Psychologist From The Happiest Country In The World Shares 4 Phrases They Use Every Day

Staying present, grounded, and humble are major factors of feeling happy.

woman smiling Lina Kivaka / Pexels 

Happiness can take many forms, from ecstatic joy to a calmer sense of contentment. While we know what being happy feels like, it’s not necessarily quantifiable in tangible terms, at least in the sense that the root causes of happiness vary from person to person. 

Yet according to the United Nations’ World Happiness Report, one place ranks as the happiest country in the world: Finland. In fact, Finland has held its position as the happiest country for the last six years.


In an effort to further understand what makes Finnish citizens feel so good, researcher and psychologist, Frank Martela, has studied Finland’s culture of happiness.

The psychologist from Finland, the happiest country in the world, shared 4 phrases they use every day.

1. ‘Who has happiness should hide it’

Martela attributed this line to Finland’s national poet, Eino Leino. It captures a collective modest temperament, that even if you are over-the-moon elated, you shouldn’t show off to the people around you.



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Comparison is truly the thief of joy, as YourTango’s survey on Comparison Culture proved. 

In this survey, YourTango defined Comparison Culture as “a societal phenomenon in which individuals habitually engage in the practice of constantly measuring themselves, their achievements, possessions, and life circumstances against those of others.”

While some amount of comparing ourselves to the people around us is normal, engaging in comparison too often can lead to a sense of insecurity and unhappiness. 

73% of respondents to the survey reported experiencing a connection between Comparison Culture and depression or other mental health challenges.


According to Martela, one major aspect of Finnish happiness is avoiding the comparison trap and its negative effects on mental health. 

2. ‘The pessimist will never be disappointed’

Martela called this saying a “cultural constant” with no clear particular origin point. He pointed out that life will always be rife with speed bumps and setbacks, and our journey might not always look the way we want or expect it to look. 

Psychologist From The Happiest Country In The World Shares 4 Phrases They Use Everyday Photo: Maria Orlova / Pexels 


Yet recognizing and accepting the harder parts of life contributes to having a strong sense of resilience. The more we’re mentally prepared that not everything will go our way, the more tools we have to manage and improve what we do have.

3. ‘Everyone is the blacksmith of their own happiness’

This phrase has roots in a Latin saying, but Martela noted that it’s also been a popular Finnish saying for quite some time. 

The Finnish people take this to mean that each person is responsible for their happiness: It’s something we create, not something that’s just handed to us. 

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Psychologist From The Happiest Country In The World Shares 4 Phrases They Use Everyday Photo: Lucas Pezeta / Pexels 

Martela is quick to explain that just because our happiness is dependent on us as individuals, a community aid mindset is still hugely important. No person is an island. We all need emotional and practical support from the people around us to truly thrive.

Finland is an example of a nation with many built-in social safety nets that help people maintain a high quality of living.




There’s less income inequality in Finland, meaning that the gap between the highest earner and the lowest is much more narrow than in other places. 

There’s also a strong sense of social support and community closeness, which contributes to the overall happiness of Finnish citizens. 

The government itself runs with low levels of corruption, meaning that people trust the political landscape and believe they can rely on their democratic institutions to take care of them.


4. ‘Some have happiness, everyone has summer’

Martela framed this saying as one that has to do with life’s natural highs and lows. There are ebbs and flows to any person’s life, moments of shadow and moments of light. 

Letting go of the things we can’t control allows us to be more present, which is its own form of happiness. 

Yet no matter how hard life gets, or how long the winter of our soul seems, the seasons always turn and summer always comes. 


True happiness is more than an individual experience.

In calculating happiness around the world, the UN proclaims that “a population will only experience high levels of overall life satisfaction if its people are also pro-social, healthy, and prosperous.”

When societies care for the individuals who compose them, and people care for each other, that’s how happiness blooms.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture analysis, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.