Whether we like to admit it or not, the fast-paced and modern lifestyle has made it a bit difficult for us to find happiness. The hectic schedules of our everyday life have left us all feeling exhausted. Even outside work, we find ourselves struggling to keep up with our household duties. As a result, we’ve become more susceptible to burnout, which could, in turn, seriously affect our health. We’re all compelled to overachieve, and while giving our best effort isn’t bad, sometimes, we forget to take a break in our pursuit of what we think is best. Reconnect with yourself and find your Zen by trying out these different lifestyle trends from around the globe.
Find Zen right in the comfort of your own home with kanso. Called the Japanese equivalent of feng shui, kanso is a minimalist approach not only to interior design but also to life. The concept derived from Zen Buddhism is all about simplicity and harmonising with your environment. To find more peace, kanso encourages us to free more space in the room by de-cluttering it of unnecessary objects. Keep only what’s necessary — this way, energy will flow more freely, giving your mind and soul clarity so that you can appreciate the beauty of your life.
Pronounced as hoo-gah, this Danish word roughly means “cosiness” but this lifestyle trend that gained popularity in recent years means so much more than that. For the Danes, hygge is a way to find moments to celebrate during the mundane, dark days of winter. Unlike other philosophies that might require you to make drastic changes with your lifestyle, hygge only really requires you to live in the moment, making it one of the easiest wellness concepts to adopt. It’s really just about finding joys in simple, intimate things in life. Whether it’s that warm cup of coffee during rainy nights or enjoying a movie night with the fam — you just have to be conscious enough to find the silver lining in these tiny moments.
One of the many lifestyle trends that made waves recently was fika. A fika can basically mean a quick coffee break, but it’s more of a social phenomenon in Sweden. For Swedes, it’s a legitimate reason for them to set aside moments for quality time, whether it be with friends, colleagues, with their families, or even just with themselves. It’s a tradition observed any time in the day, preferably for several times. At many working places, there are even scheduled fika times to improve everyone’s productivity. Incorporate it into your every day by having quick coffee breaks every now and then. When you have a fika, be sure to pair the beverage of your choice with some sweets or pastries.
Meraki also came about when a number of lifestyle trends from around the globe rose in popularity. The Greek word has no direct translation in English, but it is an adjective used by modern Greeks to describe when they do something with their soul. It isn’t considered a wellness concept really, but applying this sort of attitude in what we do would make our lives a bit brighter. Though it’s usually associated with activities like cooking, it can also be applied to any aspect of life. Simply take pleasure in your work, give it all the attention and love. Enjoy the process, only then you can stand tall and be proud of what you’ve achieved after.
Lastly, of course, as human beings, we can’t only exist for ourselves. Living selfishly and in isolation never results in a happy ending. That’s the whole philosophy of Ubuntu. The term roughly means humanity, or “I am because we are." Originating in South Africa, it’s a belief that forms the “togetherness” of the community. Because our humanity depends on others, we can’t be truly happy as long as others aren’t. This way of living can be practised in small ways, through sharing, caring, and respecting. Basically, find peace and happiness by doing what you want others to do unto you.