According to almost every study on happiness, Scandinavian people are on the top of the list of the happiest people in the world. For example, according to the annual World Happiness Report, countries like Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark are routinely among the top ten happiest nations. Why? Scientists are explaining the results with strong communities, strong social support among neighbors or strong support provided by governments.
Here, we decided to share a few life philosophies common in Scandinavian countries. Thanks to these philosophies, Scandinavians managed to build societies of the happiest nations in the world. There are a few things that we can learn from Scandinavians. These five life philosophies can make you a little bit happier.
Lagom is a Swedish concept that is roughly translated to “optimal” or “just right.” Lagom can be explained with the western saying: “everything in moderation, including moderation.”
Lagom can be applied to how much you devote yourself to work or how many sweets you eat in one day. A healthy balance is the key to inner peace and a happy life.
The concept of hygge comes from Danish culture which means “coziness of the soul.” It’s that sweet, comfortable feeling on a winter Sunday when you are under a blanket with a loved one while drinking wine or hot cocoa by the fire.
As a philosophy, hygge means allowing yourself a few indulgences without feeling guilty about it.
Susanne Nilsson, a lecturer at Morley College in the UK said:
“Hygge could be families and friends getting together for a meal, with the lighting dimmed, or it could be time spent on your own reading a good book… It works best when there’s not too large an empty space around the person or people.”
Fika is a concept originating from Sweden and it refers to coffee. Yes, coffee! It can be considered as a coffee break but it’s much more than that. It’s about taking time to take care of yourself, detach from stress, connecting with people you love and enjoying life. Taking a break is indeed important, whether we are talking about a coffee break or vacation as one version of a longer break where we have time to connect with who we are.
Sisu means persisting through challenges until you reach your final goal. According to an article on the website of Finlandia University:
“Sisu is a unique Finnish concept. It is a Finnish term that can be roughly translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity.”
It’s not how much courage you have now, it more about what kind of courage will last through time and temptations. Being and staying persistent is what will help you reach your goals and dreams.
Lykke is the Danish word for happiness and Denmark is always on top of the happiest nations list on the World Happiness Report.
In the book “The Little Book of Lykke” by Meik Wiking, happiness is divided into six main categories: health, trust, togetherness, freedom, money, and kindness. Often, we think, if we could have more freedom or more money, we would be happier. However, our family issues or personal insecurities would stay no matter how much money we have. Working on each aspect of your life is crucial for long-term happiness.
For happiness and a fulfilled life, all you need to follow is these five philosophies from the happiest nations in the world. Although it’s not easy to break current bad habits you might have, you can live a happier life if you make that decision and follow it through. All you need sometimes is to be more mindful and present in your day to day life.