Thoughts on Record: Podcast of the Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Katja Pantzar: The Finnish Way: Finding Courage, Wellness and Happiness Through the Power of Sisu

August 02, 2021 Season 2 Episode 30
Thoughts on Record: Podcast of the Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Katja Pantzar: The Finnish Way: Finding Courage, Wellness and Happiness Through the Power of Sisu
Show Notes

Finland is consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world by the United Nations.  Author & journalist, Katja Pantzar, who has written extensively about the potential wellness promoting aspects of the Finnish ethos in The Finnish Way: Finding Courage, Wellness and Happiness Through the Power of Sisu (as well as her upcoming book Everyday Sisu: Tapping into Finnish Fortitude for a Happier, More Resilient Life) joins us for a discussion of: 

  • a brief overview of some of the features of the Finnish lifestyle that contribute to wellness
  • reflections on Katja's journey back to her ancestral Finland
  • Katja's lifelong struggle with depression & anxiety and how she has found healing in the Finnish lifestyle
  • the definition, origin and day-to-day application of the concept of Sisu and why it is so central to the Finnish mindset 
  • finding strength in vulnerability and realistic expectations
  • Finnish society's stance towards mental health
  • the therapeutic benefits of cold (ice bath) and hot treatments (sauna) for psychological well-being and the cultural and psychosocial significance of the sauna to the Finns
  • the generally active lifestyle enjoyed by many Finns and the potential implications for wellness
  • the role that exposure to nature can play in the maintenance of wellness 
  • how alternating exposure to prolonged periods of light and darkness influences the rhythm of Finnish life and how it may affect the national mindset

Host note: this episode is dedicated to all the wonderful Finns who have shown me so much kindness and hospitality over the years, especially the Häkli and Bensky families. 

Katja Pantzar is a Helsinki-based writer, editor and broadcast journalist. Raised in Canada, with stints in New Zealand and the UK, Katja writes on a variety of topics ranging from wellbeing and mental health to sustainability, social issues, inclusivity, design, travel and business. She is currently working on her second book about sisu, a unique Finnish form of grit in the face of challenges, big and small. Everyday Sisu: Tapping into Finnish Fortitude for a Happier, More Resilient Life will be published by Penguin Random House US in February 2022. It’s a follow-up to her first sisu book, The Finnish Way: Finding Courage, Wellness and Happiness Through the Power of Sisu which was published in 22 territories around the world during 2018 and 2019 and translated into 20 different languages. She has been a regular contributor to Blue Wings, the inflight magazine of Finnair, and worked as a freelance broadcast journalist (TV, radio and web) with Yle News at the Finnish public broadcasting corporation, and as an occasional Helsinki correspondent for Monocle 24. Her articles have appeared in  newspapers ranging from the Globe and Mail (Canada) to magazines such as Elle (Denmark). Katja is also the author of two guidebooks to the Finnish capital, Helsinki by Light (Siltala/2015) and 100 things to do in Helsinki (Siltala/2017). Katja holds a master’s degree in International Journalism from the City University of London (England) and a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Simon Fraser University (Canada).

https://twitter.com/KatjaPantzar

https://www.instagram.com/katjapantzar/