Are You an Idealist or Realist? You Need to Be Both to Have Compassion

Time and time again, the age-old debate resurfaces among a group of friends, possibly during a night out for cocktails when someone shares his current career or relationship problems. Is it better to be an idealist or realist? Surely at least one friend will emerge as the former and another will appear to be the latter, but sometimes, a few of you will be confused as to how you have decided to look at life so far. As a businesswoman, I have long ago come to terms with the fact that I need to be both, in order to deal with the life path I have chosen for myself.

Another path that necessitates the destruction of the either/or mentality when it comes to being an idealist or realist is learning compassion. To live a fruitful life of being kind to others and sharing your life with them, one must learn to be both. I know seems like a contradiction, but first, let’s inspect what those terms generally mean to people.

In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the second definition of idealist applies to a person with a certain perspective or way of life. Defined as “one guided by ideals” or “one that places ideals before practical considerations,” people who live by idealism probably aim to see things in a perfect light. Often also dubbed as dreamers, visionaries and positive thinkers, idealists value noble principles and set high goals for themselves. This often means that they tend towards optimism.

However, there’s also a misconception that idealists are naive, innocent, and wishful thinkers. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. They only hope for a better future and live life according to that hope, which means that the big picture is very important to them. However, by focusing on the big picture, they sometimes get ahead of themselves and forget to consider other important factors in a given situation. Now let’s contrast these traits with how a realistic person is described.

While idealists focus on “what could be,” realists tend to look at “what actually is.” They like to adopt a practical or pragmatic view of circumstances, which leads them to make safe and rational choices. Sometimes, they tend towards cynicism or pessimism, but again, that’s not necessarily the case. They just like to process particular aspects of a certain situation and carefully scrutinize the truth.

Instead of looking at the big picture of a better future, realists tend to break it down into components and set smaller, more achievable goals. Sometimes, this tendency hinders them from taking risks and makes them settle with what they’re immediately given. By focusing on the present, they may sometimes miss out on big possibilities.

Now you may notice that both mindsets actually seem to need each other. The debate for whether you’re an idealist or realist seems futile when you see the holes in either perspective. For instance, an idealist may have high hopes towards a huge goal, but he is not equipped with enough focus to actually lay out steps on how to achieve that. Meanwhile, a realist may have the analytic skills, but he doesn’t have any purpose so those skills just end up as unused potential.

When we stop thinking of whether we’re an idealist or realist and instead shift the conversation to how we should be the best of both, we start seeing that there’s so much more we can do. An idealist perhaps wants to change the world and make a brighter future for everyone, a vision that is very helpful in our times, but nevertheless just a vision. A realist can introduce practical ways on how to make that vision happen and sustain it, turning an idealistic hope into purposeful action.

The BeepBeep Nation app encourages the idealist and the realist in everyone by enabling its users to regularly do kind acts and eventually invest in a broader culture of kindness. It provides a platform to connect people who need help and others who can provide that help, fostering new and healthy relationships or networks. As such, not only does it promote an attitude and culture of helping each other out, it also makes way for a whole new level of face-to-face human interaction.

Aiming to build trust among individuals, BeepBeep Nation convinces the idealist in you that a brighter future or a better world is possible, and it urges the realist in you to start acting on that picture.

You may explore the BeepBeep Nation website to find out more about how to harness your idealistic and realistic side in exercising compassion. To get started, don’t forget to check out its fuel, the EMINENT token, now available for sale. Now you no longer have to choose between being an idealist or realist; BeepBeep Nation offers some truly exciting ways to develop a healthy mindset that embraces both.

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2 Birds in 1 Beep: Getting Help and Getting to Know Your Locale

The BeepBeep Nation app not only provides a platform for people to get the help they need and others to help out, it ultimately aims to create a culture of kindness and make the world a better place. It does this not only by motivating people to participate in a helping economy, it also fosters the potential of fulfilling face-to-face social interactions to turn into something more, like friendship.

But what else can it do? Perhaps another “little” thing it provides that can ultimately change the world is urge you to get to know your locale better or to explore a new place on a whole new level. There are always unfamiliar but fascinating things to discover about one community, whether it’s your own or another one that you’re just visiting for a while.

