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Personal Development

Conscious Discipline: Self-Improvement Tool For A Better Life

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For most of us, the idea of discipline in life causes resistance: “What about freedom, spontaneity, and sudden impulses?”. In this article, we are not going to convince you to give up your freedom and become a strict rule-follower. Instead, we want to share with you some helpful tips on how to practice conscious discipline.

Conscious discipline is a self-management tool for those whose life has become a little chaotic. If you want to make some changes in your life and make it more enjoyable and meaningful, and, at the same time, to reduce the number of “unpleasant surprises”/negative accidents that ruin your peace, then conscious discipline is your go-to habit!

Why Do I Need Conscious Discipline?

Conscious discipline is the #1 skill of happy and successful people that enjoy a meaningful life! It helps you to reduce the risk of unexpected negative events and thus lower your stress level. When you organize your life the way you want it to be you make it less stressful and much happier.

If you want to make a difference in your life, try to introduce conscious discipline into at least one area of your life, and then you’ll be able to organize others.

8 Tips For Conscious Discipline

If your life has become a little chaotic and uncontrollable, try the following tips.

#1: Set financial goals

financial goals image

Unfortunately, most of us are not very smart about our income and expenses. The financial situation is one of the main reasons people are stressed about. And when we are stressed we can’t make rational decisions.

Therefore it is so important to plan a monthly budget. Write down your planned monthly income and what you need to spend money on, and how much you need to save for the future. You can create a separate notebook for your personal “accounting”.

When you make a habit of planning your financial goals for the month, you will see that life becomes so less stressful and you have one less thing to worry about.

#2: Reduce alcohol, coffee, and sugar

Instead of completely excluding these products, you can start by taking them into strict accounting and control. See how this will affect the state of your body and mental health. Perhaps, over time, these products will leave your life for good.

#3: Keep your living space clean

lagom philosophy image

The cleanliness of the house contributes to calmness and concentration. Don’t let your messy house distract you from your brilliant ideas. The more organized your home is, the easier it becomes for you to organize your life and manifest your goals!

#4: Spend time outdoors

It is important to go for walks, get out into nature, and breathe fresh air. Try to leave the house more often — take a lunch break in the park or walk outside before going to bed. Even if you work from home, make a habit to get out of the house every day!

#5: Restrict watching TV series and playing video games

Netflix Image

Sometimes we need this kind of entertainment to distract us from work and allow us to relax. But think about whether you are trying to escape from your life and responsibilities into the world of games, TV series, and tabloid stories. If you feel like you spend more time on Netflix and gaming more than you probably should of, try to start reading more. By focusing on reading a book you will gradually get rid of destructive TV addiction and will start understanding yourself better.

#6: Communicate with others

Interaction with others is one of the most important parts of our life. Communication is a basic necessity for a meaningful life that helps us evolve. Make sure you always make time to reach out to people, check in on them, and spend more time with your friends and family.

#7: Develop the courage to make your plans come to a realization

Conscious discipline for achieving your goals image

We all have a million of ideas in our heads about what direction our life should go. And most of us know exactly what we need to do to accomplish our goals. Our biggest obstacle is the lack of courage and an excess of doubt.

You know you just need to go to your boss and ask for a well-deserved promotion, right? But your self-doubt stops you. Or maybe your dream is to work for that company and all you need to do is to send your resume? But you keep postponing it again and again. Conscious discipline is doing what you supposed to do for accomplishing your goals despite all the doubts and fears in your head.

If you’ve been waiting for another sign, here it is – send that resume; go to that audition; ask for that promotion; go on that date; reach out to that person; do whatever you need to do to live your purpose NOW! Stop postponing and making excuses!

#8: Treat others with kindness, compassion, and respect

Start monitoring your communication style. What we give to the world returns to us doubled! Try to give what you would like to get in return — positive vibes, support, compliments, kindness, compassion, love, etc.

We live in an era of opinions. Everyone wants to be heard and express their opinions. And you are, probably, not an exception! Let me give you one simple bit of advice – before you start talking, pause for a moment, and ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it kind?

