30+ Habits of the Swedes That Make Their Country One of the Happiest in the World


30+ Habits of the Swedes That Make Their Country One of the Happiest in the World

In the pursuit of happiness,
we often resort to various national recipes for acquiring the harmony of еру
mind: hygge, lykke, and sisu. The Swedish “lagom” system stands along with
them, yet stands out with its practicality. It’s not so much a motivational
hymn to a happy life as a set of specific recommendations that will help
effectively eliminate the mess in your house, schedule, and mind, so that the
desired happiness has a place to settle in.
Bright Side has collected 35
life principles of the Swedes, thanks to which their country continuously
occupies the top places in the world’s “happiness rating.” The author of the
article has tested the following advice herself and wants to note that the
Swedish happiness recipe is also relevant for other countries.

The essence of “lagom”
philosophy


From the linguistic point of
view, the word “lagom” means “moderation.” It’s the feeling of wealth: you have
everything and you don’t experience an acute shortage in anything (it’s not
only about material things). Lagom is the balance between work and personal
life, care for nature, reasonable minimalism, and the laconic Swedish style.
It’s not about “taking what
you can get.” It’s more about the harm of the constant race for something more.
After all, it’s the desire to possess something beyond our true needs that
makes us work around the clock and then buy unnecessary things that we have no
time to enjoy.
The lagom principles help us
harmonize all aspects of life to finally breathe freely and get the time and
the possibility to feel happiness.
Lagom in the interior


30+ Habits of the Swedes That Make Their Country One of the Happiest in the World

  • Arrange the pieces of
    furniture at a distance from each other, so there’s “breathing space” between
    them, and your eyes could focus on each of them to see their beauty.
  • Instead of paintings and
    posters, hang photos of landscapes you admired during your vacation so that you
    can revisit those carefree days.
  • Instead of carpeting that’s
    difficult to clean up properly, use fabric rugs that are easy to clean, wash,
    get dry-cleaned, or simply replace with new ones.
  • To fill your home with natural
    light, hang transparent curtains and choose white or gray shades for your
    walls.
  • When it gets dark, light up
    candles — they warm up the soul.
  • The Swedes are masters of
    zoning because, according to them, one can relax only in a well-thought-out
    house. Think of your needs and create a zone (even a tiny one) for every type
    of activity.

Lagom while tidying up


30+ Habits of the Swedes That Make Their Country One of the Happiest in the World

  • To gradually reduce the number
    of items, remove an object a week from every room.
  • When you buy a new thing, get
    rid of 2 old ones.
  • When tidying up your wardrobe,
    take the clothes off the hangers and put away 5 of them. Then, sort out the
    clothes in order of importance. The ones that were left without hangers don’t
    belong to your home.
  • Prevent the appearance of “hot
    spots” where all the trash likes to accumulate. Place a basket there and put
    your things inside and, as you fill it, sort out the items and return them to
    their places.
  • Follow the “one touch” rule
    with all the paper stuff: as soon as you touch a document, put it in place,
    perform the necessary actions (pay the bills, for example) or throw it away.

Lagom in the kitchen

30+ Habits of the Swedes That Make Their Country One of the Happiest in the World

  • To save time on cooking, write
    out the menu for the week and plan simple dishes for weekdays (or even one dish
    for 2 days).
  • Freeze the products for future
    use — even beverages (in sealed bags). It’s convenient to freeze greens for
    dressings and cream for sauces in ice molds.
  • Cook season meals using local
    products, from vegetables to honey. It’s both cheaper and healthier.

Lagom at work


30+ Habits of the Swedes That Make Their Country One of the Happiest in the World


  • Start waking up at half an
    hour earlier to avoid hurrying, get a feeling of control over your time, and a
    sense of confidence.
  • In the morning, slowly drink a
    cup of tea from your favorite cup to tune in on a productive day.
  • If your work allows it, plan
    to leave a little earlier than usual: knowing that you’ll leave earlier, you’ll
    start working more efficiently.
  • Have “fika” coffee breaks with
    your colleagues: this improves the working atmosphere and increases work
    efficiency.
Lagom and rest


30+ Habits of the Swedes That Make Their Country One of the Happiest in the World

Try going to bed in time every
day.

  • Take a “kvellspromenade” after
    dinner — an evening walk not far from your home. It’s a great way to relax and
    get ready for bed.
  • Don’t plan anything on one of
    your weekend days — let it be a day to restore the balance and communicate with
    your family.
  • Start a tradition of crafting
    something. It’s not necessary to do something laborious like furniture or
    clothes — you can just start knitting napkins or appliqué.
Lagom and nature

30+ Habits of the Swedes That Make Their Country One of the Happiest in the World

  • A nature walk is the perfect
    lagom rest. To stick to your walks in any weather, buy beautiful, comfortable,
    and high-quality equipment.
  • To continue communication with
    nature at home, use natural materials in your interior such as wood, wool,
    metal.
  • Buy houseplants. It’s useful
    to exchange their stems with your acquaintances to have another reason for
    pleasant communication.
  • Decorate your home with fresh
    flowers, herbs, and branches as often as possible.
  • Plant the seeds of undemanding
    plants (herbs and vegetables) in the pots, take care of them and then use the
    results of your work while cooking.


Lagom and attitude to life


30+ Habits of the Swedes That Make Their Country One of the Happiest in the World

  • It’s better to substitute the
    question “Am I happy?” with “Am I content with my life?” A fixation on
    happiness can lead to disappointment.
  • Learn to take care of yourself
    without perceiving it as selfishness: a full rest, moments of solitude, the
    refusal to put yourself into any strict timeframes — all of these aren’t a whim
    but a necessity.
  • Accept the fact that there’s
    always a small imbalance in life. Sometimes you need to work more; sometimes
    you have no time. Stop trying to control everything and just relax.
  • Clear your mind of any trash
    and limit its new arrival: reduce the time you spend online, cut back on
    reading the newspaper, and don’t watch as much TV.
  • Prefer the quality of
    communication to quantity: replace communication via social networks and
    messengers with personal meetings with your friends and family.
  • Find time to do what you love,
    whether it’s baking, home decoration, or singing. It can be anything if it
    brings you joy and creative self-realization.
Basically, there’s nothing
unusual in these tips — it’s a kind of household philosophy of the Swedish
people; the wisdom of many generations polished by centuries. Yet these are the
very simple things we miss in the midst of the daily race we often find
ourselves in.
Lagom makes us recall them and
organize our lives in a way so that we have time and energy for these simple
things.
Which Swedish philosophical
principles of happiness could you related to? Share your thoughts with us in
the comments section below.
SOURCE:
BRIGHTSIDE
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.