The World Happiness Report has ranked Scandinavian countries to be the happiest for a while now.
Constantly topping the list, these countries (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark) are situated in a part of northern Europe that experience winter for most of the year.
With barely any sunlight during the winter months, how do these countries manage to stay positive and cheery? The main reason for this is their life philosophy.
Scandinavian philosophy differs from most western ideologies of your work defining you. In many cases, we are conditioned to work, or else we will not be happy with what we have.
But the happiest countries in the world disagree and have a few golden things that can make life much easier. Some of these include the following:
1. Fika (Fai-kuh)
While not being a native English word, Fika, like many other foreign words, has been adopted to explain a very specific thing from another culture.
There are various uses of the word, and as the word becomes more popular, it can encompass more and more meanings. The word can be found in Swedish pop culture and can also be found in many Swedish-style cafés.
Fika literally means a coffee break. It was formed by exchanging the positions in the word “Kaffe,” which is the Swedish version of coffee. But this is where the similarities end.
While Fika might translate to a coffee break, it is culturally different. Most of the world uses coffee as a way of stimulant. Whether it be to wake up or get work done, coffee has been tied down as an accessory to our hectic lives.
Fika breaks away from this notion. It’s much more of a way of catching up with friends or yourself. It’s a little me-time practice that helps you reorient yourself toward other things.
Fika is supposed to be guilt-free, and you should not be guilty about losing productivity. It promotes your general well-being and also serves as a much-needed rest.
2. Hygge (Hu-yoo-guh)
A cornerstone of Danish culture, Hygge is the philosophy of being content with what you have. It promotes making the best of your condition and spreading positivity through your actions.
The word Hygge translates to “coziness of the soul.” Hygge, as a philosophy, means indulging in things that mean a lot to you. These are things that bring you happiness and take over your body, like a warm blanket in winter.
It brings a positive outlook on your life, and you stop doubting yourself too. This, in the long-term, also builds up confidence in you as you are secure as an individual.
You build an atmosphere of love and support around you. It can become very comforting in times of distress.
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3. Friluftsliv (Free-loofts-liv)
One of the few philosophies that focus on both your physical and mental health, Friluftsliv translates as “free air life.” It is a Norwegian philosophy that implores you to spend more time outside, being one with nature.
The core point of the philosophy is to find your connection with nature and embrace it. The capitalistic world has removed us from our real habitats. This nifty philosophy lets us reconnect to our roots.
4. Lagom (La-gom)
Another Swedish philosophy that has become popular in the last few years, Lagom, means “moderate” in Swedish. It is the philosophy of having things in moderation. It promotes not being extremist, whether it be your beliefs or actions.
It is also a great way of learning that you need to be rather flexible and forgiving in your attitude towards life. This is a great way of thinking when it comes to relationships near and around you.
You should be thoughtful while setting boundaries but should not be so extreme in your ways that people are chased away.
Fishing for the right balance in life can make all the difference to you. The world will be a much more cheerful place if you are flexible with your surroundings and connect with the outdoors more.
5. Lykke (Lu-kuh)
Most philosophies take only one aspect of happiness and focus on that for a better life. Lykke, on the other hand, takes into account that happiness and contentment are multifaceted problems.
One needs to take a good look at the key factors like health, money, togetherness, kindness, and trust.
If you’re chasing after true happiness, Lykke tells you to have all these aspects of happiness present in your life. When in moderation, these factors make a wholesome and stable life.
This might not be the easiest thing to achieve, but when you get closer to it, then things will start making sense.
For example, if you are working on making your friends and family come together, this will automatically help you be a little more understanding and kind.
Since you are being kind and thoughtful, this will attract money along with the goodwill of people. Now this will directly affect your freedom. This domino effect leads to bigger and better things in life.
Whichever lifestyle and way of thinking you may choose, the core thing to remember is that these things take time to come into effect. Life is uncertain, and a change of pace can do you good.
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