Mindful speech is one of the most important tools of conscious discipline. The goal of the mindful speech is to be more conscious of the words we choose to express our thoughts. Being mindful about speech simply means slowing down and choosing our words with care.

The Bottom Line

Discipline is about putting things in order in different areas of our lives, from finances to relationships. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself! Take it easy! We should always find space for spontaneousness and fun in our lives!


Personal Development

8 Signs You Could Be Going Through Cognitive Dissonance

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As per Festinger’s (Leon) Cognitive Dissonance theory, we all have an inner urge to hold on to our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, even when these value systems get challenged later in life. We want to make sense of our actions by avoiding any disharmony in our thought process. Yet, everyone goes through a stage in their lives where one or more of their belief systems get questioned. Will you hold on to what you believe even when you feel you could be wrong? What happens if you do so?

Let me introduce you to the concept of cognitive dissonance. It is an inevitable process that can hinder our success and chances of living a healthy life. That’s why you must know how to detect it and take appropriate steps to overcome it.

What is Cognitive Dissonance?

Cognitive dissonance is psychological stress that happens when one has an inconsistent or conflicting thought process. Here, the individual has value systems, attitudes towards life, and others, or makes decisions which seem to contradict one another. For example, the person may be a vocal advocate against smoking, yet they are chain smokers themselves. Or, a person struggling with obesity understands the kind of health complications that come with the condition, yet they make no effort to change their eating habits. It is an ongoing mental battle on what to do and not do, followed by regret or guilt that brings about the stress.

Tell Tale Signs of Cognitive Dissonance

#1: A Nagging Discomfort

Discomfort Image

Do you feel squeamish when you think of doing something? For example, you’ve just heard that Apple has a release of the latest iPhone. You rush to the stores to check it out. The price tag matches your three months savings for a smart TV. If the thought of spending your savings on this new phone sends a sharp discomfort to the pit of your stomach, you could be experiencing cognitive dissonance. You know buying the new phone is an impulse decision. And, chances are, you already have a phone with all the functionalities that you need.

#2: Avoiding Direct Conflict

How do you handle conflict when it happens? Do you change the subject to avoid a confrontation or do you postpone the matter and agree to address it at a later date or time? Similarly, do you pretend like you never notice the big elephant in the room, even when everyone else expects you to act? All these are typical responses of someone going through cognitive dissonance. Here, you’d somewhat opt for least resistance than acknowledge and deal with the mental conflict in you.

#3: Obey My Instructions, But Ignore My Actions

Cognitive Dissonance symptoms Image

We’ve all heard of the phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do”. Well, that’s a clear sign of cognitive dissonance. For example, it could be a professional financial planner who is wallowing in debt. Such finance experts earn a living by teaching others about financial freedom, yet, they never implement these principles in their lifestyles. A 2002 publication in the Journal of Financial Research noted this behavior amongst mutual fund investors.

#4: Mood Swings

Cognitive dissonance creates an emotional imbalance that can alter our moods at the snap of a finger. This roller coaster of emotions leaves the individual sad for no apparent reason. And, when the mood swings recur, it becomes challenging to maintain long term relationships. Also, be on the lookout for the following signs: –

  • Struggling with low energy levels
  • Lack of interest in what you once enjoyed
  • Over-eating or under-eating
  • Irritability
  • Over-indulgence in alcohol or drugs
  • A feeling of worthlessness
  • Lack of concentrations

#5: FOMO

FOMO Image

FOMO refers to the Fear of Missing Out. It is a social anxiety that makes someone feel like they are missing out on being somewhere or with someone. For example, a person going through FOMO may buy an expensive car to fit in with a clique of wealthy friends. Today, this social anxiety mostly arises from obsessions with trends on social media. Due to cognitive dissonance, the individual feels a need to stay connected to the other person. Hence, they do all they can to buy stuff, visit places, or do things that are similar to this other person.

