Jakoś to Będzie: Poland's Anti-Hygge Approach to Happiness

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nurulanga/iStock via Getty Images / nurulanga/iStock via Getty Images

There are foreign-language phrases that describe situations as specific as wanting to squeeze something cute and needing to poop in a bookstore. But what about the universal experience of using hope to get through tough times? The Polish have a saying for that: jakoś to będzie.

After enduring the three partitions, two world wars, and Soviet rule, the people of Poland are well-acquainted with hardship. But instead of giving in to despair, they've found an optimistic way to respond to life's darkest and most uncertain moments. According to the BBC, jakoś to będzie (pronounced ya-kosh toe ben-jay) literally translates to "things will work out in the end." It's not an excuse to be passive in the face of obstacles. Rather, it's a way to let go of the things you can't control and act on the things you can without overthinking the consequences.

Poland's unique approach to mental well-being has been labeled as the anti-hygge in recent years. In Denmark, hygge describes the cozy feeling of being warm and safe indoors. That philosophy is great when you have time to spend a relaxing night at home, but less useful in life's more complicated moments when finding comfort is more important than ever.

In the book Somehow It Will Be: the Polish Way of Happiness, co-author Beata Chomątowska describes how happiness and struggle don't have to be mutually exclusive. When speaking of the Poles, she told For a State of Happiness, “Ordinary life is too boring. We can’t deal with it. We need the rush of adrenaline and can’t stand stability for a long time. We always had to fight and be active to reach our goals, like independence."

[h/t BBC]