Skip to Content

15 Things to Learn From Europeans to Live Longer and Happier

15 Things to Learn From Europeans to Live Longer and Happier

Ever wondered how a leisurely coffee in a Parisian café or a bike ride through Copenhagen could improve your life? Europeans have mastered the art of living well, with habits that contribute to longevity and happiness. By borrowing a page from their book, we can infuse our lives with a bit of this European magic. Let’s explore 15 life lessons from across the pond that promise a more joyful and enriched existence.

1. Embracing Work-Life Balance

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

In France, the 35-hour workweek isn’t just a policy; it’s a lifestyle choice that prioritizes personal time over professional demands. This balance is believed to contribute to lower stress levels and higher life satisfaction. Americans could seek to replicate this by advocating for more flexible work policies and valuing time off as essential to well-being.

2. Prioritizing Vacation Time

shutterstock_2183226477 (1)

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Song_about_summer

Unlike many Americans who often leave vacation days on the table, Europeans like the Italians make full use of their holiday entitlements, sometimes taking the entire month of August off. This extended break is key to reducing burnout, refreshing the mind, and fostering family connections. Adopting a similar approach could help Americans rejuvenate and return to work more productive and fulfilled.

3. Daily Physical Activity

Image Credit: Shutterstock / ORION PRODUCTION

The active lifestyle of the Dutch, with cycling as a prime example, integrates physical activity into daily routines rather than segregating it as a task to be completed. This habit contributes to the Netherlands’ high rankings in health and happiness. Incorporating more physical activity into everyday life can offer Americans a simple yet effective way to improve health and well-being.

4. Eating Whole Foods

Image Credit: Shutterstock / marilyn barbone

The Mediterranean diet focuses on the consumption of whole foods, with minimal processing, and is linked to longevity and reduced disease rates. Emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, this diet celebrates the pleasure of eating nourishing foods. A shift towards a more Mediterranean-inspired diet could lead to better health outcomes for Americans.

5. Valuing Community

Image Credit: Shutterstock / melissamn

In many European societies, there’s a strong emphasis on community and social connections, which are critical for mental health and longevity. Whether through frequent family gatherings or community events, these connections provide essential support systems. Strengthening community bonds in the U.S. could foster a sense of belonging and support mental health.

6. Practicing Mindfulness

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tanja Esser

Mindfulness and living in the present are central to the Scandinavian concept of “hygge,” which is associated with contentment and happiness. By focusing on the moment and cultivating a sense of peace, Americans can reduce stress and enhance life satisfaction.

7. Sustainable Living

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Shyntartanya

Europeans, particularly in countries like Germany and Sweden, lead in adopting sustainable practices, from recycling to using renewable energy sources. This respect for the environment not only contributes to a healthier planet but also fosters a sense of responsibility and well-being among individuals. Embracing more sustainable living habits could help Americans feel more connected to their environment and future generations.

8. Moderate Drinking

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alexander Chaikin

In places like Italy and France, alcohol is often enjoyed in moderation with meals, contrasting with the binge-drinking culture seen in parts of the U.S. This moderate approach can contribute to a healthier relationship with alcohol and enhance social interactions without the negative health impacts of excessive drinking.

9. Taking Siestas

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Stokkete

The Spanish tradition of taking a siesta or a short nap after lunch recognizes the natural dip in energy levels many people experience in the afternoon. This rest period can lead to improved productivity and well-being. While a full siesta might not fit into the American workday, adopting short rest breaks could improve mental clarity and reduce fatigue.

10. Public Transportation

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Life In Pixels

Many European cities boast efficient public transportation systems, reducing reliance on cars, decreasing pollution, and encouraging walking. Emulating this aspect could lead to healthier, more active lifestyles in the U.S., along with environmental benefits.

