Culture is best defined as the social behavior and norms found in various societies. Cultural norms are transmitted through social learning and the systematic process of continual improvement and adaptation.

Regardless of where you live, there is always something to be learned from a new culture. Here are seven life-changing concepts that can be garnered from others. Pay attention to these core philosophies, and you may learn how to transform your life and habits for the better, and maybe get some inspiration on where to plan your next vacation.

Friluftswiv

This Norwegian cultural concept translates to “free air life.” The Norwegian culture values the natural beauty in the world and encourages the exploration and appreciation of the great outdoors. They believe a dose of exploration is good for the mind, body, and soul. Practicing friluftswiv is relatively simple and is embraced by Norwegians across the globe. In today’s tech-obsessed society with sky-rocketing obesity rates, this practice may be a good thing to incorporate.

Wabi-Sabi

This Japanese cultural philosophy focuses on embracing and appreciating the imperfect. The Japanese regularly incorporate this concept into their daily lives and have a high level of self-acceptance and a low level of wastefulness. Applying Wabi-Sabi to your current habits could have tremendous cost savings improving your financial well-being. No longer will you toss old items the second you see a chip or scratch. Additionally, you’ll have lowered stress and anxiety as you learn to love yourself and all your imperfections. In a society dominated by “the next best thing,” this concept could be life-altering.

Jai Yen Yen

Jai Yen Yen is Thai for “cool heart” and represents the Thai belief that losing your temper is unbecoming, and violence abhorrent. The people in Thailand are welcoming and warm and frown upon any loss of self-control. They believe firmly in civility even in the midst of a disagreement. In a world full of conflict and despair this rule of thumb might be a good one to keep in your back pocket!

La Familia es Todo

Hispanic culture thrives on close-knit family relations. The phrase “la familia es todo” translates to “family is everything.” This belief system includes respect for authority and places value on extended family. This concept creates a large system of support and reduces the sense of loneliness and isolation. Although it’s not practiced across the globe, this custom should be routine.

Kaizen

Another Japanese concept, Kaizen merely is translated to English as “change for the better” or “continuous improvement”. The term was coined for business purposes and called upon employees of all levels to regularly contribute ideas for improving the system. The concept can also be applied to personal practices. The Japanese are always looking for ways to better themselves knowing that this continual improvement yields happiness. You might take some time to do some self-reflection and incorporate this theory into your daily routine.

Lagom

This Swedish word translates to “not too little, not too much”. Mainly, the Swedes are focusing on a balanced lifestyle. Sweden is well-known for their philosophy on moderation. Employees work six hours per day and are given the opportunity to pursue their passions with the extra time. This sense of balance reduces stress and anxiety and produces more joy. While it may not be possible to work a six-hour day and maintain your employment, there is something to be said for pursuing a balanced lifestyle.

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is all the rage, but surprisingly it’s not quite a diet. It’s considered a way of life that incorporates seasonality, sociability, moderation, variety, and balance. It involves coming together over food and enjoying it in moderation. If you view food from this perspective, you might experience a healthier, happier you.

These are just a few of the many useful concepts that can be learned from cultures around the globe. With an open mindset, you can find value in these opportunities and apply them to your everyday life.

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