Say hello to Sisu
It's the latest buzzword set to change how we live and see the world, but what exactly is sisu? And, why do we need it? Roughly translated as having guts, resilience and determination, sisu is something that goes far beyond mere willpower. In fact, for those that have it, it can be life-changing. Read on to discover more about Scandinavia's latest export and find out why it's relevant right now.
What is Sisu?
We've all had those moments in life, at home or at work, where things just seem a little too daunting. Situations in which it feels impossible to keep on going, and yet somehow, we do. Times where our energy stores have been well and truly depleted but, from somewhere, we find a little extra strength, a strength we didn't know we had. That's Sisu.
Sisu is a Finnish word that doesn't have an English equivalent, but it can loosely be thought of as the ability to go beyond one's mental or physical capacity. It's about being determined in the face of adversity and finding the courage to keep the fight alive, long after others have succumbed.
But it's also about much more than that. Sisu has been a part of the Finnish culture for hundreds of years and has become a way of life, a strive for a contentedness and wellbeing.
What are the Benefits of Sisu?
While every individual is different, the potential rewards of living a life filled with Sisu are huge. It can increase our happiness, help us develop a sense of personality and character, and even give us the strength needed to take charge of our lives and become both mentally and physically tough.
Sisu in Action
Sisu can be actioned in many ways, including how we think about ourselves and what we choose to do. We explore some options below.
Engaging in self-belief and building resilience
Sisu is about having an unwavering self-belief and building resilience for when you need it most. It's about being in tune with our internal voice, knowing what our weaknesses are and actively taking steps to turn them into strengths. Life will always throw obstacles our way, but as long as we have faith in ourselves, we are more likely to overcome these challenges and setbacks.
Reconnecting with nature
A big part of cultivating Sisu is actively seeking a heightened sense of wellbeing, and this can be achieved through nature.
There are so many things we can do to increase the amount of time we spend outdoors. Simple activities like eating our meals al fresco, or relaxing by a garden fire in the evening are both good options that require little effort.
Appreciating silence and being alone with your thoughts
Taking time out to reconnect with our thoughts is also an important part of Sisu. Our lives are now so busy that we can often forget to 'switch off', but the benefits of doing so are plentiful. This could be as simple as having a lie-in on the weekend and appreciating the silence around us before getting on with the day.
There are of course many other ways in which Sisu can be applied to our daily lives, but practising self-belief, reconnecting with nature and spending time alone with our thoughts will all help us develop a hardiness that will equip us with the tools needed to build happier, more fulfilled lives. Just like our fellow, courageous Finns.