#6: Guilty Feeling

When we do what we know is wrong or against our value system, the after-effect is a sense of guilt. These guilty feelings are hard to suppress. They dent our self-image and can manifest in the following ways: –

  • Struggling to maintain professional relationships
  • Engaging in offensive jokes
  • Become disengaged, spending more time battling intrusive thoughts
  • Over-react to minor criticism
  • Become paranoid
  • Compromising on your goals for success

#7: Constant Shame

Shame image

Alongside guilt is a shame, self-defeating behavior that makes us feel sad, empty, frightened, lonely, and even tired. Indeed, the list of toxic after-effects of regret is endless. Often, it is described as the Homer D’oh syndrome, whereby, the guilty feelings trigger a compounding effect of other negative emotions. Typical signs include: –

  • Something weighing down on the mind yet you cannot pinpoint it
  • Feeling responsible for the entire universe
  • Walking around with a “leave me alone” look
  • Knowing you want truce but find it hard to ask for it
  • Sudden lack of motivation
  • Constant negative self-talk

#8: Dismissive Chatter (Rationalization)

A person going through cognitive dissonance tends to rationalize their thoughts and decisions, even when they know the true facts in the back of their mind. For example, when in an abusive relationship, the victim may try to justify why their partners are mistreating them. Yet, they know a healthy relationship ought to be free of abuse. This victim tries to be optimistic that some good will come out of the bad situation. Only that, the end is not always positive.

Conclusion

If you sense that you are going through cognitive dissonance, there is usually a way out of this stressful cycle. First, acknowledge and understand what you are going through. Focus on a course of action that will help you align your thoughts and change your behavior. For example, practicing mindful meditation can help you reprogram your subconscious mind and change the conflicting belief. Also, find an accountability partner or a mentor who can help you achieve conscious discipline goals. Finally, stay informed for better decision making.


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Personal Development

10 Female Archetypes: Awaken Your Inner Goddess

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Female archetypes are the roles that we play in the course of life. They are described in the myths of Ancient Greece, Hinduism legends, and even in fairy tales from our childhood. Old as the world, tales offer not just to learn and understand the logic and feelings of the female archetypes, but to participate and live the dramatic events in the life of their characters. This is how the wisdom of generations of women who lived many centuries before us is transmitted, and how they share their knowledge and feelings with us.

In this article, we want to introduce you to 10 female archetypes. Every archetype has its own image, its own functions, emotions, specific manifestations in the body, and thoughts. If you know how to manage these manifestations and read their messages, you can harmonize your body, emotions, and life.

Start with…

drawing a mandala flower with an empty middle part and 10 petals in your journal. The Central part of the mandala represents your essence, the beginning and the end of the experience, which is formless, potential, internal, and eternal. It connects all parts of our being together and at the same time linked to the Earth by an imaginary stem. This stem is connected to the Center of our planet. This is the starting point, the zero-state, where we rest and restore energy, clear the mind of thoughts, and find a connection with the Whole.

On the petals, you need to write the names of the female archetypes. Of course, it is almost impossible to go through the entire spectrum of female archetypes in one session, this task will take time.

By performing these exercises, we bring to life the image of the goddess that the mind is attuned to. After each module, you need to listen to your feelings, talk them out (preferably with your partner), write them down and, maybe even draw them.

Now check and write down how often you have to use this image in your life:

  • the main role;
  • often used;
  • used sometimes;
  • used extremely rarely;
  • never used.).

Now write down whether you like playing this role:

  • yes;
  • no.

Then evaluate the level of physical comfort when you’re playing this role on a ten-point scale (10-excellent, 0-severe discomfort).

Remember that each archetype has its own challenges and advantages, and by rejecting some of them, we are depriving ourselves the opportunity to know and realize our potential. For example, not wanting to be a Dhumavati blocks the path to a long life and often associates old age with the most negative period of life. If you gave yourself 10 points, for example, for the roles of Athena and Artemis, and 2 for Aphrodite or Kali, ask yourself what is so repulsive or annoying about them. You may discover features that you are pushing out of your life.

After working with each female archetype, you need to return to the neutral state through Shavasana and calm pranayama.

