Wellness philosophies, or lifestyle concepts, are a recent trend for lovers of wellness. Japanese ikigai and Danish hygge are just two examples that modern lifestyles seem to demand and deem necessary for living longer and happier. The way the world is going, we need all the positive help we can get. Below are the wellness philosophies recently uncovered and trending.

Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it.

Joshua Foer

1. Hygge

Hygge is the Danish philosophy of “cosy living”. It’s all about enjoying the little things, such as a coffee or walk in the park. But to make the everyday hygge, you need to appreciate it in your own way, taking your time to truly enjoy the experience.

“Winter is the most hygge time of year. It is candles, nubby woolens, shearling slippers, woven textiles, pastries, blond wood, sheepskin rugs, lattes with milk-foam hearts, and a warm fireplace,” says Anna Altman.

2. Ikigai

“What you live for” is the basic translation of the Japanese concept, ikigai.

“In the Okinawan language,” said Dan Buettner, “there is not even a word for retirement. Instead, there is one word that imbues your entire life, and that word is ‘ikigai’. And, roughly translated, it means ‘the reason for which you get up in the morning.’”

3. Shinrin-yoku

The rough (very rough) English translation of this Japanese concept is “forest bathing”.

“When people in Japan want to escape from all the madness – the constant 24/7 assault of motion and commotion – they often head out to the parks, woodlands and other open and natural spaces, to sit in complete silence – with no phone, tablets, music or other distractions,” says Paul Mudd.

4. Friluftsliv

Similar to shinrin-yoku, the Norwegian equivalent means “free air life”.

“Or camping, as I like to call it,” says Danuta Kean. “Practitioners say it’s more complex than that, and though it covers everything from walking and dancing outdoors to sleeping under the stars, it is in some profound way about communing with nature.”

5. Sisu

A Finnish concept that means “to have guts”. Basically, it is all about having the determination to go after something you desire, and to be brave enough to act regardless of circumstances.

“Work on your sisu by practising saying certain words and phrases out loud, such as “Article 50”, “presidential visit” and “Lord Farage”, without making any facial expressions or involuntary noises,” says Sam Leith.

6. Lagom

The Swedish concept for “just right” and creating a balance in life.

“Lagom is an overarching concept behind your life in general. Rather than fitting a bit of lagom into your day, it’s more about your approach to your life as a whole,” says Elliot Stocks.

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