy jumper, the sight of a flickering of a fire, for instance. To be present instils a sense of gratitude for the things you notice, rather than being stuck or wanting to race ahead to what’s next.

Where Hygge may not fit so well, the practice of intentional acceptance can help. In situations that you wish were different, sit quietly and witness the feelings that this situation is causing. Embrace the reality of the situation by welcoming the emotions (not the cause!) Lighting a candle can help to bring a sense of occasion to the practice, and the flame forms a focus point. Then, the feelings can be “released” - this can be done by clenching and unclenching your fists, or incorporating a breathing exercise; whatever way feels most meaningful to you.


Blurred background of nature scene with a clear orb containing image in focus to represent perspective


Shifting Perspective 

Acceptance of others not doing as they “should” is a helpful practice in relationships. To recognise facts such as: people can’t read our minds or think they are the good person, is to meet others where they are at in a more peaceful way. It’s unlikely to be right or fair in our perspective, but resisting reality rather than reconnecting only causes suffering and further anxiety. Acknowledging human nature grounds us, and with a healthy dose of self-awareness, note that we can behave like this ourselves! This can be transformative and diffusing to a situation.

The concept of embracing the day is a mindful practice that switches perspective. Instead of asking what you can get out of your day, ask yourself what you can give to the day. Could it be the work you do during that day, people you meet etc.? Switching from consumer to contributor opens the mind up to greater possibilities.


In Essence...

To summarise, we can use what’s in front of us as a tool for mindful and meditative practices. This positively impacts the brain’s pathways and gives us a greater resilience. To quote Jon Kabat-Zinn, “There is no successful escaping from yourself in the long run, only transformation”.

References: Soulfulness by Brian Draper, The Anatomy of Anxiety by Dr. Ellen Vora


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