8 Simple Ways to Be Happy from Around the World

When it comes down to it, all anyone really wants is to be happy. That’s why we are here. Happiness and love are the fundamental truths to our existence. But there are so many ways to practice happiness. Try these happiness practices from around the globe to expand your self, increase your joy and spread more love.

Shinrin-yoku (Japan)

You may already be familiar with shinrin-yoku, more commonly known as ‘forest bathing.’ The Japanese actually use it as a preventative health care measure, since it has been shown to boost immune system function, reduce blood pressure, reduce stress and boost mood, energy and sleep. Yeah, the wilderness is pretty powerful. Anytime you take a slow, thoughtful walk through a forest or area of wilderness, you are practicing this Japanese technique of joy and mindfulness. Anyone up for a trip to the John Muir trail?


Ho’oponopono (Hawaii)

This practice involves taking responsibility for everything that happens to or around you, and then asking for forgiveness and love. Your friend broke their thumb? Bear the blame. A destructive tornado the next town over? You were involved. Then, you say you are sorry and ask for forgiveness as sort of a mantra. And top it all off by showing love to yourself and those around you. By doing this, the Hawaiians believe the you will not only be happier to relieve your consciousness of the burdens it may have caused, but the world will be a happier place, too.


Friluftsliv (Norway)

In the literal sense, this means ‘free air life.’ It involves bringing yourself out into natural, wild places whenever possible. It is well-documented that immersing oneself in nature boosts happiness levels and thwarts depression. Get outside to rediscover your interconnectedness with nature to experience a profound happiness. You may even realize that, like the Norwegians, you have found ‘home.’


Gemütlichkeit (Germany)

While technically this means comfortable, it is so much more than that. Sitting in a comfy chair is not gemütlichkeit. However, sitting in a good chair around a bonfire with your best friends, a starry night and a warming beverage is. It is unhurried. It is cozy and enjoyable. It induces a feeling of calm happiness and belonging. Sounds like the perfect Friday night.


Siesta (Spain)

While many of us understand siesta to mean a midday nap, it is more than that. It simply means to unwind and relax out of the heat of the midday sun. Sure, napping could definitely be involved, but it could also involve a meal, time with friends and family, or simply taking some time to do nothing. Many shops still close from 2pm until as late as 5pm in order to observe a siesta (staying open as late as 8 or 9pm as a result). That may sound crazy by American standards, but who wouldn’t be happier with a long lunch, unwind and a nap in the middle of the workday?


Apéritif (France)

Okay, perhaps it is not only a small drink. An apértif is a lighthearted celebration (one which can potentially last hours) of the meal to come. Sure, you eat dinner every day, but why not celebrate the blessing of good food, good company and good health with a pre-dinner drink?


Keyif (Turkey)

Simply put, bliss. Keyif is usually practiced for a handful of minutes alone in a peaceful, quiet environment. It is the ultimate practice of mindfulness. I find this type of peace when waking before dawn, sipping tea alone as sunlight begins to stream into the windows.


Ubuntu (Nigeria)

“I am because we belong to each other.” This is about ensuring the happiness of the community above the happiness of one individual. When the community works together, everyone is happy. Consider organizing a community clean-up day to get all the neighbors together to tidy up trash and beautify your street. Or share a Sunday dinner with those in your close community who are financially unable to afford a big family feast. Care about those in your community and you’ll realize that it spreads the happiness around in the most wonderful way.


There are so many more, from Dutch ‘gezelligheid’ to Swedish ‘hygge’. What are your favorite happiness practices? Feel free to share with the community below!

All images from CashNetUSA 

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Emma Z
Emma Z7 hours ago


Melania P
Melania P9 days ago

Love the content and illustrations, sharing as well!

Mike R
Mike R10 days ago


Mike R
Mike R10 days ago


Mike R
Mike R10 days ago


Greta H
Greta H14 days ago

Thank you for sharing

Clare R
Clare R15 days ago

Interesting and well written article, thanks for posting)

Margie F
Margie F15 days ago

How wonderful to be happy.

Maria Papastamatiou

Thanks for posting.

Ruth S
Ruth S17 days ago