Every Country Has a Happiness Philosophy, and We Chose 7 You Can Start Following Right Now

Every person has their own understanding of happiness. In some countries, there are even so-called ministries of happiness. Their job is to make sure people enjoy their lives. And not all people know that there are national concepts of happiness that offer ready-made recipes on how to get rid of stress and start enjoying your life.

Bright Side tried to choose the most interesting happiness concepts from all over the world to make sure every single reader finds something useful that attains to them.

Kalsarikänni (Finland)

Every Country Has a Happiness Philosophy, and We Chose 7 You Can Start Following Right Now

If you try to translate this difficult word, you will get something like, “drinking alcohol at home wearing underwear without going outside even for a minute”.

Unlike other Scandinavian happiness concepts, Kalsarikänni doesn’t say you should have a beautiful room with a comforter and a fireplace — it’s much closer to real life.

  • Kalsarikänni happiness recipe: When you come home in the evening, put on the most comfortable clothes you have. Pajamas with warm socks is the best option. Open a bottle of wine. You can drink a different beverage but don’t go too far with it. You should not feel bad tomorrow just because you wanted to feel happy today. Take chips, chocolate bars, or anything else that has nothing to do with healthy food. You can do it today. Turn on nice music and watch a video with cute animals. You need a good background. Now you can relax and let all your problems go.

Shinrin-yoku (Japan)

Every Country Has a Happiness Philosophy, and We Chose 7 You Can Start Following Right Now

Shinrin-yoku is translated as “forest baths”. The point of this therapy is to enjoy nature and try to find peace with it. This is a unique method of fighting depression and stress without pills and doctors.

Forest therapy is very popular in Japan and South Korea. Scientists proved that it decreases levels of aggression, the stress hormones in the blood, it increases productivity and makes your immune system stronger. And trees make you feel happy for a longer time than a salary raise.

Shinrin-yoku happiness recipe: Go to the forest. Find a quiet spot. Try to take the forest in using all of your 5 senses: look around, breathe in, listen, touch a tree, and “taste” the air. Close your eyes and feel the harmony and calm. Do what you like the most: draw, walk, meditate, etc. Do some breathing exercises.

Ikigai (Japan)

Every Country Has a Happiness Philosophy, and We Chose 7 You Can Start Following Right Now

Ikigai is Japanese for “meaning of life”. But there is one more definition that describes it even better — “something that makes you get up in the morning”. It may be the smell of coffee that you start your day with, global projects at work, or your pet.

When a person finds their Ikigai, they get rid of destructive habits and depression, they can’t wait for the next day in order to do what they really like.

  • Ikigai happiness recipe: Start the morning with your favorite foods. This will make getting up easier and you will start the day off well and in a good mood. Let some little changes into your life and spend at least one hour per day on your hobby. Wake up your inner child: become brave, curious, and independent when it comes to other people’s opinions. But remember that you should not be happy by hurting others. Be happy when the little, good things happen. Let the process be the goal.

Lykke (Denmark)

Every Country Has a Happiness Philosophy, and We Chose 7 You Can Start Following Right Now

Lykke is the Danish word for happiness. The point of this concept is to reach universal joy and everyday fun from life.

  • Lykke happiness recipe: Here is something you can do right now: go to your neighbors’ house and give them something tasty or say something nice to your relatives. You can also smile at a complete stranger. Try changing your current job if you don’t like it and stop buying things only because everyone else has them. Don’t trash your life in any way and don’t limit yourself with imposed rules.

Pali-pali (South Korea)

Every Country Has a Happiness Philosophy, and We Chose 7 You Can Start Following Right Now

Even though for some countries, happiness is the ability to live in the moment and to be calm and slow, for South Korea, everything is upside down. The people in this country are always in a rush. Pali-pali can be translated as “faster, faster”.

Koreans don’t like to wait. This is why fast dates are so popular and so are language classes that promise to teach you a new language in just a couple of weeks. And the same goes for pizza delivery and other online orders. In order to compete in terms of speed, McDonald’s had to make its own delivery system.

Pali-pali happiness recipe: The main rule is don’t skip opportunities and use them fast. And in order to have a normal life at such a fast pace, follow these rules: have a schedule, eat good food but don’t spend a lot of time on cooking, and sing more often (like in the shower, on your way to work, and at karaoke). Don’t stop learning and make sure to make the most of it.

Coorie (Scotland)

Every Country Has a Happiness Philosophy, and We Chose 7 You Can Start Following Right Now

Coorie in Scottish means “to curl” and “snuggle”. Of course, in a country with a cold climate, coziness plays a big role. It is one of the main things there.

Also, unity with nature is also very important, along with communication with animals and contact with your legacy. So, rituals, traditions, and homeland are important.

Coorie happiness recipe: Go for a walk with a dog to a beautiful place in nature. Don’t think about the cold and mosquitos, and don’t fixate on unpleasant things. Turn on nice music and listen to the sounds of nature. In the evening, go to a cafe with your friends and discuss some interesting ideas with them. Respect your history and don’t forget your ancestors.

Filotimo (Greece)

Every Country Has a Happiness Philosophy, and We Chose 7 You Can Start Following Right Now

Filotimo can be translated as “pride, honesty, and dignity”. However, it’s hard to find the right equivalent because even the people from Greece understand this world differently. The main point is respecting yourself and other people and the ability to feel proud.

  • Filotimo happiness recipe: Every day, make up 2-3 positive thoughts (you can write them down in a diary), be hospitable, and polite. And if your friend says that they are okay, ask them if there’s anything you can do to help and give them something tasty.

Dalai Lama’s recipe for happiness

The famous spiritual leader that many people listen to (no matter what their culture or nationality is) thinks that these are the basic principles of a happy life:

  • “What is the point of being sad if you can still fix it? What is the point of being sad if you can’t fix anything?”
  • “Every day, we all get a chance to start over. Every day is our birthday.”
  • “You need to learn to concentrate and avoid the ‘wandering of mind.’ Most meditation techniques are aimed at the same thing. Live the moment you’re in right now.”
  • Be generous and help others. You can be truly happy only if you are surrounded by happy people.”

What is your recipe for happiness? Tell us down in the comment section!

Illustrated by Yekaterina Ragozina for BrightSide.me

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.