It's a way of life that's ingrained in Finnish culture, but the power of Sisu can benefit us all. It can increase our resilience and provide the tools we need to build stronger, happier minds. Our latest article explores the ways in which we can channel our inner Sisu and make it part of our daily routine.
Channel your inner Sisu and feel the surge of endorphins with a winter or cold water swim. A popular pastime in Finland and extremely powerful exercise – boosting the immune system, enhancing circulation, reducing stress and burning calories. Image source.
How to be more Sisu
To have Sisu is to have a gritty inner strength and a steely determination, and the best way to cultivate it is by making small lifestyle changes that can be practised regularly.
1. Adopt a positive outlook
A positive outlook is beneficial in every aspect of life including work, rest and play. It can teach us to look for the silver lining in negative situations and encourage self-belief and confidence. This helps us to develop Sisu as the mind adapts to what it thinks is possible.
2. Practice self-care
Practising self-care is one of the simplest, and most important, aspects of Sisu. By looking after body and mind we'll equip ourselves with the physical and mental tools needed to dig deep when challenging situations arise.
Allow yourself to get enough sleep. Waking fresh and energised, rather than groggy and tired, will set us up for a more positive and productive day. For the best chance of a great night's rest, bedrooms should have a relaxing atmosphere and beds, and bedding, comfortable.
Being mindful of your nutrition and ensuring you're fuelling yourself correctly is an important part of developing not only physical strength but also mental strength. Make time for meals at the table, enjoy the process, and stay present in the moment.
Taking time out to sit at the table and eat well is beneficial to both body and mind. Featured: Artek Pirkka Bench, Artek A330S Golden Bell Pendant Lamp, Vitra DSW Eames Plastic Side Chair Dark Maple Base & the Vitra Table Solvay Smoked Oak. Image source.
Exercising outdoors not only promotes self-care but also increases resilience. By pushing the body physically we'll cultivate a grit that can be applied to all aspects of life.
"Choose challenging activities, such as cycling to work no matter the weather, or swimming in freezing water, instead of taking the easy way out. It’s like a reset button, if I have aches or fatigue or worries, they get left behind in the water." Katja Pantzar author of Finding Sisu. Image source: Dabito 1, 2, 3.
Alleviate daily stresses by being prepared for the day ahead. If there's something coming up that's playing on your mind, like a presentation at work, be sure to prepare as much as possible beforehand. Knowing you've done all you can will help decrease tension and calm your nerves.
3. Reflect and remember
Being alone with our thoughts, whether that's through meditation or by simply sitting in silence, is another way we can cultivate Sisu. Reflecting on past events and remembering how far we've come can help develop strength of character.
Part of Sisu is taking time out to reflect on your thoughts. Featured: The Artek Domus Chair – Honey Stained Finish.
4. Adopt a problem-solving approach
Deciding to take a problem-solving approach allows us to build upon, and take positives from, life's challenges, rather than being defeated by them. It can also increase our resolve and encourage hardiness in the face of setbacks.
5. Spend more time in nature
Being outdoors allows us to connect more deeply with our mind and body, something that will increase our strength of personality and character. We can make nature a part of our daily routines by walking or cycling to work, or by relaxing in the garden in the evening.
Sisu is much more than a passing fad. Much like Hygge and Lagom before it, it's a way of life. And by taking the time to cultivate it, we'll not only increase our wellbeing and enhance our resilience but find joy in the knowledge that we are firmly in control of our lives.