7 Words of Wellbeing From Around the World

How to feel awesome in different languages.

A woman happily embraces a sunny summer’s day.

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Feeling awesome is a state of being that is treasured by all. That’s why so many languages contain beautiful, unique words that express life’s positive moments. Often untranslatable, these words say it as it is. Here is a collection of seven words that celebrate wellbeing.


Coming from Greece, ataraxia translates to a state of serene calmness, according to theresetritual. It originates from Epicurus, the Greek philosopher and scientist, who claimed that people should seek the absence of pain as opposed to pleasure.

Epicurus’ ataraxia is a freedom of worry and desires, which leads to serenity. In our fast-paced modern society of acquisitions and physical gain, embracing ataraxia is more important than ever. Take a lesson from Epicurus and enrich your life with cultivating friendships, looking after your health, and appreciating life’s simple pleasures.

Tsavd tanem

Tsavd tanem is a popular Armenian phrase that literally means let me take your pain, according to Armenian Geographic. It can be a term of affection and empathy, and anything in between!

One Armenian described hearing this word being used in multiple settings, as described in Armenian Weekly: receiving sympathy after falling down, being offered food, and as a light joke. Using this word,  Armenians are conveying love, sympathy, generosity, and good spirit in one sweet and warm phrase.  

A grandma conveys love to her granddaughter as they cook together, an act of tsavd tanem.

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This Zulu word ubuntu translates as humanity towards others.  It is about being hospitable, respectful, generous, and compassionate. Someone with this quality is willing to help others in need and embrace traditions.

If you have such a friend or colleague, praise them by telling them they have ubuntu. These are the people who make the world a better place.


When you see a puppy that is so cute, you have an unstoppable urge to squeeze it, you have a case of gemes. This Indonesian word roughly translates to the state of going out of one’s mind in adoration of something that is extremely cute or likable, according to the Urban Dictionary.

This is a popular way to describe Indonesian women who are overtaken by a cute baby. They will cuddle the baby for so long, they become unaware of anything else but the sweetness of this precious moment.

A mother squeezes her cuddly baby, gemes-style.

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In Arabic, tarab describes a state of ecstasy induced by music, according to Mental Floss. Everyone has moments of becoming so filled by music, it is as if they are floating in it.

This can be experienced by those listening, as well as by musicians and singers, as described in Arab America. In fact, performances of Arabic music are very focused on an expressive interaction with the audience. This is to induce a fusion of music and emotion. Tune in to music carefully; be captivated by its charm and as it bathes you, enjoy pure tarab.


Fjaka is the Croatian word for the sweetness of doing nothingaccording to Psychology Today. It is a sleepy, drowsy word of drifting off and relaxing with mind and body completely calm.

It is no surprise that fjaka is described as meditation without meditating, according to Afar. It is believed that the word derives from the Italian word fiacco, meaning tired, with many claiming that it describes laziness.

However, if you were to ask someone from Dubrovnik, they would tell you that fjaka is a sublime state. Similar to ataxia, it is a detachment from worry and anxiety. In our busy world, take time to stop, smell the roses, then dive into a deep state of fjaka.

Utter relaxation on a beach chair looking out to the sea is fjaka.

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If there were a word for every parent in the world, this is it! The Dutch word engelengeduld means angelic patience, according to Mental Floss. This is the word for those mothers and fathers who find a way to survive their kid’s tantrums, sickness, and misbehaving.

Engelengeduld is the loving sigh, warm hug, and words of encouragement that, despite a hard day of parenting, befit an angel.