BeepBeep Nation connects you to everyone within a 1-5 mile radius who happens to have the app on their phones. If you’re beeping for some kind of help near your own home, chances are you’ll get a helper who lives in the vicinity. Maybe it’s someone from the home owners association of the village. Maybe it’s the mom of Kaylee, your daughter’s schoolmate, whom you never really talked to before. Maybe it’s the owner of that tea shop a few blocks down where your mother-in-law likes to get her chamomile.

Let’s say one weekend, you have your hands full because of spring-cleaning, and so you need a little assistance in picking up an item from the grocery. The BeepBeep Nation app will connect you to someone who can provide that help, and chances are, it might be someone from around the area. Grab that chance to talk to your helper. You never know, you might just make a friend you have been previously missing out on. There are always new ways to know your locale better through the people in it, no matter how small the place is. Bonding better with the people in the community will help you feel more in touch with your surroundings.

Now let’s say work has been extra tedious this week, and you and your co-workers just want to chill out for finally surviving it. You’re looking for an interesting place to have a few cocktails, and the usual just doesn’t seem to cut it this time. Use the BeepBeep Nation app in getting the freshest, most accurate recommendations. You might discover a new hole-in-the-wall that’s perfect for your bunch of peers. You might discover a new brunch place for a weekend with your mom. You might even fall in love with places in the community you’ve never paid attention to before.

Then again, BeepBeep Nation is not only good for getting help within your own community. You can also use it to explore a new place. Let’s say you have a business conference coming up cross-country, and it will last two days. After which, you have an extra day for sightseeing, but you don’t have the time to make an itinerary as you are busy preparing for the conference itself. BeepBeep Nation can help you specify your current location and beep for relevant requests, such as having a tour guide to take you around. Get a travel experience like no other by strolling around like a local citizen. You might just make the most of an unfamiliar city, and gain new contacts in a locality besides your own.

Soon to launch worldwide, the BeepBeep Nation app can truly help you hit two birds in one beep. You can know your locale better or explore a new community, all while getting the help you need. To participate, check out the EMINENT (EMN) token, fuel for BeepBeep Nation. Pre-sale is live now, and it has a current bonus offering of 10% extra tokens. Changing the world for the better has never been this fun.

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Too Many Apps? Cluttered Phone Screen? Here’s What to Do.

I am a firm believer of the “messy desk, messy head” mantra. In my regular working schedule, I always make sure to set a 10 to 15-minute break to put those sticky notes back where they belong, throw out random scribbles from when I tried to conjure ideas for my next article, file those printouts that I forgot about yesterday, create a clearing for my laptop in the middle of the table (thereby clearing my head as well), etc etc. Everything has to be in place so that I myself can be in place and finally write.

And in my everyday life, I bring the mantra not just to work but everywhere. My fridge and kitchen cupboard are extremely organized. And you know who else isn’t exempted from my powers? Shelly.

Shelly, my phone. (It’s a play on both the second syllable of my first name Rachel and the first syllable of the word cellphone. So –chel, cell-, Shelly. Get it? No? Fine,the name’s lame.) Took me long enough before I got tired of swiping and swiping as I ultimately try to find the app I need. Eyes hurting, I even become dizzy at times. Finally, I realized, there has to be some way to save time from gazing at an endless pool of apps and icons before I can do what I need to do.

And I’m sure it’s not just me. You probably needed to open your chat messages for an important bestie update, only to get lost for more seconds than necessary. And honestly, how many of us have a phone screen that truly serves some eyesore? Well, not mine anymore. So here are some tips to get rid of that clutter.

1. Delete what you don’t need.

Sure, you need your fond memories of that cutesy kitten game even though you no longer have time to actually play it. And sure, there’s the cupcake game, too. And who knows? You and Bry might just break up soon (even though you’ve been going strong for months now), so you don’t want to delete any of your three dating apps yet. Three! Question is: do you really want to be an app hoarder?

