With Scandinavian countries year after year ranking at the top of the list of the world’s happiest nations it is no wonder a lot of people wonder why that is. Our lifestyle impacts our life quality. The jury is still out on why it is, Maybe some of the secrets are maybe geographically based, but the best “secrets” can be replicated anywhere in the world.
We spoke to Dr. Sebastian Kverneland, a Norwegian chiropractor who helps you find and treat the root cause of your pain. Throughout his entire career, he has been implementing the Scandinavian lifestyle into his practice and the approach he uses with his patients. Over the years, he’s has been working with patients and often sees the great results from these Scandinavian lifestyle changes can do. Kverneland holds a Doctorate in Chiropractic from Southern California University of Health Sciences and is in the process of being certified by the Institute of Functional Medicine. These are the four Scandinavian lifestyle changes that we recommend and that you can start with right away. Keep reading for more!
What We All Can Learn From The Scandinavian Lifestyle
1) Get outside
From a young age, we Norwegians are taught the importance of nature and getting outside. We call it “friluftsliv” (can be translated to something like a fresh air lifestyle). We explore the nature around us through walks by the beautiful beaches or hike the fantastic mountains. It is a way to connect with our surroundings, get fresh air and deepen our relationships with friends and family. Walking or working out in nature is very good for you for numerous reasons. Breathing in fresh air is good for you, for your mind and immune system.
And for some, indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air. If you do have the option of nature, that is your best option. Breathe forest air so you get to breathe in those tree phytoncides that are linked to boosting our immune systems.
2) There is no bad weather, only bad clothes
A common expression Scandinavians use: There is no bad weather, only bad clothes. Meaning that bad weather should not stop you from getting outside. The only predictability about Scandinavian weather is that it is not predictable, so if we didn’t have this mindset we wouldn’t get out. Rain, shine, snow, wind, we get outside. Likewise, when the sun comes out, we all rush out. We don’t take great weather for granted and we all know that sunlight naturally increases serotonin that affects your mood. And yes, living in sunny Los Angeles, this is something I can take advantage of more often than in Norway. If you are currently using the weather you are as an excuse, invest in proper gear, and adapt to the Scandinavian mindset.
3) Work-life balance
Scandinavians are experts at the concept of “Work to live, not live to work”. Sure that means fewer hours clocked in at work and more vacation time, but it also means we respect downtime. When we take time off, that is something we take seriously. As a founder of a business in the US, this is something that I know is hard but that I have implemented for myself and my team. I truly believe that everyone can set better boundaries for themselves regardless of where they are. It can be as little as setting times for when you will check your work email and sticking to it or as large as choosing your job according to the work-life balance it offers.
4) Find enjoyment in the small things in life
The Danish have “hygge” and the Norwegians have “kos”. All a little different, but the common denominator is that we all focus on small moments having great value. Whether it is taking time to truly enjoy the coffee we brew in the morning, listening to some good music with candles lit, or turning off all devices and cozying up under a blanket. The idea is that life is full of small moments that can bring enjoyment every single day. Allow yourself to be present and enjoy the sunshine. So get outside, appreciate all sorts of weather, make sure to improve your work-life balance, and take time to enjoy the small things in life. It works for us Scandinavians and I can almost guarantee it will work for you too.