6 Happiness and Wellness Practices Around the World

- Mindfulness

by Julissa Arangure-Garcia

Wellness at Work

Are you happy at work? The average person will spend about 90,000 hours of their life working. If you think about it, that’s a pretty staggering amount of time to spend in misery! It shouldn’t come as a surprise that being happier at work will increase your productivity. What’s more, positivity is good for your health!

So, what can you do to help find happiness in the workplace? It turns out people all over the globe have different ways of getting happy. Next time you need a little self-care, check out these happiness and wellness practices from around the world.

1. India: Laughter Yoga

You’re probably aware of all the benefits of laughing – improved mood, reduced stress, and even lower blood pressure. But did you know that your body can’t tell the difference between real laughing and fake laughing? In 1995, a medical doctor in Mumbai developed Laughter Yoga as a therapy that combined breathing exercises with forced laughter for the benefit of his patients. Now, thousands of “Laughter Clubs” can be found all over the world!

How you can do it: Give yourself a reason to laugh every day. Make it a point to add humor and laughter into your life, even if it means taking a few minutes to watch a hilarious cat video between meetings. Or, see if there’s a Laughter Club in your area and join.

2. Japan: Shinrin Yoku

People in Japan have been practicing Shinrin Yoku, or “forest bathing,” since the 1980s. It’s a way to get out of the hustle and bustle and noise of the workplace and get back to nature. Time spent in the forest, away from your computer and phone, is said to rejuvenate and restore well-being.

How you can do it: Use your lunch break to take a leisurely walk in the forest or a wooded park and soak it all in. Make a point to leave your electronics at the office.

3. Norway: Friluftsliv

Similar to Japan’s Shinrin Yoku, Friluftsliv literally means “free air life” and it’s a Norwegian philosophy that says you should explore and appreciate nature as a way to promote happiness, health, and well-being.

How you can do it: Get away from your workstation and go outside! Gather some of your co-workers and go for a walk outdoors.

4. Japan: Inemuri or Power Naps

In most places, sleeping on the job is frowned upon. In Japan, however, it’s actually respected – and some bosses even encourage it! Inemuri literally means “sleeping while present” and is the widely accepted practice of taking power naps. Inemuri, in Japan, is the sign of a hard worker. It shows that the person worked themselves so hard that they literally had to stop and rest.

How you can do it: You may not be able to lay your head down on your desk and sleep, but you can take a few moments out of your day to rest your eyes and recharge your internal batteries.

5. South America: Mate Tea

While most people start their mornings with a cup of hot coffee, in South America, people wake up with yerba mate tea. It’s an herbal tea that’s made from the leaves of the llex paraguariensis plant. It is caffeinated like coffee, but also promotes heart health, boosts energy and focus, encourages weight loss, protects against diabetes, and is really good for your liver!

How you can do it: Try replacing a regular cup of coffee with a cup of yerba mate tea and reap its many benefits all day long.

6. Sweden: Fika

People in Sweden don’t just take a coffee break. They practice Fika. While they drink coffee or tea and enjoy a pastry or cookies, they also slow down and take time to appreciate the simple things in life. Fika is all about taking a break and enjoying yourself.

How you can do it: Take a break from work for a few minutes to slowly sip a cup of coffee and enjoy a sweet treat. Whether you choose to be alone or with coworkers, it’s most important that you stop and savor the moment.
As you can see, there are many ways you can seek out happiness while at work. Next time you’re feeling stressed, consider one of these methods from a different culture that you’ve never tried before!

Photo: Berries.com

What are the things you do to promote happiness and wellness in your life? Let us know in the comments below!

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