Remember that time when the UK became obsessed with "hygge"? You couldn't go into a bookshop without seeing stacks of lifestyle books on the Danish and Norwegian word meaning cosiness. Well now, the latest life hack to come from our organised nordic neighbours is Lagom (the word alone already sounds like it can fix your life). But what does Lagom actually mean? And can the Swedish lifestyle trend actually be the answer to more happiness in life?
Lagom is the Swedish word roughly translating to "just the right amount". Essentially the idea behind this Scandinavian lifestyle philosophy is all about harmonious balance and happiness — not too much, and not too little. On the other hand hygge is more centred on taking time out, and feeling cosy and safe. Yet the two philosophies truly compliment each other beautifully. Now a new report is showing that lagom might be the answer to improved financial happiness in the UK.
A new report from Barclays and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) which surveyed 4,000 adults in the UK suggests that treating our finances with a little bit of lagom could make life that much easier. So, Barclays has teamed up with Linnea Dunne, author and pro on all things lagom to create the Little Guide to Lagom. According to Dunne, applying the principles of Lagom can help you reassess your priorities and take a liberating step back from constant consumption.
According to the report, one in three Brits think they would be happier if they earned more money, but in fact taking a leaf out of Sweden's book, one of the happiest countries in the world, when it comes to our finances could be much more beneficial. It turns out, a small increase in monthly savings has a much bigger effect on life satisfaction than a rise in income. It's even got a greater impact than tying the knot!
Author Linnea Dunne says: “Lagom isn’t about extremes, it is about ‘just enough’ – and I believe applying the principles of lagom to all areas of your life can be hugely beneficial for your overall wellbeing and happiness. It is certainly clear from the new report from Barclays that, when it comes to our finances, living a little more lagom can genuinely improve our overall life satisfaction.”
And lagom isn't just about your finances either, it can be applied all parts of life including the home and food. According to the cook book Lagom, The Swedish Art Of Living: "Eating and cooking in tune with 'lagom' means embracing food that is good for body and soul, unfussy, delicious and sustaining, and all in harmony."
So it looks as though lagom could beneficially improve so many parts of day to day living. And perhaps the answer to being a little more stress-free financially comes if we challenge our concepts of wealth, and treat our earnings with balance rather than aiming for access. It's time us Brits fully embrace a bit of lagom, and perhaps improve our happiness along the way.