Lessons learned - the Moomins


The Moomins, created by Finnish author Tove Jansson, offer valuable lessons and insights that resonate with people of all ages. Here are some key lessons we can learn from the Moomins:


At first, when my son was small (like 2 years old), he was afraid of the Moomins. At some events, he saw the series and he didn't like it because he would point out it looked too scary and gloomy. When he started pre-school things changed and he started to know the stories about the Moomins, we have read a few books by then too. And I'll say for myself I started to like them too. The more we live in Finland, the bigger our love for the Moomins is. There is a huge trend to collect for instance coffee mugs in Finland and collect special editions of the Moomins kitchenware. It's literally everywhere you go. 

The reason why I like the Moomins is simple. You can find so many diverse characters in the story, not all are nice (just like in real life) and the Moomins stay the same, as it goes in the theme song: they are loving and caring and sharing and giving the Moomins. 

(Verse 1) Moomin, Moomin, gentle and kind Freedom and friendship are waiting to find Adventures always linger near The Moomins believe the love conquers fear

(Chorus) Come with me to Moomin Valley Where the sun always shines Come with me to Moomin Valley Where troubles are few and far behind

(Verse 2) Moomin, Moomin, your heart's full of love Your innocent wisdom is sent from above With Snufkin and Little My by your side In Moomin Valley, let's take a ride

(Chorus) Come with me to Moomin Valley Where the sun always shines Come with me to Moomin Valley Where troubles are few and far behind

It is their attitude towards life, family&friends and nature that is so inspiring. I would love to write my perspective on these valuable lessons as I have been living in Finland for over 10 years and I have witnessed how immensely the Moomins are integrated into Finnish culture from very early age. Let me sup up the psychological reasons, justifications and explanation on why to take an example from them.

Embrace nature 

As we all can vividly imagine, Finland as a country is spacious and there is a lot of nature. It is usually very easy to walk in nature, whether it is in the forest, at beach or lake.  Perhaps because of the strong feeling and connection with nature, Finns tend to score as the happiest nation in the world. Let's break it down. The psychological importance of connection with nature is profound and multifaceted, encompassing a range of benefits for mental health, well-being, and overall quality of life. Here are some key psychological reasons why connecting with nature is essential:

Stress Reduction:

Spending time in nature has been consistently linked to reduced stress levels. Nature's calming influence, serene landscapes, and tranquil surroundings promote relaxation, lower cortisol levels, and alleviate feelings of tension and anxiety.

Improved Mood:

Connecting with nature can elevate mood and enhance emotional well-being. Exposure to natural environments stimulates the release of endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin—neurotransmitters associated with happiness and positive mood. Nature also offers opportunities for awe, wonder, and appreciation, which uplift mood and foster a sense of joy and contentment.

Enhanced Cognitive Function:

Nature has a restorative effect on cognitive function, including attention, concentration, and memory. Time spent in natural settings reduces mental fatigue, enhances cognitive clarity, and improves problem-solving skills. Nature's sensory richness and inherent fascination engage the mind and promote mental rejuvenation.

Promotion of Mindfulness:

Nature facilitates mindfulness—an awareness of the present moment with openness and acceptance. Immersion in natural surroundings encourages sensory awareness, grounding techniques, and a deep connection with the environment. Mindful engagement with nature promotes stress resilience, emotional regulation, and overall psychological well-being.

Increased Resilience:

Building a connection with nature cultivates resilience—the ability to adapt and bounce back from adversity. Nature offers valuable lessons in impermanence, resilience, and renewal, reminding individuals of their own capacity for growth, healing, and transformation. Nature's cycles of growth, decay, and regeneration mirror the ebb and flow of life's challenges and transitions.

Fostering Connection and Belonging:

Connecting with nature fosters a sense of connection and belonging—to oneself, to others, and to the wider world. Nature provides opportunities for solitude and introspection, as well as shared experiences and communal bonds. Whether alone or in community, individuals feel a sense of interconnectedness and unity with nature, promoting feelings of belonging and acceptance.

