When you think of the word “Nordic” the images and thoughts that spring to mind are usually those of marauding Vikings, Ice and snow, moss covered pine forests as far as the eye can see, and waterfalls tumbling from great cliffs deep into the fjords below.
You might also think of cleverly designed flat pack furniture, black coffee, trolls and cheesy but uncontrollably addictive pop music. Whatever picture the word “Nordic” inspires you to think about, one thing is very clear. The Nordic nations do things differently to the rest of the world. What makes the Nordic Element so unique?
Although this subregion of Northern Europe consists of 5 clearly defined countries, there is an undying essence of the Nordic people that is ingrained and endures from a time before borders and national identity separated the people.
When you look at The World Happiness report, first published in 2012, the Nordic Nations are rarely outside of the top 8 countries. This report is based on 6 key factors that help provide a happiness score.
They consider income, freedom, trust in the Government, healthy life expectancy, social support from family & friends, and generosity. To have 5 separate countries from the same geographical area consistently performing in these key variables is no coincidence to me and is something I believe we can all learn and benefit from.
We have never been more stressed, unhappy, and overwhelmed by our daily lives. We search for answers, but they can sometimes be hard to find. The Nordic countries of Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland and my home Sweden are often thought of as some of the happiest and healthiest nations on planet earth.
Each having their own unique concept or way of expressing their national character that runs deep into the ancestral heart of the region.
Iceland – Petta Reddast – Don’t Worry, everything will be Fine.
Sweden – Lagom – Just the Right Amount.
Denmark – Hygge – Contentment and Well Being.
Norway – På Tur – For a Walk. Connection to Nature.
Finland – Sisu – Strength, Courage, Perseverance in the face of unfavourable odds.
I believe when all five are combined and applied in turn to the most basic but important areas of our health, we will find the answers, we will find balance, we will find a healthier happier life.
But where do we start?