10 Female Archetypes

Now let’s take a deeper look at the 10 female archetypes so that you can analyze yourself through the prism of these 10 types of energies.

#1: Persephone

Persephone Female archetype Image

This female archetype usually manifests itself most actively in adolescence but may return throughout life in critical situations, such as after a divorce. It helps to reconnect with the Soul, its needs, find a new direction in life or its purpose.

Main characteristics:

  • sensitivity, which passes into sensuality;
  • the study of the physical impressions and the impression made;
  • discovering the world and its power.

The connection with her mother is of great importance to Persephone, but, at the same time, she is attracted by the unknown and finds opportunities for adventure. She is busy exploring the external and internal world. Her attention is simultaneously directed inward, to the sensations and movements of energy in the body and outward. She “moves between worlds”, recognizes dream images, and has mediumistic abilities.

Persephone awakening

To experience Persephone awakening, focus on:

  • yoga techniques that free up space between tissues, get rid of muscle cramps;
  • exercises that increase the sensitivity of the feet, hands, ears, face, and neck muscles;
  • practices that help shift attention from mental activity to tactile signals, hearing, taste, and smell;
  • reconnecting with your original nature.

#2: Athena

Athena female archetype image

The focus of this female archetype is on making decisions, building strategies, and turning ideas into reality. Athena is a true realist who knows how to think and gain authority in her chosen activities. A woman with a strong Athena archetype is highly valued in the modern world.

Main characteristics:

  • hard-worker;
  • focused on building a career;
  • her mind acts purposefully;
  • resourceful;
  • eloquent;
  • strong and competitive.

She can easily become a scientist, a politician, a project manager, or a founder of her own business.

However, she usually does not notice the emotional needs of others and her own fatigue. Since the work brings her a tangible external result, she tends to sacrifice her well-being, emotional and spiritual needs for it.

Athena awakening

To experience Athena awakening, perform:

#3: Artemis

Artemis female archetype Image

Initially, Artemis was the goddess of the moon. Then she became a hunting goddess, keeping in touch with nature, understanding, and respecting its laws.

Main characteristics:

  • engaged in sports;
  • loves competitions;
  • takes care of her health and beauty;
  • strength;
  • endurance;
  • achieving her goals is of great importance to her;
  • values her time and doesn’t waste her energy.

Artemis awakening:

To experience Artemis awakening, practice:

  • exercises that improve coordination of movements and attention management;
  • balance asanas;
  • the Tree Pose with your eyes open (attention on a point on the floor) or with your eyes closed (attention on the point between your eyebrows) for 1.5-2 minutes on each leg;
  • Trikonasana, a transition to Parivrtta Trikonasana, for a minute in each pose, attention is distributed from the pelvis in all directions to the limbs and head;
  • Half Moon Pose for a minute on each side (attention on the extension of the leg, spine, and arm, as well as on the supporting arm and leg);
  • The Archer’s pose (attention over the line of the outstretched arm at a point on the horizon) for 1-2 minutes on each leg;
  • Natarjasana;
  • Chaturanga Dandasana – 3 times for 2-3 cycles of breathing.

#4: Hera

Hera Image

Hera is the Goddess of Marriage and Birth. For Hera, the value of the institution of marriage is the highest goal. She is the wife and sister of Zeus. Her attention is directed to her husband as a light that comes from her heart and gives her spouse a halo of respect, strength, and power. She literally “makes” him a king. Her encouragement and wise counsel restore his faith in himself. She is his “Shakti,” as they say in the East. Her energy makes his plans come true.

Hera awakening:

Sit in the Vajrasana in front of your partner. Now both of you interlace your fingers and raise your hands above your head so that they form a semicircle. Hands symbolize a halo-the glow of energy around the head, activation of the upper centers responsible for clarity, power of projection of thought, and wisdom. Look into the space between your partner’s head and hands, without blinking, and project light, confidence, and inspiration. Imagine that your partner is endowed with the best qualities: courage, wisdom, strength, authority, and justice. Perform for 3-11 minutes.

