Author Niki Brantmark was invited to Sweden to visit a friend almost 14 years ago. She wrote the book titled Lagom which is pronounced more as LAH-gum. This means "not too little, not too much" and it represents a clean, well-balanced, slower, fuss-free life.
"Swedish people take their time. They stop, they look, they listen and they wait. The beauty of slowing down, I’ve learned, is that it helps you be more in the moment and enjoy the simple pleasures in life," she told Time. These are 6 learnings from her book which are very inspiring:
Adopt the morgondopp
It is known that the Swedes love to bathe and why not? when you have over 11,500km of coastline with over 100,000 lakes. There is one specific kind of bath that stands out; the morgondopp also known as the morning dip. Swedes love to indulge in this refreshing early morning dip between the months of May and September. The morgondopp is usually enjoyed the first thing in the morning, even before you have your morning coffee.
The length of time that the person chooses to stay in water depends on the temperature of the water as well as the temperature outside. Bathing piers usually have a small thermometer bobbing at the end of the string and some people use this as an indicator to decide their bathing season. The morning bath is said to be a great way to start the day and is believed to be very refreshing.
Dare to go alone
A Swedish young woman reveals how she went on a solo five-day hike across a nature reserve and how it was the most empowering thing ever. She did confess that there are a lot of noises at night in the woods which can be a bit unnerving but the only time she was uneasy was when a party set up their camp next to her and played the guitar into the late night.
Some people may not have the time or energy to do this for five days but being by yourself away from what you know can be the best way to get yourself back on track. The power that lies within being alone is not yet discovered or tapped into, so whenever you do get a chance try and be by yourself for as long as you can!
Create a capsule wardrobe
Wardrobes are extremely stressful at times and a Swedish wardrobe could be compared to a capsule wardrobe; a minimalist, highly practical closet created by discarding unwanted or unused clothes and replacing them with a limited number of loved, highly versatile garments which will complement each other.
A capsule wardrobe makes it extremely easy and hassle-free to pick an outfit that works well. It takes the stress out of getting ready, shopping, and laundry. Some say it is more economical as well.
In Sweden, it is known as fika paus which is a break with coffee and a small treat. Emily Hunter and Cindy Wu from the Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business revealed that people who took enough morning breaks at work ended up feeling a lot more energized and more able to concentrate. These positive benefits seemed to decline as the span between the breaks got longer, which means you need to take more breaks of a short duration.
A recent study found that productive people work for about 52 minutes and then proceed to take a 17-minute break. Basically, even taking a short walk or doing a couple of quick stretches can really benefit a person. So, make it a point to take some breaks.
Learn the art of listening
The art of listening is an extremely important skill to have and learn. While talking to most Swede you will observe how they will wholeheartedly engage in the conversation and will not interrupt you. This could possibly be strange to many other cultures where people are used to filling in all the gaps in the conversation.
When it comes to things like Lagom, it is basically a fairer and more balanced conversation where everyone gets a chance and opportunity to express themselves. The next time you are in any conversation, take a step back and really listen to what the other person has to say. It will only help you in seeing and experiencing a different perspective.
Perform random acts of kindness
Spreading some positivity and random acts of kindness does not mean that a person has to do something large or grand. It is the most ordinary and basic gestures which go a long way and can cause the biggest smiles of them all. There are a lot of people in this world who are not appreciated at all but continue to do what they do happily.
It is time to find these people or anyone who needs it for that matter and do something nice for them. Happiness is one emotion that this world is currently lacking and could use a lot of. So go ahead, go do something nice for someone else. You will be surprised at how good you feel.
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