8 Tiny Parisian Secrets To A Happier Life

Why people in Paris are happier and how to improve your life.

Happy young woman in Paris taking a photo Eiffel Tower  RossHelen, teetuey | Canva

It is no secret Paris is a top destination, not only for shopping and fashion but also for living in the moment and their way of viewing their time on earth. Paris has been the home of great designers, poets, writers, and artists of all trades you can think of. It is one of the most thriving creative environments, with everything from food, wine, and architecture being an epitome of beauty. Authentic is the word that I would use to describe Paris and its culture. This choice is because everyone there is devoted to being their authentic self, exploring their creativity, taking care of themselves, and how they present themselves to the world.


After a few trips to Paris, a few people-watching sessions from roadside cafes, discussions with Parisians, reading some Paris-based authors, and listening to Paris-based artists, I’ve managed to extract a few qualities and approaches they have that make their lives better. You don’t need to live in Paris to embrace these qualities. You simply need to be open and move the focus on certain aspects of your life, right where you are now. 

Here are the eight Parisian secrets to a happier life:

1. Appreciating the little things in life

This is not only the way Parisians live, but also how most of the people in the Blue Zones around the globe live. It all comes down to a feeling of gratitude, which will undoubtedly raise your vibration and attract more things that will make you grateful for. Parisians are focused on quality and appreciate their croissants in the morning, their well-done espresso or noisette coffee, a good glass of wine, sitting on the terrace under the sun, walks on the Seine, etc. Whatever they do, they fully and wholeheartedly appreciate it and enjoy it. They don’t rush their coffee; they enjoy it. They don’t eat some pastry to get faster to the office, they enjoy a croissant. They don’t drink alcohol to get drunk, they take their time with a glass of good wine.


Embracing Joie De Vivre: 8 Parisian Secrets To A Happier LifePhoto: Look Studio / Shutterstock

RELATED: Gratitude For The Small Things Could Have The Biggest Impact On Your Happiness

2. Double down on self-care

Self-care is not only about skincare and pampering. Self-care is about nurturing your peace, drinking quality wine or coffee, paying attention to the food you eat, having me-time often, reading a good book, spending time in silence, prioritizing sleep, etc.


The Western culture of hustling and workaholism doesn’t find a place in Paris. It’s very common in companies in Paris and Europe in general, even the corporate world, for people to come to the office around 10 a.m., prioritizing their self-care routine in the morning, enjoying a good coffee, walking in the sun, and only then starting to work. Also, they take breaks often to relax and disconnect. And they don’t work overtime, as they prioritize their free time. The Parisian way of life is to organize your life in a way that makes you happy.   

3. Appreciate and study the beauty in life

This is the reason why Paris has amazing and well-preserved architecture, countless art galleries, street musicians, and a lot of sitting areas. People appreciate the beauty of life, from nature and parks to all kinds of entertainment and culture. They might be software engineers or bankers, but they don’t only consume tech or financial videos, books, or articles. They study and enjoy art, new music, history, fiction books, and such cultural habits, unrelated to their work.

This is an amazing tip to avoid burnout at work: have hobbies, or things you enjoy that are totally outside your sphere of work. Steve Jobs studied numerology and calligraphy while building a tech company, and it’s the biggest company in the world.

4. Have a routine and adhere to it 

A chaotic lifestyle is not beneficial in any context and for any person. People are built to have a structure in their life. And the lack of it, makes the brain overwork and causes mental fatigue faster than needed. Parisians seemed to adhere to seemingly structured routines:

  • Same kind of coffee and from the same café each morning
  • Socializing over lunch
  • A glass of wine on the terrace after work, usually the same place but not always
  • Dinner out or drinks in the evening, along with socializing

Adhering to a routine will also eliminate decision fatigue, a sense of familiarity and safety, and will allow you to focus your energy on the goals of the day.

RELATED: 23 Life Coaches & Experts Share Small, Daily Habits That Help You Keep A Positive Outlook

5. Take breaks often and disconnect

This is one of the things I noticed first, not only at Parisians but at most of the French people, they love their breaks. No doubt working with breaks has been scientifically proven to increase performance. This is what the Pomodoro Technique promotes: working in cycles of 25 minutes with a 5-minute break. But it can be tailored to the times you like. However, what Parisians seemed to do greatly, was to fully disconnect from work during their break. How did they do that:

  • Taking a break outside the office
  • Only reading or discussing other topics
  • Not talking about work on their break



6. Express your authenticity

Probably the most famous thing about Parisians is their looks and outfits. The berets and scarves became symbols of Paris, but the world of fashion evolved massively in Paris. Parisians, disregarding their social status, salary, or wealth, pay attention to how they dress and present themselves to the world. They have a disregard for uniforms, and put an accent on dressing however is suitable for them, in a way that expresses their personality. This is an amazing way to keep yourself happy, listen to yourself, not suppress yourself and your feelings, and align with your subconscious mind.


RELATED: 4 Ways To Lean Into The Power Of Being Authentically You

7. Invest in yourself

This is something I learned by discussing with Parisians and it can have plenty of bad examples, but I chose to see it in a different light. People invest in themselves and their well-being. They prioritize their development and pleasure. For example:

  • They buy books to help with their self-development journey or just to relax with a good fiction
  • They  upgrade their wardrobe to make them feel good
  • They celebrate themselves often and treat themselves to presents
  • They go to wellness centers and classes
  • They treat themselves to good food and wine outside to unwind
  • They prioritize self-development on top of professional development

I have to mention that they prioritize self-development on top of professional one even as young people who are still developing professionally. When well-being is a priority, it’s much harder to fall into burnout and depression. Note: There is a very fine line between investing in yourself and treating yourself with presents and spending more than you should.


8. Utmost respect for culture

French people, similar to Italians, Spanish people, Portuguese people, and Romanians, appreciate culture. The Roman Empire was very centered around culture. Architecture, painting, literature, and music are not something that certain people are interested in, but rather something most people are interested in. The tastes differ, obviously, but they all have a preference. This helps with brain development, cognitive training to identify patterns, forming tastes and opinions, and embracing your true self. It’s a massive advantage in personal growth and self-development, while also cultivating creativity.

Parisians have a way of enjoying life that’s both intriguing and motivating to others. They teach us about enjoying the little things and living mindfully, and they keep away from depression and burnout much more than other people.

RELATED: 8 Easy Ways To Bring Joy Into Your Life Every Day

Alexandru Lazar is a software engineer, entrepreneur, writer, and contributor to YourTango. He’s had articles on self-improvement, fitness, and wellness, featured on a range of Medium publications, as well as part of his Newsletter, Rise by 1%.