Ever since I found out and wrote about the Swedish concept of lagom eons ago — fine, just a few weeks ago — I tried integrating ideas of moderation and necessity with my lifestyle. It has worked so well so far. Even with my phone screen. So evaluate your apps. Think about the ones you truly and regularly need. Get rid of those you don’t. Again, don’t be an app hoarder. Chances are, even if you change your mind, you can just download it again sometime. But right now, what you need is peace of mind. And eyes. Your eyes need peace.

2. Folders, folders, folders.

If you have an active technological lifestyle, and your preoccupations really have bits to do with your phone, at least have the energy to file your apps into neat folders. Create categories that are relevant to you. For example, bundle your cooking and food-related apps together. Make a separate folder for your news apps. Make another for your social media accounts. And if you really can’t get rid of the kittens and cupcakes, just make sure they are where they need to be.

3. Download the BeepBeep Nation App.

These days, there is an app for everything. You need a ride? Get this app. You need to find a place to stay next weekend? Download this one. You need reviews of restaurants? Download another. And while it has been very convenient for us to get the services we need in the span of some taps, things might just get a bit more convenient.

The BeepBeep Nation App provides an easy way for people to get help and give help. And in different ways too, which makes it extremely efficient. Known as “The Mother of All Apps,” it covers many categories of your daily problems such as finding a ride and a place to stay, reading restaurant reviews, getting accurate information, and even receiving first aid in medical emergencies.

And while it’s amazing that one app covers all that and you now have reason to declutter your phone screen, what’s even more amazing is that you can get help for free. Visit the BeepBeep Nation website to find out more. In the meantime, go put your organizing fingers on, start deleting and categorizing on your phone screen, and finally address that eyesore.

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Extreme Diet Reversed Diabetes in 86% of Patients

For many folks, a “plant-based” or “Mediterranean” diet has been proven by nutritionists as the healthiest. It is linked to many benefits including healthy aging, lower risk of heart disease, improved cognitive function, slower neurodegeneration, and many others. However, for some people who have specific conditions, other regimen — perhaps in some cases, a more extreme diet — may be necessary.

That was the finding of a clinical trial from last year which involved patients with type 2 diabetes. The disease is believed to be reversible even with those who have had it for years, and the trial which made patients engage in an extreme diet attests to this belief; about 86% of those who took part in the study arrived at remission.

“These findings are very exciting,” said diabetes researcher Roy Taylor from Newcastle University. “They could revolutionise the way type 2 diabetes is treated.”

298 adults (20-65 years old) who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the previous six years participated in the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT). The participants were randomly assigned to a control group who went under the usual diabetic care or to an experimental group who went under an intensive weight management program. The latter group had to limit their food consumption to 825-853 calories for about three to five months, taking only health shakes and soups.

After this extreme diet, they were slowly reintroduced to more food for a period of two to eight weeks. Alongside it, cognitive behavioral therapy was also provided so that the patients may continue their weight loss and improve their level of physical activity.

Almost 90 percent [or about 86 percent] of those who lost 15 kilograms (33 lbs) or more, successfully reversed their type 2 diabetes. More than half (57 percent) of those dropping 10 to 15 kilograms (22 to 33 lbs) achieved remission also . . .  the control group receiving standard diabetic care management only saw a 4 percent remission rate . . . the average weight loss in the weight management group was 10 kilograms — whereas the control group participants only lost 1 kilogram.

Of course, the remission might not be permanent if patients revert back to unhealthy eating. But the researchers were able to conclude this: dietary intervention can help develop treatment options for type 2 diabetes, a disease that is no longer lifelong or chronic, but ultimately reversible.

The DiRECT program will continue to monitor the groups’ weight loss success and diabetes status. Now here’s to hoping the participants are on the direct path to healthier lifestyles.

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Helping Out: the Latest Lifestyle Trend

Every so often, I write about a current or emerging lifestyle trend that isn’t only able to influence our own personal choices but also to shape the culture we engage with. In fact, this is one of my favorite topics to write about. It’s certainly my life goal to stay trendy and support sustainability at the same time, and I love spreading the word about it. Here are some of the lifestyle trends that I’ve previously written about and remain beloved to me:

1. Sustainable fashion

Making your wardrobe eco-friendly isn’t really as difficult as it sounds. The key, as I often point out in other aspects of daily life, is to organize. From your old ones, pick your favorite and essential clothing items then decide on what you don’t need. Go on to sell or donate them. Whatever you do, don’t throw stuff away!

