Using the Nordic Happiness Advantage to Maximize Your Happiness & Success

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Despite harsh winters and nearly year-long cold, Finland has been ranked the happiest country in the world for 2020 in the UN’s Annual World Happiness Report. Not only has that but Finland been in the top 10 for the 3rd year in a row!

Since the 1990s with the rise of books like “The Secret” or “The Happiness Trap”, research and focus has been on understanding the power of our thoughts and more importantly, how to think/live happy so we can create a beautiful life.

Since 2013 the UN has conducted research and surveys to identify the happiest countries in the world based on:

  1. The levels of GDP
  2. Life expectancy
  3. Generosity
  4. Social support
  5. Freedom
  6. Corruption
  7. Income

Why Are Nordic Countries So Happy?

The first question might be – what exactly is the source for their happiness? The world happiness report indicated that well-functioning democracies, generous/effective social welfare benefits, low levels of crime/corruption and being able to trust their governments and Neighborus.

  • The 5 Nordic countries – Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, & Iceland – have all been in the top 10 in the UN’s annual “World Happiness Report”.
  • Nordic countries occupied the top three spots in 2017, 2018, & 2019.
  • “The Nordic Exceptionalism” report by the UN explores their happiness advantage.

These four points were used to measure different aspects of the social environment:

  1. Having someone to count on.
  2. Having a sense of freedom to make key life decisions.
  3. Generosity.
  4. Trust.

Happiness in the Nordic countries was attributed in part, due to the higher personal and institutional trust, explaining why life evaluations are so high in those countries.

How Can I Apply The Nordic Happiness Advantage to My Life?

So what can we learn from one of the happiest (and coldest places) on earth? The Secret Nordic Happiness Advantage – aka Lago (Swedish for “everything in moderation” or “just right”). In a brief explanation – it is a somewhat “Less is More” minimalism with a “Disconnect to Reconnect” approach to mental health to promote happiness, success, and good health.

1. Step Away From Constant Consumption and Purchasing – Also Look After the Items We Buy So They Last Longer

  • Avoid waste and unnecessary purchases.
  • Döstädning (Swedish death cleaning) – don’t leave clutter and junk in our home – having a clean, organized house or work cultivates a peaceful mind.
  •  Example: Reuse and repair items over going out to buy and replace them.

2. Reassess Our Priorities

  • Finding a healthy balance with everything – Avoiding excess or burnout by being mindful of how much we work, what we eat, our health routines, social and family time, finances, etc.
  • Example: Identify the 4 biggest priorities in our life; track our activities for a week and review if our actions are in line with them.

3. Save Money and Time for What Matters Most – Buy and Keep Only the Items We Need and Stay Humble

  • Invest our money and time in a thoughtful, purposeful way.
  • Never brag about our wealth.
  • Example: Conscious grocery shopping and planning our meals a week ahead to save tie, money, and buy/have only what we need.

4. Follow These 5 Nordic Happiness Multiplier Recommendations

If we want the pay-off of happiness and peace while on the clock, then fit in some of these activities the Nordics recommend to multiply our happiness off the clock:

  1. Get out into nature and off our couch – 70% of Finland is covered in forests to explore.
    • TIP: Get fresh air and green is also good for the heart chakra and calms the mind.
  2. Endurance training – start our day with a cold shower.
    • TIP: think of the Spartan warriors and do activities that help build mental fortitude.
  3. Read more books – Finland is the most literate country in the world with the most libraries.
    • TIP: reading over social media will have us update our thinking and make sense of the world, over comparing and falling into the happiness trap.
  4. Enjoy art & music – tantalise our senses and creativity by visiting a museum, attending an art exhibition or live show.
    • TIP: Creativity helps us see opportunities out of problems, and to solve problems in a more effective or efficient way.
  5. Reward our work – hold back giving ourselves a treat or reward until we complete a difficult task. It’s easier to cut out a bad habit if we replace it with a good one with committed consistency.
    • TIP: Having something to look forward to increases our happiness and positive state, along with a motivator to do our work.

Conclusion - Learn These Nordic Tips to Maximize Our Happiness & Success

When it comes to lifestyle and having a balance between work and our personal life, the Scandinavians have an approach to maximise our happiness and success – how we live and invest our attention and intention.

The 3 pillars of happiness for the Nordic people are:

  1. Step away from constant consumption and purchasing – also look after the items we buy so they last longer.
  2. Regularly reassess our priorities regularly (also where we are investing our attention and intention).
  3. Save money and time for what matters most – buy and keep only the items we need and stay humble.

To conclude, make sure to use the 5 happiness multipliers recommended by the happiest country in the world:

  1. Get out into nature and off our couch.
  2. Endurance training – start our day with a cold shower.
  3. Read more books.
  4. Enjoy art & music.
  5. Reward our work – hold back giving ourselves a treat or reward until we complete a difficult task.

Let us know if any of these support you and helped multiply your happiness, or perhaps anything you would recommend that can help make this year the best yet.