Hygge, Lagom, and Sisu — Three Powerful Nordic Life Philosophies You Want to Know About
Life is an incredible roller coaster that can get a little bumpy at times. To navigate these ups and downs and to bring the best out of every situation, having strong life philosophies can guide the way. In a sea of many, three life philosophies from the Nordic countries have recently gained everyone’s attention. Perhaps you are already applying one to your life unconsciously, or maybe they are deeper ideas of concepts you recognize. In either case, these three philosophies can be learned and perfected to make your life better and your achievements stronger.
Hygge: Danish Way of A Cozy Life
In Danish, the word ‘hygge’ [hue-guh] in translation means having a cozy life or moment. In reality, the true meaning of this concept runs much deeper.
Hygge is one of the most known foreign life philosophies. It is often depicted as wearing fluffy slippers in a comfortable home, but it has nothing to do with materialistic things. You cannot buy it. Hygge is a way of being that sends positive sensations into your heart. Hygge feels like home, like belonging.
You can feel it in a joyful moment shared with friends or in a quiet evening with your loved ones. Sometimes it can be used to describe a cherished moment of silence and solitude, but most of the time hygge is referenced while in the presence of the company of others.
Some Danish people say they have not seen hygge in North America. Unlike sometimes overly independent North Americans, Danes are extremely community-minded and spend a lot more time with each other than alone.
Yet, Danes also have a hard time describing it, because it is something that you feel in the heart in a way that is often more than words can describe. Hygge is a way to experience life with those who matter to you. It is the feeling you get when you are surrounded by people who love and support you and wish for nothing but your company. It is a feeling, and atmosphere, and an action all at the same time.
To help adapt this feeling, you can practice staying present in the moment. Consciously send appreciation to people around you, and slow down to enjoy the time you spend with your family, friends, and community. Some call it the “art of creating intimacy.”
Another way to incorporate the feeling of hygge is creating traditions and rituals for daily life. This can be brewing tea every morning or going to your favorite place in the city every Saturday. In summary, hygge represents community, gratitude, mindfulness, and living with intention—all in one cohesive experience.
Lagom: Swedish Art of Moderation
Lagom is the Swedish equivalent of “in moderation” or “just enough.” This life philosophy is a way to find balance and apply it to every part of your life. Lagom is the opposite of burning out from working too hard, then binge-watching Netflix and overeating comfort food. It is instead about taking the middle ground—working and relaxing just enough; sleeping and eating just enough. It is about balancing your life fully.
In the material sides of life, lagom can come close to minimalism—buying and having just enough physical objects that you need in life.
In work and play, lagom suggests that you do your best, instead of pushing yourself over the limit. If you are looking for balance and feeling more grounded, lagom is a philosophy that can help you achieve this in life.
Sisu: The Most Mystic of Life Philosophies
The life philosophy of Sisu is a Finnish take on courage. It is described an incredible force of willpower and self-determination in the face of any life challenges—big or small. In English, the words that can describe it are having guts, backbone, will-to-win, courage, gumshoe, and the like. However, for the Finnish people, sisu’s meaning is more mystical. It is being the true hero of your story.
Sisu most often focuses on getting through today instead of making long-term goals. It is like getting the ‘second-wind’ when running out of energy. Sisu is what happens when all other sources of motivation are depleted, yet, it is an unbreakable and unstoppable force.
At the same time, sisu implies that you keep fighting through the obstacles while also maintaining humility and integrity. It is a combination of physical endurance, mental acuity, and emotional intelligence.
Sisu is a life-saving concept in situations of survival. This can mean a life-threatening situation, or simply staying strong when life throws you a curveball. Whether it is trouble at work or personal life, adapting sisu is all about adopting an attitude of never giving up or giving in. No matter what comes your way, it will help you see hope, stay strong, and persevere against all odds.
In the deeper sense, Sisu allows you to go through the ascension process regardless of the odds stacked against you. In a sense, it is akin to the hand of Providence itself helping you along the road of life no matter what the outside world tries to place in the way of your higher purpose.
So, tap into the life philosophies of the Nordic world and watch as your life unfolds ith beauty, strength, grace, and synchronicity.
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