As for shopping for new items, be aware of your sources. Do your research in advance. Shopping local is usually a good way to support the community. Avoiding items that might have come from animal cruelty is a good principle. At the end, I guess it’s a matter of principle and knowing which fashion companies mirror yours.

2. Food choices — organic, local, and balanced

Sustainability, though it is also seen in other aspects of daily life like fashion, most often comes up in conversations about food choices. So it’s safe to say updating your lifestyle means supporting sustainable food production. Millennials, they say, are effecting some big changes in the food industry: they opt out of GMOs, go organic, and support local. And I believe those are very good choices. Now more than ever, people are encouraged to produce their own food by growing their own gardens and such.

However, in addition to sustainable, what should food choices be if not healthy? Research says that a Mediterranean or a plant-based meal plan can give us the most health benefits. So don’t go for those heavily advertised crash diets. Choose the most balanced — thus sustainable — one for your body as well.

3. All-around mindset

Here’s the thing. Doing healthy things and following lifestyle trends without reflecting on why you do them could suffice, but they cannot ensure  long-lasting effects on your well-being. What’s really important is how you think about your life and how you let that process manifest into actual decisions. Some things that really helped me be more conscious of my choices are lagom and mindfulness. Lagom has helped me achieve balance in my daily life — from arranging my apartment furniture to reducing my work-related stress. Mindfulness has helped me embrace my mental illness, commit to a self-care regimen, and even seek help when I need it.

Now you may ask, why am I listing all of these things? It’s because I want to reflect further on what makes a certain lifestyle trend so important to me. And I’ve been thinking, in the end, it’s all about kindness, isn’t it? Sustainable fashion is all about being kind to the earth. Sustainable food choices is about being kind not only to the environment, but to your own body as well. Certain mindsets like lagom and mindfulness are about being kind to yourself and the people that you love and that love you.

I realize, maybe the next thing that I want to commit to is being kind beyond my self and my inner circle. So here’s another lifestyle trend that I believe should go viral:

4. Kindness, kindness, kindness.

Maybe it’s not even simply the latest lifestyle trend, maybe kindness is a more timeless choice that we need to make chic now. After all, it even has some amazing health benefits. So go outside and volunteer. Help out a stranger in need — whether he is in a medical emergency or simply needs a ride home — because you don’t know what impact it will make on his life. And for the matter, you don’t know what impact it will make on the world. Maybe one little favor can push someone to pay it forward and eventually end up creating an entire culture of helping other people out.

Sustainable fashion or food choices make us feel good, but what can make us feel better than being compassionate to others? And in the way that choosing organic for your salad today can be great for the environment, helping someone out may end up making the world better. Now that’s chic.

Final tip: you can actually use technology to start on this kindness lifestyle. Use the BeepBeep Nation app in reaching out to those who need your help, and learn more about the EMINENT token to get started. And hey, honestly, helping out has never been this trendy.

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Making a Better World One Beep at a Time

Last time, I wrote about little ways to answer this big question: how do I find my purpose in life? Simply reading books or going outside may be a far cry from what you expect of an intense introspection, but it won’t hurt to try. And even if it doesn’t enlighten you about the meaning of your own life, well, at least you got to enjoy your day.

I myself have gone on the life purpose spiral quite a few times, even as a woman whose business is doing okay and whose family gets along well, and it has led me before to another particular question. Am I being selfish when I concentrate on my personal life? What if my purpose in this world has to do with being more in the world, whatever that means?

More daunting than discovering your life path, perhaps, is asking this: what can I do to help make a better world? I know, I know. With bills to pay and children to raise, it seems like too much. Most of us are not presidents or billionaires; it’s not part of our everyday routine to have great impact on making a better world. But, as with all things, it can’t hurt to start small. As long as you start. I think, even in our ordinariness, there is much to be done.