11. Appreciating the Arts

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tupungato

Cultural appreciation is woven into the fabric of European society, with regular attendance at museums, theaters, and concerts. This engagement with the arts enriches the soul and promotes a sense of community and creativity. Americans could benefit from integrating more cultural activities into their lives for a richer, more connected experience.

12. Enjoying Outdoor Cafés

Image Credit: Shutterstock / BearFotos

The European habit of leisurely enjoying coffee or meals outdoors at cafés emphasizes the joy of savoring the moment and engaging with the world around us. This practice can enhance mood and provide a welcome break in our often hectic lives.

13. Learning Multiple Languages

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Prostock-studio

The European emphasis on learning multiple languages from a young age fosters greater cognitive flexibility and cultural understanding. Americans could enhance their cognitive skills and global perspective by embracing language learning.

14. Universal Healthcare

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Halfpoint

The accessibility of healthcare in many European countries, through universal healthcare systems, ensures that individuals receive preventive care and treatment without the stress of high costs. Advocating for more accessible healthcare in the U.S. could improve overall public health and reduce stress related to medical expenses.

15. Living Closer to Nature

Image Credit: Shutterstock / I Wei Huang

Europeans often live in close harmony with nature, whether it’s through weekend hikes in the Alps, picnics in the vast public parks of London, or simply embracing the outdoor lifestyle of the Mediterranean. This connection to the natural world is not only beneficial for physical health but also for mental well-being, providing a sense of peace and grounding.

A Different Way of Life 

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Zigres

By integrating these 15 practices into our daily routines, we can aspire to not only extend our lifespans but also enhance the quality of our lives. The journey towards adopting these habits may require a shift in mindset and priorities, but the rewards—increased happiness, health, and harmony—are well worth the effort

More From The Green Voyage

Top 10 Trending Travel Destinations 2024

6 Essential Banking Apps for International Travel – Managing Your Finances on the Go

Traveling With Kids – 10 Tips to Create Memorable Family Holidays

The post 15 Things to Learn From Europeans to Live Longer and Happier first appeared on The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / RnDmS.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

Related posts:

It's an Ohio Thing: 21 Weird Habits Cherished by the Buckeye State
25 Most Dangerous Places on Earth
22 Telltale Signs You've Spotted a Brit Abroad: A Fun Guide for American Travelers
10 Ways to Bag an Upgrade
17 Reasons Why the GOP’s Retirement Age Hike Could Derail Your Travel Dreams
25 American Experiences to Cross off Your Bucket List *Even if You’re American!
21 Quirky British Habits That Confound the Rest of the World: An American Traveler's Guide
21 Things to Teach Our Children to Save Their Planet
Try Something Different: 21 Undiscovered US Places to Vacation
20 Glowing Waters: Where to Witness the Magic of Bioluminescence
17 Countries Female Americans Travel to Escape Sexism - Empowerment!
21 Delicious Bargains - Foods Cheaper to Savor on Vacation Than at Home
18 Budget-Friendly Boomer Travel Trends Making a Surprising Return
20 Most Amazing Palaces in the World
15 of the World’s Most Bizarre Natural Phenomena
18 Unconventional Jobs That Take You Around the World
Top 20 U.S. States for Thriving Careers and Bigger Paychecks!
18 Astonishing Ways Travel Will Change in the Next 20 Years
20 Most Insane Parties in the World
21 Things Colorado Is Proud Of
20 Good Reasons Not to Travel Outside the US
25 Ways US Travel Was Unbeatably Better 25 Years Ago
Top 21 Must-Visit American Wine Regions
20 Must-Know Things Americans Should Know about Traveling to Europe
21 Ways to Entertain Kids on a Flight and Keep Yourself Sane
17 Reasons Americans Are Trading Politics for Passports
15 Weird Texan Traditions
21 Reasons Sane People Detest Camping
Digital Nomad Heaven - Top 21 Cities with Lightning-Fast Internet and Low Living Costs
15 Ways to Avoid Getting Ripped Off Abroad