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10 Beautiful Ways To Be Kind

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Take inspiration from a collection of cultures with these phrases to cultivate joy

Hygge Imagine a cozy indoor scene, complete with the warm glow of candles, soft, inviting throws, and comforting beverages – and you've just painted a picture of the essence of Hygge. Originating from the Danish and Norwegian cultures, Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) essentially embodies the art of creating a cozy, content, and enjoyable atmosphere, especially when in the company of loved ones. To infuse some Hygge into your day or evening, consider lighting some candles around your home and settling down by a crackling fire (if you have one) with a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

Ho’oponopono This Hawaiian custom offers a wonderful means to soothe the soul in the aftermath of a setback. In the Hawaiian language, Ho’oponopono translates to 'making amends' or 'rectifying an error,' and it serves as a prayer crafted to facilitate forgiveness. Keep this mantra in your heart for those moments when you require a dose of self-compassion. Give it a try by standing before a mirror and reciting the prayer seven times: "I apologize. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you."

Lykke The Danes have created yet another word to encapsulate the art of feeling good (and they consistently top the world happiness rankings, after all). "Lykke" is their term for a deep sense of joy and ultimate happiness. According to Danish wisdom, the key elements of "Lykke" encompass good health, strong social connections, personal freedom, trust, acts of kindness, and a sense of security. In practice, this entails staying active each day, fostering enriching social relationships, demonstrating generosity, and extending the benefit of the doubt to others.

Ubuntu Don your altruistic spirit and explore Ubuntu, an African philosophy emphasizing the profound influence of our actions on those around us. Ubuntu, which translates to "I am only a person through other people," centers on the principles of community and heightened empathy towards others. Embracing Ubuntu might involve activities like cleaning up your local beach or park or collaborating with an environmental organization to combat climate change. It's also a tool for preventing hasty judgments and fostering a deeper understanding of others' perspectives.

Jokabokaflod A tradition that's sure to resonate with book enthusiasts, Jokabokaflod is an Icelandic custom centered on the exchange or gifting of books during Christmas Eve. Originating during World War II in 1944, the annual Jolabokaflod, which roughly translates to 'Yule book flood,' is Iceland's way of brightening the chilliest season of the year. Some experts speculate that this tradition has contributed to Iceland's notable ranking in the recent World Happiness Survey, where the country secured the 4th spot. You can easily incorporate this heartwarming tradition into your own life by making a pact with a close friend to exchange books you both cherish on Christmas Eve, eventually creating a cherished tradition of your own.

Keyif Introduce a dash of Keyif into your life when finding moments for self-care becomes a challenge. "Keyif," simply meaning 'pleasure' in Turkish, serves as their go-to term for those precious moments of tranquil relaxation. It could be as simple as treating yourself to a slice of cake and coffee at a café or embarking on a peaceful solo stroll along the beach or through nature. The crucial step is to switch off your devices, allowing you to truly savor some uninterrupted me-time, free from notifications.

Ikigai The Japanese principle known as "Ikigai" conveys the idea of 'happiness while living' and underscores the significance of finding joy in life's small pleasures while aligning with one's purpose. Often linked to the remarkable longevity observed in Japan, it's seen as a compass for understanding what your soul truly craves from life, imparting wisdom to younger generations, and experiencing the gratification of making a positive impact. Incorporate Ikigai into your daily life by incorporating activities that bring you joy into your routine. This could encompass exploring a new hobby, savoring a leisurely coffee date with a friend, or dedicating your time to a cause you're deeply passionate about through volunteering.

Fika While most of us understand the value of taking breaks during a hectic workday, Fika elevates this practice to a whole new level. The term, derived from the Swedish word for 'drinking coffee,' has evolved into a social ritual and an opportunity to momentarily step away from work and savor a hot beverage. When's the perfect moment for a Fika break? Three o'clock in the afternoon is regarded as the ideal juncture to pause your work, put the kettle on, and indulge in a relaxing drink.

Meraki Have you ever experienced that all-consuming immersion in a creative endeavor? The Greeks have a word for it: "Meraki." It's the act of immersing yourself in a painting, book, or drawing, and discovering a profound sense of fulfillment and purpose within. If you're facing challenges in finding time during your day for your creative pursuits, consider dedicating 15 minutes at the beginning and end of each day to focus on what truly matters to you.

Friluftsliv Friluftsliv, pronounced (freeloofts-liv), is a Nordic concept that emphasizes the importance of venturing outdoors and immersing yourself in nature. It could be a seaside stroll, a hike in your nearby forest, or merely sitting in your garden while listening to the birds and other wildlife. Friluftsliv is all about embracing the perspective, fulfillment, and fresh air that nature offers. It's time to lace up those walking shoes.

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