It’s okay to focus first on those near you. Do more for the people you love. Cook your friends a hearty meal and have everyone get together, just like the old times. It may not seem like much, but in a world where interactions mostly happen through chat or our newsfeed, it’s a radical step to foster social bonds. Leave a sweet note in your kid’s lunch. Your baby girl or baby boy might be having a bad day in school, and needs to be cheered up. Who knows, they might remember small acts like this in the future and use it someday as inspiration to fuel their own dreams of creating a better world. Never underestimate the loving things you do for your inner circle.

Never underestimate the power of a smile, either. I know, I know. That seems cliche. But niceness is definitely a good icebreaker. Make a stranger’s day better by greeting them a good morning. Ask an acquaintance how they’re doing, mean it, and really listen. Spend time with the elderly, hold their hand, and enjoy their stories — there is much to learn and they have much to share. Praise your co-worker for his or her hard work this week. Again, in a world where it’s so easy to hate and judge, showing someone your attention and appreciation could be a big thing.

Yes, society has much, much bigger problems than stray kittens. All over the world, political, cultural, and economic tensions exist. But remember that small changes are still changes. You may not have the resources to fly to a third world country and start a charity, but you can go to your local health center and donate blood. You may not have the time to arrange a fundraising event for the environment, but surely you can eliminate your use of plastic. If you are good at certain skills, mentor or coach someone in your community. If you do have the resources, make sure you donate them to foundations with causes you feel the most about. Again, if you don’t, you can always share your knowledge. Advocate. Raise awareness.

And keep being aware. There are always new ways to make a difference. With the pace that technology is evolving, I’m sure the industry also wants to do its part in making a better world. Keep your eyes peeled for these opportunities. One such app to join the mission of making a difference and offer us opportunities to do so is BeepBeep Nation.

The BeepBeep Nation app provides a platform for people to request for help whenever they need it — and in whatever form, such as needing a ride or a place to stay — and for other people to respond and help out. It hopes to redefine and encourage human interaction in the technological age, through technology itself. Visit the BeepBeep Nation website to find out more about how to make a difference in the world, one beep at a time.

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4 Unexpected Little Ways to Find Your Purpose

So it’s Saturday morning, you’ve just woken up — perhaps well-rested, perhaps still a bit tired from going out and having a little fun last night with your colleagues. Nonetheless, you’re ready to chill out for the next 48 hours or so because it’s finally the weekend, work has been hellish recently, and well, you deserve it. So you take a step back and try to wipe out the stress. You sink a bit more under your comforter. You plan a relaxing day ahead.

Suddenly, in the span of a split-second, the big questions come. What am I doing with my life? Is there something missing? Am I making a difference in the world like I want to? Do I even want to? Do I have any life purpose at all?

I’m sure all of us have been in this spiral at some point in our lives. Maybe you’re slowly realizing you don’t like your job. Maybe you like your job enough, yet still feel a little lost about your career path. Maybe you keep constant communication with your friends, but you’re not as fulfilled with your relationships anymore. Maybe you have hobbies, but no passions.

There can be an infinite number of reasons why any of us would question our purpose. A Google search will probably yield a thousand other posts about it already. And while it’s good to have perspective, personally I think it helps to zoom in and try not to think so big. Instead, think deeper. Look inward.

And sometimes, thinking deeper or looking inward means simply moving along with your weekend plans to take a step back and relax. Sometimes, it means doing little, ordinary things. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Read.

Remember that book you bought months ago, tucked in your shelf, and accidentally forgot about? The one you saw at the bookstore and were too eager to read? Yes, that one. Pick it up. Sit comfortably. Sip your tea.

Reading about another person’s life, whether fictional or real, might just give you insight about your own. Seeing what motivates the characters — or perhaps the historical figures or artists — in the book might help you answer questions about your motivations as well. Aside from that, reading about the great ideas that shaped the world might also inspire you to participate and do good yourself. Who knows? After all the crisis, you might even end up writing your own story someday.

2. Dress up nicely.

I know, it seems exhausting after a week of making yourself presentable in meetings or the workplace or whatever. You just want to stay on the couch in your jammies and a cozy sweater all day. But for once, won’t it be fun to dress up for yourself? Put on your Sunday’s best. Your favorite little black dress. Or experiment with a new outfit. Wear whatever makes you feel good.

