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Are dark nights and stress slowing you down? Finland is named as the happiest nation in the world.

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

What can we learn?

There is one practical solution which lightens up the mind and improves our daily lives.

Perhaps there are reasons why Finns talk about happiness - for surely it is darker and colder in the north? Days are getting shorter, dark falls around us earlier every evening.

A worldwide health scare is a worry and is a burden on everyone’s shoulders. Lack of light slows us down. We are trying to cope during those rainy days and dark nights and mornings in isolation with no colleagues around us to offer an uplifting coffee break ‘ to make the world right’. It is not surprising then that a range of new emotions has crept into our minds but also into our bodies. Weird aches and tiredness creep into our lives.

Time to do something about it? Finns are specialists of long, dark winters. Here are two simple tips from Finland to think over or even apply to your life which soon will make you feel better.

TIP ONE: Turn your thinking to a new perspective and feel. There is no reason to avoid the dark, stress or pressure. Instead bravely take time to get connected with your own body and get in touch with how you feel. Stress burdens our immune system. Let’s take a first step in to alleviate the stress: think about such a simple thing as breathing. This way you can begin to work on your immune system.

Imagine you are softly breathing towards the pain and soothing it gently - reducing the tiredness and recognising the way you feel. This doesn’t mean breathing makes us stronger, but what it does is to acknowledge how we feel, allowing the mind to clear up and feel at ease.

Instead of avoiding the dark, go and have a nice walk on a dark morning in the park. It is lovely to see how atmospheric the dark can be. You will feel oxidised and, as you walk back, the day is rising and that feels uplifting.

TIP TWO: perhaps this is the more challenging. Use cold! A quick jump into the cold water truly picks you up. We have proof that it diminishes depression, changes the bad fat to good fat and keeps your immune system high, yet so many like to turn the page now. Ok - if you do not have any interest in jumping into cold water, use showers ‘hot and cold’ and I mean a real change of temperature. That is a great way to increase the circulation of the capillaries.

OK - if that is not what you are really interested in: compromising is a great way forward: British know also some great ways to beat the dark time and what else but TEA. There is nothing that a nice cup of tea would not cure. Yes, beyond tips, it is widely used and praised by millions (unlike swimming in the cold). If not swimming in the cold instead keep calm, carry on and have a nice cup of tea and breathe out calmly!

Breathing is something I can teach you. Believe me, we have learned quite special techniques of breathing and balancing your body - after these ‘jump into the cold’ experiences.

Anyway the question was happiness!

I believe that this is related to feeling, living, being brave and shaking yourself out of a ‘pull away’ mood!

Marja Putkisto

Join Marja’s online A Strong & Mobile Back 6 week course - starts 28th February 2022.

Why stress can be the primary reason for weight gain and loss - READ OUR BLOG HERE

Method Putkisto is a hugely popular Finnish method and used by thousands in Finland. It can be described as Finnish yoga. In its essence it is a mindful and dynamic method of stretching and breathing. It emphasises the quality of each movement is performed.

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