What Can We Learn From Finland — The Happiest Country On Earth?


Two hundred days of winter, two whole months where the sun never rises above the horizon, temperatures that can drop to 20 degrees below zero. Welcome to Finland — the “Happiest Country in the World.” No, that’s not sarcasm. For the third year in a row, Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world, based on income, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, and a government that’s deemed generally trustworthy. So, what’s the secret behind Finland’s success? Here’s the advice Finns offer to countries that would like to be happier.

CHANNEL YOUR INNER GRIT 
Finns embrace a unique spirit of fortitude for thriving in tough times, including their brutal winters.

GIVE EVERYBODY THE RIGHT TO ROAM 
In Finland, a traditional legal concept called “everyman’s right" allows the general public to roam freely in natural areas like forests, lakes, and rivers — without obtaining permission from landowners.

SWEAT IT OUT WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS 
As revered community gathering spaces in both the public domain and private homes, saunas are a place to purify body and soul. Ultimately, coming together in the sauna creates a sense of community with an equalizing effect.

LEARN TO LIVE WITH LESS 
Finns embrace a Nordic minimalism and are known to prefer well-made, sustainable, functional items that will stand the test of time. Being a conscious consumer means eliminating unnecessary purchases, which can help you feel as though you’re doing something good for the world.

CREATE AN EARLY START AT HAPPINESS 
Finland has a proud tradition of trying to give all children an equal, healthy start in life. In 1938, the country introduced “baby boxes” in an attempt to tackle a declining birth rate and high infant mortality. These government-distributed packages of clothing and other useful items remain available to all new mothers today.

STAY HUMBLE 
Finns are humble and not as eager to put forward a polished view of their life on social media and to brag about success and wealth. They aren’t too ambitious about what life should offer them, but rather accept their lot in life. That, of course, can help them to feel satisfied with what they currently have.

EMBRACE THE DARKNESS 
Finns accept that dark days are part of everyday life and even revel in them. Their willingness to embrace the less-sunny aspects of living helps them to accept negative feelings as a normal part of life.