#5: Demeter

Demeter Image

In this hypostasis, a woman joins the happiness of motherhood. She is ready to give herself completely to her children – to nourish, protect, and educate them.

Usually, every woman turns to Demeter archetype during pregnancy and childbirth.

During pregnancy, the woman’s connection with the Earth, which gives life and shelter to all living beings, is particularly strong. Legs, hips, pelvis filled with warm heaviness, knees and hip joints soften and dilate, the breast is full. She has a strong emotional connection and understanding of the needs of the object of her love.

Demeter awakening

To experience Demeter awakening, practice:

  • Crow pose with pelvic movements left-right, transition to the chair position (2 min), then to Baddha Konasana, and then to Supta Baddha Konasana. Then perform Ustrasana (1-2 min.), Child’s pose, and Supta Vajrasana.
  • Meditation: sitting in Sukhasana, place your palms on your chest, the center of your palm barely touching the chest, your forearms parallel to the floor, your eyes half-closed, and looking at the tip of your nose. Inhale through the nose 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds, hold your breath for 15 seconds. This practice activates the field in the chest area, increases the sensitivity of the hands and healing abilities.

#6: Hestia

Hestia Image

Hestia is the virgin goddess of the hearth, the right ordering of domesticity, the family, the home, and the state. Her element is the hearth, the fire that warmed the house and brought all the family members together for a meal. Hestia is an independent goddess. Her attention is directed to the harmonization of the internal space of the body and home, as well as any space that she considers hers.

Hestia helps us to understand if we are comfortable in our bodies and our homes. When you’re performing usual activities like working, performing asanas, driving a car, etc. and you feel uncomfortable, this is Hestia trying to attract your attention to your body that needs some healing, rest, or cleansing.

Hestia illuminates your inner space of the body with the light of attention, optimizing muscle effort, and neutralizing tension. Look through Hestia’s eyes at your workplace and home environment, and think about what you would like to change.

Hestia awakening

To awake your inner Hestia, perform smooth side extensions and Surya Namaskar in a slow version, 3 cycles of breathing in each pose. While performing the exercise, observe the slightest sensations that arise in the body, release yourself from tension.

Be attentive to your body! Make a “map of your body”: draw it schematically, like a child’s drawing. Mark with a red marker the areas where you feel tension (for example, hamstrings stretch badly, shoulders are strained, neck movements are difficult, and so on). Note how the sensations change after performing asanas with increased attention to difficult areas.

Try to draw your aura on a piece of paper. Pay attention on what colors you choose to use and the size of it. Do this practice after yoga classes for a week or a month, without looking at the previous drawings. Then compare them. Learn to “read” your condition, mood, and feelings.

#7: Aphrodite (Venus)

Goddess Venus Image

Aphrodite is the goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility. She finds and cultivates pleasant, ecstatic sensations in the body, she is engaged in the search for bliss, she experiences and translates it.

Spontaneously, every woman is in a similar state when she falls in love, focusing on filling the body and emotional state with joyous experiences.

Aphrodite never criticizes herself. We can say that her Ojas, Tejas, and prana are in perfect balance. Aphrodite’s attention is focused on feelings of pleasure, she experiences and radiates joy, she is “in the flow” of life, spontaneously and naturally initiates contacts. She is loved and admired. She inspires feats and creativity.

Aphrodite awakening:

  • As you study your body, find places where you are experiencing pleasant sensations right now: warmth, movement, and the desire to stretch. Often similar sensations occur in the thighs, calves, and feet. Start moving, enhancing the pleasant experience. You may begin to make spontaneous movements consisting of asanas, dance moves, and gestures. Let your body guide you.
  • Perform Cobra Pose (1-2 min.), Side Bow Pose, Eagle Pose, Downward-facing Dog Pose with legs lifting.
  • Practice Taoist meditation “Inner smile”.

#8: Tara

Praises to the Twenty-One Taras Image

In the Buddhist tradition, Goddess Tara is a female incarnation of the Buddha of compassion, who comes to help in difficult situations. Goddess Tara helps to better understand the needs of others, to tune in with those who need help and care, to become more empathic, loving, and compassionate. The Tara archetype is endowed with a special life-giving power, magnetism, and wisdom.