Promotion of Physical Activity:

Engaging with nature often involves physical activity, such as walking, hiking, or gardening. Regular physical activity in natural environments promotes physical health, vitality, and energy levels, while also boosting mood and reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Cherish moments with the loved ones

The psychological importance of connection with loved ones cannot be overstated, as it plays a fundamental role in shaping our well-being, resilience, and overall quality of life. Cherishing moments involves intentionally recognizing, appreciating, and savoring the experiences, relationships, and joys that enrich our lives. Here are some ways to cherish moments and why it's important: practice mindfulness, express gratitude, capture memories, celebrate milestones, prioritise quality time, embrace imperfection, reflect on life's lessons. Cherishing moments is important because it: enhances well-being, strengthens relationships, brings meaning and purpose. 

Here are some key psychological reasons why connection with loved ones is essential:

Emotional Support:

Loved ones provide emotional support and validation during times of joy, sorrow, and everything in between. Having someone to confide in, share experiences with, and lean on during challenging times enhances emotional resilience and promotes mental health and well-being.

Generational Continuity: Family connections bridge generational divides, linking past, present, and future generations in a continuum of shared experiences and traditions. Maintaining strong family ties preserves cultural heritage, transmits family values, and strengthens intergenerational bonds, ensuring a sense of continuity and legacy for future generations.

Sense of Belonging:

Connection with loved ones fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance, which is essential for psychological health. Feeling connected to family, friends, and community members provides a sense of identity, purpose, and security, contributing to overall feelings of happiness and fulfillment.

Socialization and Development: Family relationships serve as a primary context for socialization and development, particularly during childhood and adolescence. Interactions with parents, siblings, and extended family members provide opportunities for learning social skills, emotional regulation, and problem-solving abilities that are essential for navigating relationships and life transitions.

Identity and Belonging: Family relationships play a central role in shaping individual identity and fostering a sense of belonging. Family members provide a sense of continuity, heritage, and shared history that contributes to a person's sense of self and cultural identity. Feeling connected to one's family roots and heritage provides a foundation of support and identity in an ever-changing world.

Emotional Bonding: Family connections are characterized by strong emotional bonds and attachments that promote feelings of love, security, and belonging. Sharing experiences, memories, and traditions with family members strengthens these bonds, fostering a sense of connectedness and unity within the family unit.

Stress Reduction:

Interacting with loved ones has been shown to reduce stress levels and buffer against the negative effects of stress on mental and physical health. Social support from loved ones can mitigate the impact of stressful life events, lower cortisol levels, and promote relaxation and emotional regulation.

Enhanced Self-Esteem:

Positive relationships with loved ones contribute to a healthy sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Feeling valued, appreciated, and loved by others boosts self-confidence and self-assurance, while also providing a buffer against negative self-perceptions and self-doubt.

Increased Resilience:

Connection with loved ones enhances resilience—the ability to bounce back from adversity and navigate life's challenges with greater ease. Having a strong support network of family and friends provides a sense of security, reassurance, and hope during difficult times, empowering individuals to persevere and thrive in the face of adversity.

Values and Morals: Family connections transmit values, morals, and ethical principles that guide individual behavior and decision-making. Through interaction with family members, individuals learn important lessons about empathy, compassion, integrity, and responsibility, shaping their moral compass and ethical worldview.

Improved Mental Health:

Strong social connections have been consistently linked to improved mental health outcomes, including lower rates of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Interacting with loved ones promotes feelings of happiness, fulfillment, and life satisfaction, while also reducing the risk of mental health disorders and improving overall psychological well-being.

Healthier Lifestyle Choices:

Connection with loved ones can influence lifestyle choices and health behaviors in positive ways. Engaging in activities with family and friends, such as exercise, healthy eating, and recreational pursuits, promotes physical health and well-being, while also fostering social bonds and camaraderie.

Create joy in every activity

Isn't this just a common sense? No one can doubt that bringing joy to your life step by step will enhance your well-being. 

Let's consider the example of doing household chores, such as washing dishes:


  1. Enhanced Well-Being: Infusing joy into mundane tasks like washing dishes can boost your overall well-being by turning an otherwise tedious chore into a pleasant experience.
  2. Mindfulness Practice: Using dishwashing as an opportunity to practice mindfulness allows you to cultivate presence and appreciation for the present moment, reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
  3. Opportunity for Gratitude: Expressing gratitude for having clean dishes and a functioning kitchen can shift your perspective and help you appreciate the abundance in your life, fostering feelings of contentment and fulfillment.
  4. Creative Expression: Engaging creatively with the task of washing dishes, such as experimenting with different techniques or finding joy in the sensory experience of water and soap bubbles, adds an element of playfulness and fun to the activity.


