How to make yourself happier here and now? Every country has its own way of going beyond vanity and fuss of everyday life.
Take it or leave it but we all come to this world to be happy. But what does it mean? For some of us it’s having kids and building a family. For others, it’s about travelling, building a career, reading all the books in the world, or finally discovering a pill for every ill. Happiness is elusive. It’s not a goal, it’s a by-product. A by-product of your perception of life.
In some countries there are simple but yet so genius recipes for happiness. So, let’s take a look at some of the key principles of happiness you can do everyday to make you happy.
Hakuna Matata (Uganda)
There’s no kid in the world who doesn’t know this song from the beloved movie “Lion King” but do you know what “Hakuna Matata” actually means? This phrase roughly translates as “there are no troubles”. According to the East African people, there’s no place for problems in your life. They believe there are either great days or good days. They also believe if you worry over nothing, nothing will get worried over you, and who needs that, right?
Shinrin Yoku (Japan)
Shinrin yoku translates from Japanese as “the art of forest bathing”. A tree therapy is used all across Japan as a health care therapy. It helps reduce stress and heal the body. “Forest bathing” has a very powerful psychological effect on people too. Because when you go for a walk in the forest, the trees help reduce cortisol levels which means you become less stressed. The effect is said to last for several days.
Mai Pen Rai (Thailand)
Only three little words but so much meaning. If you’ve been to Thailand, you’ve probably heard this phrase way too often. Mai pen rai is often translated as “don’t worry about it” or “it’s OK”. For Thai people this phrase is not just a way to say “everything’s ok”, it’s a principle of life. It basically means that you shouldn’t worry about things that you can’t change. There’s always a silver lining after all.
This super long and hard to pronounce word can be translated as “getting drunk at home in your pajamas without having to go out”. What it basically means is that you don’t need to dress up, put makeup on and go to the bar. Instead, you stay home, in your comfy sweatpants and have a drink. Perfection!
“Luke” means happiness in Swedish. And according to the Danish philosophy, one should learn to find happiness in the simplest of things, like the way the rain falls, or taking a shower in the morning, or the way your dog barks at a local squirrel. The happiness is right here right now, you just need to see it, feel it!
This intricate word can be roughly translated as a reason for being, a purpose of life. Japanese believe that your reason for life is in small things, like the smell of coffee in the morning, your adorable pet, or a road trip to the sea. You need to learn to move in small steps and find happiness and joy in tiny things.
Pali-pali (South Korea)
Unlike everything we’ve talked about earlier, like you should take things slow, Korea’s “pali-pali” is all about dynamism. It literally translates as “Hurry up!”. Korean’s are always in a hurry. They hate being late or missing their bus or train. They believe life is so fast paced, you can’t waste your precious time on things that don’t matter. Life is too short, and there’s no time for nonsense, so “pali-pali”.
It’s hard to translate this word because it has no exact definition and describes the complex of qualities, like honor, pride, and dignity. Being honest to yourself and others. Being proud of others and yourself. It basically means that you need to learn to love yourself, be proud of who you are and what you do. Nobody will love you until you love yourself first. It’s like a vicious circle where you get what you give and vise versa.
Hygge is a Danish way to acknowledge a moment or a feeling, whether you are home alone or out with friends, as something cosy, charming and warm. Hygge is a concept of comfort. It’s the ability to recognize and enjoy the present.
“Coorie” is the Scotish answer to Danish “hygge”. Coorie is the smell and warmth of the peat fire. Coorie is sitting with your friends or family, drinking and talking endlessly in a tiny cottage somewhere in the Highlands with the weather raging outside.