Life Hacks: 12 Happiness and Wellness Practices Around the World (infographic)

Between computers, smartphones, tablets, and televisions, we live in an increasingly digital world. We’re spending 8, 10, even 12 hours or more each day, in front of a screen! While we’re happy to embrace technology, it’s becoming more and more important that you unplug and recharge your own body’s batteries from time to time.

What’s the best way to practice self-care in an increasingly digital world? Consider one of these happiness and wellness practices from around the world to take a break from your digital life.

1. India: Laughter Yoga

An idea that began more than 25 years ago in Mumbai is now a worldwide movement of people in “Laughter Clubs” gathering to practice special breathing techniques mixed with forced laughter. But don’t laugh them off just yet. It turns out laughing - even the fake kind - is really good for you! It instantly improves your mood, lowers blood pressure, and if you do it long enough, can even be an aerobic workout!

Try it for yourself: Incorporate more laughter into your life. See if there’s a Laughter Yoga club in your area. Visit a comedy club or go see a funny movie.

2. Japan: Shinrin Yoku

Developed in Japan in the 1980s, the premise of Shinrin Yoku, or “forest bathing,” is simple - that taking a walk in the deep forest has a positive effect on our health. You can just wander in the woods and reap the restorative and rejuvenating benefits nature provides.

Try it for yourself: Turn off your phone, go to the nearest park or forest, and wander aimlessly. Be sure to observe everything and soak in all the sights and sounds of nature.

3. Egypt: Cupping Therapy

Cupping is an ancient therapy first used in Egypt but now it’s a trend practiced all over the world. Practitioners apply heat to glass cups to create suction on the skin. These increase blood flow and promote healing for a number of ailments. The cups do, however, leave those tell-tale round bruises you’ve likely seen across the backs and shoulders of Hollywood celebs.

Try it for yourself: Find a facility that practices cupping and book an appointment. The best practitioners are usually acupuncturists, so that’s a good place to start your search.

4. Russia: Banya or Sauna

Banya is basically a Russian sauna or steam bath. They’ve been used for centuries to rid the body of toxins, improve circulation, cleanse the skin, and boost metabolism. They’re also a gathering place for friendly conversations.

Try it for yourself: Visit a sauna with some friends. Go to your local spa and leave feeling renewed and rejuvenated.

5. Norway: Friluftsliv

Friluftsliv is Norwegian for “free air life” and it’s a philosophy that basically says having a positive and respectful relationship with nature will bring greater health and happiness.

Try it for yourself: Get off your computer and go outside! It doesn’t matter if you take a leisurely stroll around a park or a rugged hike up a mountain - just get out and appreciate the great outdoors.

6. Japan: Inemuri or Power Naps

Inemuri means “sleeping while present,” and is the widely Japanese art of power napping. Getting a few moments of shut-eye on the bus, in a park, in a meeting, or at dinner is socially acceptable - even respected and sometimes encouraged - because it means you’ve worked so hard that you literally couldn’t work anymore and had to rest.

Try it for yourself: When you’re feeling overworked, take a moment to close your eyes and embrace a minute of peace and quiet. 

7. Iceland: Hot Springs

Iceland is known, among other things, for it’s wildly popular hot springs. But what’s so hot about them? It turns out they have an exceptionally high mineral content. Combine that with the water that’s warmed by Iceland’s geothermal activity, and you’ve got a natural boost for skin, inflammation, and circulation.

Try it for yourself: If a trip to Iceland isn’t on your immediate itinerary, decompress by visiting a local natural spring or simply relax in a long, hot bath with aromatherapy.

8. South America: Mate Tea

All over the United States and Europe, billions of cups of coffee are guzzled by people trying to wake up every morning. In South America, however, most people start their days with yerba mate tea. It’s caffeinated like coffee, but has a whole host of health benefits that you won’t find in a cup o’ joe. It’s good for your heart, it’ll help you lose weight, it protects against diabetes, it boosts energy, and it’s great for your liver!

Try it for yourself: If you’re a coffee drinker, try replacing that morning coffee with a cup of yerba mate tea instead. 

9. Sweden: Fika

Fika is a Swedish coffee break. But, it’s not just about having a cup of coffee - it’s about taking the time to slow down, enjoy yourself, have a coffee and a sweet treat, and appreciate the good things in life. It’s the philosophy that by slowing down and appreciating life, you’ll have more peace and happiness.

Try it for yourself: Take a coffee break and enjoy a pastry or cookie. It’s important that you intentionally slow down and enjoy the moment.

Next time you need to disconnect and give yourself a little me-time, consider one of these methods from a different culture that you’ve never tried before! Check out more details and wellness practices from Shari’s Berries in the infographic below.

12 Happiness Techniques From Around The World That Can Change Your Life - infographic
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