Tara awakening:

#9: Kali

Goddess Kali Mantra Image

Goddess Kali is the dark and violent hypostasis of Parvati, the dark Shakti, and the destructive aspect of Shiva. She is a symbol of destruction. Kali destroys ignorance, maintains world order, and blesses and liberates those who seek to know God.

Kali is independent in making decisions.

The woman of this archetype is reminiscent of Lilith, who refused to submit to Adam. In anger, she is capable of destruction, whereas long-repressed suppressed anger brings destruction to herself. Therefore, knowing how to release her emotions and express her true feelings a woman is able to master her own power, transform it into energy for life, and remove obstacles to further development.

Kali archetype has a special power and both positive and sharply negative features. Some women completely reject this aspect, while others deliberately cultivate it. In order not to suppress periodically accumulated feelings of anger, irritation, and resentment, but to turn them into your allies, you need to recognize them and give yourself the opportunity to express these emotions.

Anger is a natural human emotion. However, the current situation is that we are often angry, but we do not have the ability to adequately express this emotion. The reason is social pressure: almost all of us are taught from childhood that it is bad to be angry, without offering any reasonable ways to solve the problem. A person who freely expresses anger is usually judged by others. As a result, he is good at mastering techniques for suppressing anger, so that it becomes a habit and leads to the accumulation of internal aggression.

Internal aggression can break out in the form of powerful attacks of rage, which are replaced by feelings of guilt.

Another way some people deal with internal anger is to direct it at themselves. This is where the roots of depression and self-destructive behavior lie.

Kali awakening:

To experience Kali awakening, practice:

#10: Dhumavati

Dhumavati image

Tantric Goddess Dhumavati represents the fearsome aspect of Devi, the Hindu Divine Mother. She is a very old and very wise woman who has passed all the stages of life, knows the essence of things, feels people at first glance. Her appearance is not particularly attractive, and her essence is the utmost honesty and clarity.

We can turn to this archetype when we want to learn how to be honest with ourselves about our deepest desires, as well as determine the long-term perspective of life decisions.

Dhumavatri awakening

To experience Dhumavatri awakening:

  • work on strengthening your bones and joints;
  • make long-term plans;
  • practice honesty towards yourself and others;
  • chant Dhumavatri mantras.

The Bottom Line

Look at your mandala and think about the female archetypes that resonate the most with you. What do you like the most about these female archetypes? What qualities would you like to develop to become closer to them?

And now think about the female archetypes that you resonate with the least. What emotions are you feeling when you are thinking of them? Are scared? Ashamed? Disappointed?

Take your time to analyze your personal Goddess archetypes. Make a list of qualities and abilities you have. What is your superpower?

Now that have a better understanding of the divine feminine nature hidden inside your human personality you can develop it into the highest manifestation of your essence.


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Personal Development

Lagom: Swedish Philosophy For Living a Meaningful Life

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Lagom image

Did you know that Sweden is one of the happiest countries in the world? What do they do so differently that it helps them stay happy and satisfied with their lives? The answer is found in one word – lagom.

In this article, I will share with you what lagom is and how we can all implement it into our lives and make it more balanced and meaningful.

What Is Lagom?

Lagom (pronounced “lar-gohm”) is the Swedish philosophy that focuses on finding balance in your everyday life through moderation.

This word can be translated as “Not too little. Not too much. Just right.” In other words, if you focus on having enough but not too much, you create a balanced mindset.

The famous Swedish proverb says “There is virtue in moderation”. And this is the main difference between our american mindset which makes us always seek the next best thing.

Lagom philosophy is the opposite of materialism and consumerism. It focuses on creating a balanced, sustainable lifestyle that welcomes the pleasures of existence rather than those of consumption. This philosophy is very practical and applied to everyday lives – food, clothes, lifestyle, work, etc.

Lagom is all about having only what you need. It is the new minimalism for anyone who wants to live with fewer material possessions but aim to enjoy a more meaningful and happier life.

