“Friluftsliv”: the Nordic concept that boosts morale

“Friluftsliv”: the Nordic concept that boosts morale

Do you know “friluftsliv”? This Norwegian art of living consists of spending time outdoors, in contact with nature. Explanations.

After Danish “hygge”, it’s time for “friluftsliv” – a Norwegian philosophy that promotes living in the “great outdoors”.

Spend time outdoors

The “Friluftsliv” – pronounced free-loofts-life – would be the key to being happier.

The idea is to spend time in nature, whatever the format (hiking, diving, wild camping, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, picnic in a park…), and the weather conditions of this healthy walk . And this, in order to benefit from its rejuvenating and relaxing effects.

“Friluftsliv does not refer to a specific activity. For Norwegians, this term has a broader meaning, it implies a disconnection from daily stress and belonging to a cultural ‘we’, which connects us to nature as than being human”explains Bente Lier, general secretary of Norsk Friluftsliv, an umbrella organization bringing together 18 Norwegian associations, to Visit Norway.

Indeed, beyond the obvious feeling of “well-being” that contact with nature provides, walking with others would generate other feelings, such as solidarity or mutual aid (during, for example, a campfire for several people, a group picnic, etc.).

A state of mind instilled in Norwegians from a very young age, since, according to the newspaper The Guardian, children already spend 80% of their time outside, in daycare. At university, diplomas outdoor life are also issued to students.

In fact, nearly nine out of ten Norwegians are already convinced of this: they say “be in a better mood” et “more relaxed” after spending time in nature, reveals a recent survey.

How to adopt Friluftsliv on a daily basis?

No need to climb a mountain or dive into the icy waters of a lake. Taking a walk near your house can have the same effects, Bente Lier explains to the Guardian.

“You don’t need to go to the middle of the forest, you can go to the park. You don’t need to walk far, or fast; the main thing is to be there. Sit on a rock , listen to the birds, look around and try to put down roots again”, she explains.

A valuable tip when it comes to fighting winter blues.