5 Lifestyle Philosophies to Consider Embracing

Linked by themes of intention and mindfulness, discover how these culture-centric rituals might enhance your well-being.
24 May 2023
Words by: Bridget Barnett

These five lifestyle philosophies from around the world are geared towards self-improvement and enriching your life. Whether there is one you are particularly drawn towards, or a notion from each that strikes a chord, being conscious of what they stand for, and learning how they might come into play for you on a day-to-day basis, is a tool for self-improvement.


Ikigai is a Japanese philosophy that translates into ‘reason for being.’ In Western cultures, ikigai is usually used as a term to describe finding your perfect career, while in Japanese culture it is used in relation to finding your life purpose, joy, or inspiration. In the Japanese language, ‘iki’ means ‘life,’ while ‘gai’ means worth.

How to embrace it?
Follow the 10 rules of ikigai – stay active, take it slow, eat a little less than your hunger demands, surround yourself with good friends, get in shape for your next birthday, smile, reconnect with nature, give thanks, live in the moment and discover, and follow, your ikigai.

A room overlooking Lake Yamanaka and the glorious Mt. Fuji, and the beautiful morning sun flooding into the room
Photograph by Sarah Ruhull


The Swedish term lagom, which translates into “not too little, not too much”, is a lifestyle rooted in balance. The philosophy draws upon themes of social awareness, moderation, and sustainability and encourages people to contribute to causes greater than themselves and not to force happiness.

How to embrace it?

Ways to incorporate the lagom way into your lifestyle include seeing the positive side in situations, being sustainable where possible, respecting and enjoying nature, practising active listening, balancing exercise with moments of rest, and taking regular breaks when working.


Arguably the most well-known lifestyle philosophy, the Danish concept of hygge is all about embracing feelings of contentment, cosiness, and well-being through the art of appreciating the small things in life – from the ritual of your favourite tea, or a simple dinner with loved ones. The word hygge translates roughly into the phrase “quality of cosiness”.

How to embrace it?
Follow the 10 rules of hygge – enjoy simple pleasures, be present and thankful, stay an extra hour in bed, barbeque outside, reuse and recycle, take up a new hobby, don’t stress, appreciate your surroundings and enjoy a good book.

Woman’s hand holding a book in a field with yellow flowers
Photograph by Tuğba Kobal
People inside building with a large roof hole
Photography by Denis Kovalev


Considered the Finnish art of inner strength, Sisu – which roughly translates into “perseverance and resilience” – is a concept rooted in stoic determination, tenacity of purpose, grit, and hardiness. Living your life this way isn’t about physical strength but about being the hero of your own story, and accepting life’s low moments without letting them take over your life.

How to embrace it?
Practical examples include doing a good job even when no one is watching, being counted on to fix things, using your voice even when it’s easier to stay silent, and working towards long-term goals instead of short-term gains.

5. REN

A foundation of Confucianism – the ancient Chinese belief system of ethics and morals – is the philosophy of Ren, which roughly translates into “co-humanity”, or “human excellence.” From a philosophical perspective, it encourages living a virtuous life, where humans flourish by creating a harmonious society.

How to embrace it?
Practical examples include implementing a random act of kindness every day, taking the time to care for your elders, embracing others with compassion and mercy, and making choices that inflict as little harm to people and the planet as possible.

More Resources

Looking for more information about lifestyle philosophies?
Here are three links:

These links are shared with the only intention of being helpful, and have no affiliation with The New Moon.