Pure + Simple
Not Too Little. Not Too Much. Just Right.
In my last article, I spoke of the Danish tradition Hygge, which implies a psychological state of coziness. This post will look at a concept that permeates all facets of the Swedish psyche – Lagom. Lagom promotes the appeal and benefits of a back-to-basics lifestyle. Having researched and studied numerous self-care strategies, it has become evident that Northern Europeans, in particular Scandinavians, somewhat specialize in this domain, as they are some of the happiest and most satisfied people on earth.
I have highlighted in other articles that we live in a culture where we value those who fight through stresses while trying to remain productive. This may have short-term benefits of creativity and ingenuity, however, this ‘hamster on a hamster wheel’ lifestyle is not sustainable, and can ultimately lead to a burnout. Burning out is a common lifestyle-related illness, caused by persistently high levels of cortisol pumping through our bodies. Symptoms of a burnout include disrupted sleep and digestion, as well as a weakening immune system.
Lagomis a lifestyle change aimed at combating our increasingly demanding life pressures. It is a stress-fighting state of mind, where one’s basic needs are met with the best quality possible before moving forward. In other words, instead of asking yourself “can I do better?” or “should I try harder?”, you ask yourself “is it good enough?” and “have I done my best?” If the answer is yes, than a balanced lagomhas been attained.
This mentality strives to alleviate the pressures of perfection, and fight back against our increasingly onerous personal and professional lives. Lagomacts as a cool restraint, and aims at providing a certain self-confidence, where we permit ourselves to say – I’ve done the best I could – in all areas of our lives. Other synonyms of this concept include: in balance, perfectly simple, and appropriateness. In other words, it is the juste milieubetween feeling below average, or just sufficient and perfectionism.