Scandinavian Life Philosophies | Life Style | Culture | Languages


Walpurgis night celebration in Lidingö, Sweden
         Picture: Walpurgis night celebration in Lidingö, Sweden  Credit Baltic Media

Are the Scandinavian life philosophies for a happy life the reason why Sweden,Norway, and Denmark repeatedly have been ranked among the happiest countries in the world? With a focus on balance, connection, a healthy work-life balance, high standards of living with less pressure, less stress, and more time for everything they enjoy, and love doing, the Scandinavians have developed their way of living life to the fullest. 


In this blog post, we will walk you through some of the Scandinavian life philosophies. Perhaps you, yourself, can use some of them to change your perception of living a meaningful and fulfilling life. Are these philosophies the keys to happiness? We can’t say for sure, but at least we think they can help you along the way, improving your lifestyle. Let’s give them a try!


1. Pyt

To help the Danes cope with stress, they take help from the word pyt. There’s no complete English translation to this word, but it describes being able to accept situations that are beyond your control, no matter how annoying and demoralizing they may be. Instead of overreacting and blaming someone, they leave it behind by saying pyt. Danish language.

2. Lagom

The word lagom means “not too little and not too much. Just right.” and is a huge part of the Swedish culture. This single word summarizes Sweden’s entire socially democratic philosophy on life: that everyone should have enough but not too much.

For Swedish people, lagom is a lifestyle. The concept encourages an overarching balance across people’s lives to do everything in moderation. Rather than burning yourself out by working too much and getting stressed, lagom encourages balance and living somewhere in the middle. Swedish language translation.

3. Hygge

The word hygge means “to give courage, comfort, joy” in both Danish and Norwegian. The importance of this term slightly differs in the two countries, and in Denmark, hygge it’s not only a word, but it’s also a central part of the culture.

The word is all about giving your responsible stressed-out self a break to live in the moment and enjoy your immediate environment. Hygge is a feeling closely related to being relaxed, happy, content, and at peace with oneself. It’s the pleasure of simply being. 

Are you interested in practicing the hygge lifestyle? It’s open to anyone to be one of the best ways to rehearse deep and sincere self-care.

4. Lykke

Lykke is the Danish word for“happiness” which isn’t a destination, but a habit. To be truly happy, you have to be actively involved in the direction of your life. Strive to experience gratitude, joy, moderation, accomplishment, feeling successful, feeling that there’s a fullness in your life rather than a shortage to live life to the fullest.


5. Fika

Fika is the Swedish word for “coffee break”. According to the Swedes, it’s not a simple coffee break. It is much more than that and more about socializing than drinking coffee. Adding something sweet is crucial, and it can be everything from cinnamon buns, cakes, cookies to even open-faced sandwiches.

Fika is a social phenomenon, a legitimate reason to set aside a moment for quality time, also it can happen at any time of the day, preferably several times a day. It is enjoyed at different places: at home, work, or in a café, with colleagues, family, or friends.

6. Friluftsliv

Friluftsliv is a Norwegian philosophy that reminds us of the connection with nature. This word is about spending more time on the earth, emptying the minds, and breathing in the fresh air. Nature has always been good to people, but sometimes it’s hard to remember and hard to find time for it because we’re stuck in a rush of life. The word friluftsliv helps us keep in mind that we need to reconnect with nature.

7. Arbejdsglæde

The Danish word arbejdsglæde means happiness at work. It can be explained as feeling good about the job you’re doing and being happy to go to work. 

For Danes, it’s important to be happy at work as well as in everyday life, they have focused their attention on arbejdsglæde. According to research, happy people work in a more efficient and motivating way than unhappy colleagues.


As mentioned in the beginning, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark repeatedly have been ranked among the happiest countries in the world. After taking a closer look at some of the Scandinavian life philosophies for a joyful life, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the citizens in these countries are happy people.