Don’t they get bored living like this?

Lagom is not a rejection of pleasure, but the ability to indulge in it in a moderate and balanced way. Of course, the Swedes also allow themselves to deviate from the plan. If you’ve ever been to Sweden you know what an incredibly strong coffee they brew! Not to mention punch-rolls, chocolate balls, cinnamon buns that Swedes adore. However, after a little indulgence, they do not punish themselves with strict diets but get back to a moderate and balanced lifestyle.

How to practice lagom?

Now let’s talk about how we can implement lagom into our daily life. As I already mentioned, it can be applied to all areas of life. In this article, I will share with you some ideas on how to do it.

Step 1: Inspect your home

decluttering the house image

If we try to highlight the area where the Swedes are #1, it is home organizing. Impeccable Sweden style is not overloaded and attracts the eye.

But how did the Swedes manage to create this balance?

They have an innate desire for minimalism and absolutely no desire for hoarding. That’s why there are no boxes in Swedish homes filled with old things like broken phones, a dozen old sweaters, and jeans that we vow to wear one day, old magazines, etc.

Here’s a little clutter test for you. Check the correct statements box:

  • You have a box or drawer with the items that you never use.
  • It takes you more than five minutes to find the right thing.
  • You feel stressed if your friends come to visit you without an invitation because you have to do a big cleaning first.
  • You have things that you don’t use or things that you don’t like anymore.

If you have marked more than two points — it’s time to think about how to throw out the excess.

Here are a few tips on how to declutter without stress:

  • Don’t try to do it all at once. Take 10 minutes a day to declutter.
  • Distribute items in three boxes: keep, give away/donate, and throw away.
  • Use the “buy one thing, get rid of one” rule.
  • Do not allow the emergence of “hot spots” where junk tends to accumulate.
  • Keep your toiletries in a special box.
  • Keep all your papers and documents in folders.

Step 2: Infuse your house with lagom

lagom philosophy image

Reduce the number of items

For several months, once a week, remove one item from each room — and very soon you will notice that the energy of your house has improved.

Be mindful of what you buy

If you buy a new item, let it be not only beautiful but also functional and high-quality item. Look for handmade items, visit fairs, and meet new artists and designers. But before you buy anything ask yourself if you really need it or perhaps your home already has everything you need.

Invite nature into your house

Use natural eco-friendly materials in the decor. Get indoor plants. Collect twigs, snags, acorns, pebbles from the beach — all this brings you closer to nature. As you may already know, nature heals and if you invite nature into your house you also infuse it with peaceful and healing energy.

Do not clutter the house

Keep it simple. For each new item, get rid of one old.

Step 3: Be mindful of your food

We, Americans, tend to waste lots of food. It makes us spend more money than you probably should. But if we become more mindful in planning and organizing food we can actually save more money than you may think. And the less money we spend the less stress we have. Here are a few tips on how to be more organized with your food.

Freeze your food

Frozen herbs image

Label the bags of frozen items so that you don’t confuse chili with strawberries.

You can freeze herbs, juice, coconut milk in ice molds.

Freeze overripe bananas so you don’t waste them. You can use them later for making ice cream or smoothies.

Don’t let the vegetables wither

To keep salad leaves and green leafy vegetables fresh longer, wash them, put them in a sealed bag, and put them in the vegetable compartment.

Too much parsley or dill? Finely chop it and freeze it. You can use it for soups and other dishes.

Buy seasonal and local products

Do not use expensive imported ingredients brought from the other side of the planet for preparing your meals. Try to always buy local veggies, berries, and fruit. Find out which fruits and vegetables are in season and try to cook seasonally.

Plan your menu a week in advance

This is a super helpful tip for those who want to reduce the amount of food waste. During the week, prepare simple dishes. Leave new and complex recipes for the weekend, when you have more time. This will also help you to be less stressed about not having enough time.

