Fans of Northern Lights, sauna and Santa Claus won’t be surprised to hear Finland has been named the happiest place to live.
This year Finland topped the World Happiness Report, in which 156 countries were ranked by happiness levels, based on factors such as freedom, honesty, welfare, good health, and generosity. If you want experience the Finnish happiness check out our five tips.
Step 1. Relax in a sauna
There is nothing more Finnish than sauna, it is such a big part of Finnish culture it can’t be compared to anything else. For Finns, it is a must at regular intervals, and if they go too long without sauna, they’ll start feeling incomplete. Needless to say, sauna makes us happy.
Step 2. Enjoy the Magical Light
Contrasts are a key factor in the allure of Finland where 24-hour sunlight in the summer replaces the dark winter days and blazing Northern Lights. Summer in Finland is a spectacular time of the year. For those who venture north of the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set at all from May to August – making a single summer’s day last for three months. During winter the Northern Lights shine about every other clear night between September and March. Who wouldn’t be happy under such a constant, spectacular light show?
Step 3. Pick fresh ingredients and super food
The forests in Finland are magical and full of pure tastes of berries, mushrooms, wild herbs, plants and game. Not only do they feed the body, but the mind, too. Wild food from Finland is pure, simple, seasonal, slowly and naturally grown in about everywhere you look – in the sea and in the archipelago, in tens of thousands of lakes and islands as well as in the deep forests stretching all the way from the South to the most Northern point of Lapland – adding lots of wonderful things to the table according to seasons.
Berry-picking is something nearly all Finns do, regardless of age. Wandering in the woods, deep in thoughts, filling your basket with blueberries…it is a Finnish kind of therapy for the soul. Once home, you bake a delicious blueberry pie and eat it with milk. Simple things are what make us happy.
Step 4. Have water fun
Water is a very important element for the Finns. Finns simply enjoy a life by the water and if you look at the map – who wouldn’t in a land mostly made of it? Like forest, there is water everywhere in Finland and according to Unicef, it is the purest in the world. Drinking tap water is a privilege we get to enjoy on a daily basis. Pure water is part of our everyday lives in many ways.
Water means not only a comfortable and sustainable way of living, but also a mindful way of living. Kayaking, rowing and sailing are soothing ways of enjoying the waterways. If you like to speed river rafting, ride with a RIB or water jet is your type of fun.
Step 5. Experience the nature
There is something magical about the forest and the Finnish soul has always been linked with it. In the rush and crush of modern life, the rarities are what makes us happy, such as space, quiet and time. The space to breathe, a time to dream – you can find these treasures in Finland, where the lakes are many and the people are few. The green world is easy to reach even in cities so anyone can enjoy some forest therapy!