  1. Create a Pleasant Environment: Play your favorite music or podcast while washing dishes to create a more enjoyable atmosphere.
  2. Practice Mindfulness: Focus your attention on the sensations of washing dishes—feel the warm water on your hands, notice the texture of the dishes, and observe the soothing rhythm of the activity.
  3. Find Joy in Small Moments: Look for small moments of joy and beauty in the task, such as admiring the sparkle of clean dishes or enjoying the scent of freshly washed dishes.
  4. Express Gratitude: Take a moment to express gratitude for having clean dishes and the ability to nourish yourself and your loved ones with home-cooked meals.
  5. Make it a Ritual: Turn dishwashing into a ritual by approaching it with intention and mindfulness. View it as an opportunity to care for your home and create a sense of order and cleanliness in your space.
  6. Involve Others: If you live with family or roommates, consider involving them in the task and turning it into a shared activity. Use the time to connect, share stories, and bond over a common task.
  7. Focus on the Present: Practice letting go of distractions and worries about the past or future, and instead, focus your attention fully on the task at hand. By immersing yourself in the present moment, you can find joy and satisfaction in the simple act of washing dishes.

By applying these strategies, you can transform a seemingly mundane activity like washing dishes into a joyful and fulfilling experience that contributes to your overall well-being and happiness.

Cultivate playful and positive mindset

I have covered this principle in other article and I will talk about this over and over again. As it is a crucial component in human's well-being. We cannot be serious at all times and we shall live our lives with a pinch of spontaneity and playful mindset. We are the ones who play the game, even if some rules already exist, we can play the game and stay playful not stressful. 

Let's consider the example of commuting to work:


  1. Reduced Stress: Adopting a playful mindset during your commute can help reduce stress by reframing it as an opportunity for enjoyment rather than a source of frustration.
  2. Enhanced Creativity: Approaching your commute with a playful attitude can stimulate creativity and innovation, as you may come up with new ideas or solutions while in a relaxed and open-minded state.
  3. Improved Mood: Infusing your commute with playfulness can lift your mood and increase feelings of happiness and well-being, making the journey more enjoyable.
  4. Building Resilience: Embracing a playful mindset helps build resilience by allowing you to adapt to unexpected challenges or delays with a sense of humor and flexibility.


  1. Explore New Routes: Instead of taking the same route every day, try exploring different routes or modes of transportation to add variety and excitement to your commute.
  2. Engage Your Senses: Pay attention to your surroundings and engage your senses by noticing the sights, sounds, and smells of your commute. Take pleasure in the beauty of nature, the hustle and bustle of city life, or the quietude of the early morning.
  3. Listen to Music or Podcasts: Create a playful atmosphere by listening to upbeat music, podcasts, or audiobooks that you enjoy. Use this time to discover new music or learn something new while en route to your destination.
  4. Practice Mindfulness: Use your commute as an opportunity to practice mindfulness by focusing on your breath, tuning into your body, and being fully present in the moment. Let go of worries about the past or future and immerse yourself in the experience of the present.
  5. Engage in Imaginative Play: Allow your imagination to run wild during your commute by engaging in imaginative play. Visualize yourself as a character in a story, create imaginary scenarios, or daydream about your aspirations and goals.
  6. Connect with Others: If you're commuting with others, whether it's carpooling with coworkers or riding public transportation, use this time to connect and socialize. Strike up conversations, share stories, or simply enjoy each other's company.
  7. Embrace Spontaneity: Be open to spontaneity and unexpected opportunities that may arise during your commute. Take detours, explore new neighborhoods, or stop at a local café for a spontaneous coffee break.

By adopting a playful mindset during your commute, you can transform an otherwise mundane experience into a source of joy, creativity, and connection. Embrace the spirit of playfulness, and watch as your commute becomes a highlight of your day rather than a chore.

Create a cosy space for yourself

Being alone is essential for self-discovery, emotional regulation, creativity, personal growth, and well-being. It provides individuals with the space and freedom to explore their inner world, pursue their passions, and cultivate a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. Embracing solitude as a valuable aspect of life can lead to greater self-awareness, resilience, and fulfillment.

