8 Ways to adopt a happier lifestyle from other countries

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Allie Finn recently wrote about how countries like Norway, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands and Sweden continually top the list of happiest countries.  Probably no coincidence they are all near neighbours. But how easy is it change a long engrained cultural lifestyle in order to be happier.  Finn listed eight traits from these countries that we could adopt to live a happier lifestyle:

  1. Hygge – the art of being cozy.  Taking pleasure in soothing things like wrapping yourself up in a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book.  It could even look like cancelling plans and just being cozied up at home.
  2. Niksen – the art of doing nothing. The idea is to literally turn off your brain and let your mind wander through idle consciousness. This allows you to be more creative and better at problem solving and helps with reducing stress.
  3. Kosalig – Almost the opposite of Hygge in as much as its about social interaction.  Getting into finding positive ways to enjoy the harsher times (winter in particular), so you feel more positive, less alone and closer to the people you care about.
  4. Friluftsliv – again involved embracing the outdoors, particularly in wintertime.  Lean into exploring the outdoors in the winter and challenging yourself to explore.  This helps with positive mental health.
  5. Fika – taking breaks during your working day to be mindful.  Step away from the desk and the phone and actually take time to unplug from work for a short while.  Taking dedicated breaks during the day has actually been seen to improve productivity and improve focus.
  6. Lagom – not too little, not too much.  Finding balance and not living in extremes. 
  7. Sisu – perseverance, resilience.  Finishing what you started even when you feel like giving up.
  8. Coorie – actually a Scottish concept about spending time outdoors, hiking, stargazing and simply unplugging. Small, quiet and slow activities that engage us with our surroundings.

Is it that people from these countries are genuinely happier, or is it that there are just more of them that respond to happiness questionnaires?  Surely, here in the UK we have things to be happy about, even in the current situation. 

We can, if we want to, find happiness wherever we are doing whatever we’re doing.  We often see images of people in deprived areas, but they have the biggest smiles.  They make the most of what they have.  Maybe its just as we become more affluent that happiness starts to fade a bit.  We can have all the fancy houses, cars and holidays but does that make us truly happy. 

We can look for happiness in the simplest of things.  As I’m writing this a butterfly has just flittered passed the window.  That’s the first one I’ve seen so far this year and a sure sign spring is on the way.  For that fleeting moment, that butterfly gave me a sense of happiness as I thought about it dancing in the sunlight, and the sense of warmer days ahead. 

We don’t need things to be happy, we need a sense of happiness within us.  One that can sustain us and spread to others.  We can be happy if we choose too. 

What would we export as the UK’s model of happy?


3 thoughts on “8 Ways to adopt a happier lifestyle from other countries

  1. I can’t answer your final question, but thanks for that list. A reminder of a few of them and some of them I wasn’t aware of 🤗


  2. I can’t answer your final question, but thanks for that list. A reminder of a few of them and some of them I wasn’t aware of 🤗


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