Step 4: Create a balance between work and personal time

what is lagom image

We tend to go from one polarity to another. Today we’re working hard with no breaks and rest, and tomorrow we are so exhausted that have zero motivation even to get up from the bed. Lagom teaches us to create a balance between work and personal time that you can use for hobby, yoga, rest, or other things you like to do during your free time. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Reduce the number of tasks scheduled for the week and weekend

On the weekend, choose one day when you have nothing planned. This is a day for restoring balance, spending time spontaneously, and communicating with your family and friends.

Good rest is the key to efficiency and stress reduction

Try to go to bed on time and get up a little earlier than usual. An extra half hour in the morning will give you a sense of control over time and self-confidence that you are unlikely to be able to experience while doing everything on the run. If it is still dark outside when you get up, light a candle and drink tea from your favorite mug. It will give you a feeling of self-care and the necessary comfort for feeling safe and relaxed.

Step 5: Take care of your health

Swedish Philosophy For Living a Meaningful Life Image

A healthy body and a balanced mind lead to a happy life and less stress. Lagom gives us some tips on how to take care of our health and be more balanced.

Make your workout easier and don’t overdo it

Everyone should make time for rest, work, and active movement. Find a way to work out in a way that brings real benefits to both body and spirit. Make sure that you actually enjoy your workout time. For example, go for a run alone to clear your mind, or go for a walk with friends to chat. If you feel like lifting weights brings more stress to you than enjoyment, then maybe yoga or cardio exercises will suit you better? Don’t try to copy others. Find your own unique way to work out and enjoy it!

Seek balance, but don’t be obsessed with it

There is no doubt that balance is the key component for our physical and mental health. However, we all need to accept that there can always be a slight imbalance in life. There is no need to feel stressed about it. Each of us, from time to time, has days when we have too much work and it’s hard to find time for quality rest. Sometimes it is impossible to find time for the gym and working out. Don’t feel stressed or guilty about that.

Keep it simple

Use natural cosmetics. Skincare is really simple — healthy food, rest, and fresh air will do almost all the work for you.

Step 6: Spend more time outside in contact with nature

Swedish philosophy lagom image

Swedes love to spend time in nature. More than half of Sweden’s territory is covered with forest. Nature is an integral part of Swedes’ life.

The state also strongly supports such leisure. In Sweden, there is a concept called “Allemansrätten” – everyone’s right to access certain public or privately owned land, lakes, and rivers for recreation and exercise. Everyone can freely walk, pick mushrooms and berries, and camp in any place if it does not disturb the peace of others. So, Swedes in any weather go out of town, have picnics, go sailing, etc.

In 2016, the World Wide Fund for Nature conducted a study that found that those who regularly go out to nature feel happier and healthier. Another study also showed that during these “nature time”, we calm down, restore the psyche, and become more creative and peaceful.

Step 7: Don’t get involved into arguments

Try to cultivate peace in every communication you have. Instead of passionately proving your point, try to always find a compromise. If you feel like your opinion is not welcomed, let your opponent keep his/her views, don’t try to change them. Arguments and conflicts lead to stresses, disappointments, and breakups. You can always walk away from the argument and let people have their opinions.

Step 8: Invite celebration into your life

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Arrange small celebrations for yourself for your family and friends. In Sweden, there are many traditions that are designed to unite friends, colleagues, and family members. For example, the sacred Swedish Fika ritual – a coffee break with sweets. Its essence is simple: a hot drink, a treat, and communication without haste. Or Fredagsmys – a cozy Friday ritual, when you are gathering with the family, watch a movie, and eat something tasty. It is these small traditions that create unforgettable memories, evoke a smile, and create a feeling of being loved. This atmosphere reduces stress and makes life more enjoyable.

The Bottom Line

You can start practicing lagom by asking yourself, “Is this lagom?”. When you look inside your crowded closet, or when a big portion of food is placed in front of you, or when you consider that second cookie, ask yourself if you really need it, if it is lagom. Constantly, try to build that balance between work and your personal life. Always make sure you find time to do the things you love. Keep track of your spending, consciously reduce your environmental impact on the world, take purposeful breaks from work, spend quality time with family and friends. By bringing lagom into your life you become much happier, more peaceful, and less stressed.


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