Fjaka: The Croatian Secret to Happiness

Do you want to be a happier person with nothing standing in your way? All you have to do is learn the Croatian practice of fjaka. The people of Croatia have found their own foolproof recipe for happiness and joy every day – and it’s something that anyone can bring home with them.

Woman swimming in beautiful clear water in Croatia
Woman swimming in beautiful clear water in Croatia. Photo: iStock.com / bingokid

Rest is most often associated with summer and free time. The sun, the sea, and the warm climate all put us in a good mood and infuse us with a sense of happiness. This is, of course, why we book vacations to sunny beaches – it’s no secret that sun, sea, and a little extra vitamin D can work wonders for our mental and spiritual health. But can we bring this sense of happy serenity to our lives when the weather outside the window is…less than ideal? The answer is simple. Just follow the example of the people of Croatia’s Dalmatian region and start practicing fjaka.

What is fjaka?

Fjaka is a reliable path to happiness. It originated in Dalmatia and is an integral part of the lives of the locals. There is no day without fjaka, as it gives life meaning and brings happiness and solace to the soul. At least, this is what Croatians claim.

It can be said that fjaka is a term for a relaxed state of body, mind, spirit, and heart. Fjaka means slowing down the pace of life, delighting in the present moment, and living in the here and now. Sometimes it can even be compared to meditation or a state of weightlessness, giving great happiness and contentment.

Happy people don’t measure time

To see what proper fjaka looks like, you have to come to Dalmatia. Its people are reliable in its daily practice and do it naturally and without thinking. Fjaka comes to them spontaneously, just when they least expect it.

We’ll give you an example. Picture palm trees, the sea, warm weather, and a small sidewalk cafe in an open space. A person is sitting in the cafe slowly takes a sip of aromatic coffee, closes their eyes, and a blissful smile appears on their lips. This is the embodiment of fjaka. It’s that moment when you forget all your worries, relax, and let go. It’s when you embrace happiness and joy in the present moment.

Practice makes perfect

You’re probably wondering how you can learn to practice fjaka and incorporate it into your daily life as well. It is said that fjaka is a true gift from God that only a select few have received. But with daily practice, you can feel it too. It won’t be so easy at first, but don’t be discouraged.

We have three tips to get you started. First, fjaka must not be a chore. It is supposed to come to you with ease and without thinking. It is supposed to be fun for you. Second, you must know that to feel fjaka, you should be fully relaxed and at ease. Third, practicing fjaka requires putting aside your worries and responsibilities. If you can do all this, you are already well on your way to happiness.

But our advice is to, if possible, take a trip to Dalmatia to learn the true art of fjaka. Here, with your face warmed by the sun and the sound of roaring sea waves in your ears, you will experience it much faster and easier. That way, you’ll have that perfect memory engrained in your head so you can bring it home and recreate the feeling anytime, anywhere.

Fjaka is not just a form of laziness. It is a way of life, a kind of relaxation and contentment with each day. It is a state of mind. And although it is not easy to learn, it is worth starting to practice it today. Because whoever has felt what fjaka is at least once will desire to feel this state every day. After all, there is nothing better than being a happy person.

See Also: Peka: The Ultimate Croatian Comfort Food

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