Finnish Sauna – Thinking Inside the Box

During these unusual conditions caused by COVID-19, many find themselves unease and distressed. The need to release stress and relieve anxiety is evident. Luckily, us Finns have a solution – the sauna.

Finland is the happiest country in the world according to the World Happiness Report, an annual publication of the UN. The report contains a ranking of national happiness based on respondent ratings of various life factors, such as general feeling of safety and satisfaction. This is the third time in a row that Finns are reported to be the happiest nation of the world.

Although the rest of the world has always been interested to study the reasons behind our happiness, the significance of this ranking is even more remarkable now that COVID-19 has brought troubled times upon the world. What is our secret for happiness, then?

You’ve probably heard the expression “thinking outside the box”. It means that you should get out of the comfort zone and start thinking things more broadly, in the way you haven’t thought them before. The phrase is very commonly used when one wants to find solutions. Although very important, sometimes thinking outside the box isn’t that easy, especially when you’re tired and anxious because of what happens in the surrounding world. Well, in Finland, we have our way around this. We do our thinking inside the box.

Thinking in the Finnish sauna

Warm, pampering steam. Relaxing wooden benches. Smell of birch and summer. Quietness. Finnish sauna is a perfect place to rest.

Sauna has been part of our life for centuries. It is a fundamental part of our culture and everyday life. Every third Finn goes to sauna more than once a week (twice on average) and almost 40% enjoy the soft steam multiple times a month. Sauna is the place where we rest and clean ourselves both physically and mentally. Place where our thoughts can just come and go.

Authentic Finnish sauna experience has multiple benefits. It effectively releases stress, helps to sleep better, helps your body and mind to recover, and is good for your skin. In addition, regular sauna bathing in a Finnish sauna has been scientifically proven to decrease risk for cardiovascular diseases, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Not everybody, not even us Finns, like to do sauna the same way. That’s the thing with the Finnish sauna — it can be altered for many needs. While some like it hot so they can take the best out of cooling down in the snow or icy lake, some prefer an average temperature which can be momentarily increased by throwing water on the sauna stove to create steam (löyly, as we call it). Some use sauna especially after exercising to release tension of their muscles and increase blood circulation. Others alter their sauna to a spa experience with various beauty treatments. Some just use it for general relaxation. All the ways of sauna bathing are approved. There are no rules. You can just listen to your body and mind and do as they ask.

Could a Finnish sauna be a good solution to your home too?

Authentic Finnish sauna experience is also a unique business opportunity! If you would like to offer your customers a place to take a moment from the hectic mind and focus on wellbeing, the authentic Finnish sauna experience is the solution. To help hotels, spas, gyms, and other service providers to create high-quality and authentic Finnish sauna experiences, Sauna from Finland published their new Authentic Finnish Sauna Experience Quality Handbook in May 2020 and the English version is coming up! Read more here.

Please note: don’t go to the sauna if you have a flu or are otherwise feeling unwell. Consult your doctor.

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Carita Harju

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