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What Is Lagom?

what is Lagom

What Is Lagom?

Lagom, pronounced ‘lah-gom,’ is a Swedish philosophy that teaches us how to find a balance that works for us and live with less so that we can lead a happy and meaningful life. In the Swedish language, Lagom means ‘everything in moderation,’ ‘sufficient, enough,’ ‘not too much and not too little,’ or just the right.

When it first appeared in the lifestyle scene, the term Lagom was considered to be the ‘new hygge,’ which is the Danish concept of warmth, coziness, contentment, harmony, and conviviality, but now this philosophy can be applied to family and relationships, work, celebrations, holidays, leisure, and interior design. (1)

What Are The Characteristics Of Lagom?

  • Finding balance
  • A genuine way to deal with routine
  • Living in harmony with the world
  • Living life based on moderation and sustainability
  • Grasping the positive side in every situation
  • Exercise

How Does Lagom Translate To The Home?

This philosophy translates into the context of homes by teaching us how we can live in a sustainable way. According to this philosophy, to enjoy the comfort of our homes, we should recycle, upcycle, and use sustainable materials. For instance, using wood-burning stoves as a decorative feature for your living space and for heating your home is a very practical solution as wood is a sustainable energy source, an environmentally friendly fuel, and cost-efficient.

Another way you can get the most out of the Swedish lifestyle concept of Lagom in the context of your home and interiors is by decluttering your home. 

The environment you live in affects your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. For instance, science has shown that a cluttered space can cause stress and anxiety. So, keeping your home clean, decluttered, and organized can contribute to your health.

The typical Swedish home is neither highly minimalist nor overdone. It’s neither too sparse nor too decorated. Everything in it is in moderation and just right. For example, the walls are usually light grey or white, which makes the space look brighter and calm. The furniture is simple, practical, comfortable, and with fine lines. Décor is carefully thought out as well. In a typical Swedish home, you can also find plants, shells, homemade items, and secondhand and vintage finds. (2)

How Does Lagom Impact Social Situations?

The concept of Lagom can be applied to relationships, social interactions, and work.

First of all, this philosophy teaches us that we should not brag about our accomplishments and achievements and compare ourselves to others. It also teaches us that boasting often or having more doesn’t make us loved. According to this philosophy, we should be proud of ourselves and what we have in life, and we shouldn’t constantly seek other people’s approval.

When it comes to relationships, the philosophy of Lagom encourages you to be considerate and caring in your relationships, whether romantic or otherwise. It encourages you to be mindful of and nice to the people around you. (3)

One common principle that Scandinavians live their lives according to is the belief that “you’re no better than anyone else.” This means they don’t boast about their social status, achievements, or accomplishments. Furthermore, they don’t treat others like they’re better than or superior to them since the focus is on treating everyone as equals.

In addition, in their conversations, Swedes tend to speak in an even tone and make pauses, which gives them time to think of something meaningful they can share with the other person.

In addition, they seldom interrupt or talk over the person they have a conversation with and let them complete their sentence. They listen attentively to the other person and show interest in what they have to say, and they don’t try to speed the discourse.

Another aspect of life that Swedes apply the concept of Lagom to is work. They find balance at work by taking 20-minute breaks, which they call fika, throughout the day, in the morning and the afternoon. During the break, Swedes drink coffee and eat something sweet. This practice enables them to relax, recharge their batteries, talk to their co-workers, and forget about all the deadlines, demands of work, emails, and all the other things that a typical office day includes.

While in most countries, you’d struggle to take a coffee break at work, in Sweden, coffee breaks are mandatory. Moreover, during lunch break, Swedes are allowed to go out for an hour.

Another way Swedes find balance at work is by focusing on finding ways to work more effectively and better, not longer, which is why they avoid working overtime. (3)

Is Lagom A Trend?

Since the Danish concept of Hygge grew in popularity in 2016, many people have begun to perceive Lagom as the newest trend, but lagom converts say that it isn’t a trend.

Lagom is actually a philosophy and a specific approach to life. It’s founded on two objectives: creating a balance and contentment, and it emphasizes the idea that if we live with less and take from life just enough for ourselves, we will leave enough for other people to live a happy life. (4)