For five years in a row, Finland has held the top position when it comes to happiness. Finland is, according to the World Happiness Report, the happiest country in the world. But what is the secret to this happiness? Frank Martela, a Finnish philosopher and psychology researcher provides some insight into the factors that contribute to happiness. In an article he wrote for CNBC, he names three things that you should stop doing in order to become happier.

1. Stop comparing yourself

The Finnish don’t compare themselves to others. In fact, there isn’t a whole lot to compare. According to Martela, the Finnish don’t flaunt their wealth. When someone is doing well for themselves, they will not show it. They’ll just be like ‘regular people’. Martela quotes the poet Eino Leino with his famous line: “Kell’ onni on, se onnen kätkeköön,” which means that whenever you have ‘happiness’, you should hide it. It even is perceived as a belief: if you boast about your happiness, you will surely lose it. In his article, Martela writes about the time he ran into a wealthy Finnish man: “He was pushing his toddler in a stroller towards the tram station. He could have bought himself an expensive car or hire a driver, but he opted for public transportation.”

When you are a wealthy Finn, you will act like everyone else. That means that endlessly comparing yourself to others when it comes to success, will not longer be an issue. So be like the Finnish and stop trying to match other people’s success.

2. Don’t ignore nature

The Finnish love nature. In a survey from 2021, it turned out that 87% of Finns view nature as an important part of their lives. Just because it gives them peace and causes them to relax. That is why a lot of Finnish people like to spend their vacation in nature. And not just a ‘glamping’ adventure. The Finnish go all out: camping is better with less luxury. So they prefer vacations with no electricity or running water. According to Toolbox Finland, Finns’ close connection to nature is because Finland has only recently become urbanized. Meaning that a lot of people have parents or grandparents who lived in rural areas.

About 75% of the country is covered with greenery and another ten percent is covered with lakes and rivers. This means that wherever you live, you’ll always be close to nature. And that is why Martela recommends that everyone spends time in, or with, nature.

3. Don’t break trust

Another characteristic of the Finns is that they are very trustworthy. They trust one another and cherish honesty. This means that when you lose something valuable in Finland, the chances of getting it back are really high. And the Finns don’t just trust their friends and the people around them, they also trust their government, the police and their politicians. With that comes a feeling of responsibility. Everyone feels responsible for the general success of the country and a lot of people volunteer for volunteer organizations.

So think about all the ways that you can help your community and ways that you can be a more trustworthy person. And surround yourself with trustworthy people.

If you stick to these three things, you might just become as happy as the Finnish are!

Source: CNBC, Translation Flowers, Toolbox Finland | Image: Unsplash, Lidya Nada