Here are several reasons why being alone is valuable:

Self-Reflection: Spending time alone allows individuals to engage in self-reflection and introspection. Without the distractions of others, individuals can explore their thoughts, feelings, and values more deeply, gaining insight into themselves and their lives.
Emotional Regulation: Solitude provides a space for individuals to regulate their emotions and recharge mentally and emotionally. It allows them to process their experiences, manage stress, and restore balance to their inner world.
Creativity and Innovation: Alone time fosters creativity and innovation by providing an opportunity for uninterrupted focus and deep thinking. Many creative breakthroughs and insights occur when individuals are alone, free from external influences and distractions.
Independence and Self-Reliance: Being alone encourages independence and self-reliance as individuals learn to rely on themselves for companionship, entertainment, and problem-solving. It fosters a sense of autonomy and self-confidence, empowering individuals to navigate life with greater resilience and resourcefulness.
Personal Growth: Solitude is essential for personal growth and development. It allows individuals to explore new interests, pursue passions, and set personal goals without the influence or expectations of others. Alone time provides space for exploration, experimentation, and self-discovery, leading to greater self-awareness and fulfillment.
Restorative Solitude: Solitude serves as a form of self-care, providing individuals with the opportunity to rest, recharge, and prioritize their well-being. It offers a respite from the demands of social interactions and responsibilities, allowing individuals to replenish their energy and renew their sense of purpose.
Freedom and Authenticity: Being alone enables individuals to be their authentic selves without fear of judgment or conformity. It allows them to express their thoughts, emotions, and desires freely, fostering a sense of authenticity and integrity in their relationships and interactions.

Reflect on life's meaning

Reflecting on life's meaning is a deeply personal and introspective process that involves contemplating your values, beliefs, experiences, and aspirations. Here are some steps to help you engage in meaningful reflection:

Create Space for Reflection: Set aside dedicated time and space for reflection where you can be alone and free from distractions. Find a quiet and comfortable environment where you can focus your thoughts and emotions without interruptions.

Ask Meaningful Questions: Start by asking yourself thought-provoking questions that encourage deeper reflection on the meaning of life. Consider questions such as:
  1. What values are most important to me?
  2. What brings me joy and fulfillment?
  3. What are my greatest strengths and passions?
  4. What legacy do I want to leave behind?
  5. What do I believe gives life meaning and purpose?
Journaling: Keep a journal or notebook to record your thoughts, insights, and reflections. Writing can help clarify your thoughts and feelings, allowing you to explore deeper aspects of your identity and purpose.
Explore Your Values: Reflect on your core values and beliefs about what is important and meaningful in life. Consider how your values influence your decisions, behaviors, and relationships, and whether they align with your sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Examine Life Experiences: Reflect on significant life experiences, both positive and negative, and consider how they have shaped your understanding of life's meaning. Look for patterns, themes, and lessons that emerge from your experiences and how they contribute to your sense of purpose and identity. 
Seek Inspiration: Draw inspiration from literature, philosophy, spirituality, and the wisdom of others to deepen your understanding of life's meaning. Explore books, podcasts, lectures, and teachings that resonate with your values and beliefs, and reflect on how they inform your perspective on life.
Practice Gratitude: Cultivate an attitude of gratitude by reflecting on the blessings and opportunities in your life. Acknowledge the people, experiences, and moments that bring joy, fulfillment, and meaning to your life, and express gratitude for their presence.

Connect with Others: Engage in meaningful conversations with friends, family, or mentors who share your interest in exploring life's meaning. Share your reflections and insights with others, and listen to their perspectives and experiences to gain new insights and perspectives. 

Embrace Uncertainty: Recognize that the search for life's meaning is an ongoing and evolving process, and that it is okay to embrace uncertainty and ambiguity. Allow yourself to explore different perspectives and possibilities without feeling pressured to have all the answers.

Take Action: Reflecting on life's meaning is not just about introspection—it's also about taking action to align your life with your values and aspirations. Consider how you can live more authentically, purposefully, and intentionally in accordance with your understanding of life's meaning.

By engaging in thoughtful reflection and exploration, you can deepen your understanding of life's meaning and purpose, leading to greater clarity, fulfillment, and alignment with your values and aspirations.