Today, for the sixth consecutive year, Finland has been named the happiest country in the world by the annual United Nations World Happiness Report, holding the top title since 2018.
The secret to Finnish happiness has been debated worldwide ever since Finland was first nominated for the prestigious title. Finns themselves believe that the key to their happiness is found in four elements: nature, lifestyle, food, and sustainability.
A deep connection with nature
75% of Finland is covered by vast green forests, in addition to the 187,000 lakes that bless the world’s largest archipelago. Finland is home to 41 national parks and provides citizens and visitors alike with Everyman’s Rights – the freedom to roam in nature and enjoy outdoor pursuits regardless of who owns or occupies an area. It’s no wonder that Finns foster a deep connection with nature throughout their lives – finding happiness in the many benefits nature offers. For example, it has been proven that even 15-20 minutes in the forest decreases blood pressure and improves mood.
Enjoying a simple lifestyle
Preferred Finnish habits and activities are quite simple. A crucial source of Finnish wellness, the sauna is a world-famous institution famed for its health benefits. Combined with a refreshing plunge in a nearby lake in summer or brave a dip in the ice hole in winter, a sauna – considered a lifestyle by many – is a firm contributor to Finnish happiness.
A commitment to sustainability
Sustainability is traditionally seen as very important to Finns – whether that is preserving the surrounding nature, and cultural heritage or crafting inventions for daily use. From furniture to clothes, Finnish design is seamlessly integrated into everyday life in Finland. In a country full of exciting contrasts and with nature an endless source of inspiration, sustainability plays an important role in the nation’s happiness.
A love for seasonal and local food
Finnish food is simple, delicious and built on fresh, natural ingredients. With the world’s cleanest air, pure water from thousands of lakes, and a wealth of wild ingredients – such as berries, mushrooms, and herbs – that can be foraged in the country’s forests, food is one of the essential elements of happiness for Finns.
To celebrate being the happiest country in the world, Visit Finland is now looking for participants from around the globe to become masters in happiness and learn the key skills of being happy the Finnish way. The new four-day Masterclass of Happiness held in Finnish Lakeland in June 2023 will offer ten lucky participants in-person coaching on how to discover their inner happiness through bonding with nature.
The masterclass will be entirely free of charge for the chosen participants. Visit Finland will also cover travel expenses to and from Finland. Applications for the masterclass are open until 2 April 2023: applicants can apply individually or with a friend or partner.
To apply for Visit Finland’s Masterclass in Happiness, see https://www.visitfinland.com/en/find-your-inner-finn/.