And then: look. Feeling confident could be an ideal place to start your self-evaluation. It seems petty to appreciate your appearance, but appraisal of the outside could lead to a fruitful introspection. List your strengths in your head. (Or actually on paper, if you want.) Look good, feel good, and think about the best version of yourself that you want to become.

3. Do something messy.

Get those hands dirty. Try finger painting. Dig around and fix those flower beds in your garden. Lay out those baking tools, don’t be afraid to get flour all over your kitchen, and make something sweet. This way, you’ll loosen up. Minus the pressure of failure, you’ll allow yourself to explore what you can really do. It’s gonna be a good experience. At the end, when you look at your artwork, cupcakes, or dahlias, you’ll see it was worth making such a mess. Know that the same is true for the mistakes you’ll make in your life.

4. Go outside.

Literally and figuratively. Remind yourself that you’re not the only person in the world, because sometimes, finding your own life purpose means sharing your life with others. Volunteer in a community activity like fund drives or clean ups — you might just discover a passion and a vocation. Get to know your neighbors — you might see the community in a new light. Plus, don’t be afraid to help out a stranger — you just might make new friends and feel fulfilled at the same time.

If you want to learn about various ways to help people in need near your area, you can check out the BeepBeep Nation app. You can also watch this video for more information on how to get going. Helping out and perhaps finding your purpose along the way has never been this easy.

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New App Alerts Deaf Parents to When and Why Babies Cry

Many innovators have focused on helping children have fun living their lives and/or helping parents have a little ease in raising their children. A high-tech clothing line is producing wearable stuff that adjusts and grows along with the kids. A startup has created emotion-tracking smart glasses that can improve the social skills of autistic children. The latest to contribute is a mom doctor who developed an app that addresses a few problems in the parenting experience of deaf parents.

As parents spend time around infants, they start to learn the difference between when a baby is crying from pain, rather than fussiness. Deaf parents, on the other hand, have no way of understanding whether their baby’s cries mean something more serious.

That’s why Dr. Ariana Anderson at the UCLA Medical Center and Semel Institute developed the Chatterbaby app.

Anderson, herself a mother of four, discovered that she had been continuously learning how to interpret what her babies’ crying means over her years of motherhood. When she realized that deaf parents needed more assistance in this area, she thought of creating an app that could guide the deaf community.

By compiling a database of over 2,000 baby cries, Anderson’s app can interpret a baby’s needs with 90% accuracy. For instance, if there are long periods of silence between cries, it usually means that the baby is just finicky. But if the infant is uttering long, sustained, high-pitched wails, it means that the baby is in pain.

The app is still going through further development, but those who tested it have already given positive feedback. Deaf parents who participated in the test run stated that the service is indeed an important innovation.

Of course, every future parent would have a different parenting experience. However, innovations like this could surely bring a little convenience to the great challenge.

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Magical Wooden Classroom Helps Children Bond with Nature

The past decade has probably seen the worst environmental damage humans have ever caused in history. However, it is also probably witness to the best human efforts in reversing the tragic situation and working towards accountability. Chile will create five new national parks in a preservation effort, China will reforest an entire area as big as Ireland (6.6 million hectares!), and announced most recently, Australia will spend 500 million dollars to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

If we are to continue these attempts at environmental preservation, then financial support from the government has to be accompanied by cultural efforts.  By which I mean we need education. And who else can we educate more than those who will inherit this earth? To continue our environmental progress, it is children who foremost need to understand how nature works.

That’s exactly the objective of this magical wooden classroom designed by Studio Weave for Belvue School.

[T]he building was created to help reconnect students with nature and it opens up to an adjacent woodland recently acquired by the school to serve as an educational nature reserve . . . Constructed from a low budget originally allocated for a cargotecture school expansion, the 1,600-square-foot Wooden Classroom comprises a “cozy lounge” informal teaching space and a “sociable kitchen” student-run school cafe next to the woods.

With curved ceilings and clerestory windows, the wooden classroom is entirely provided with natural lighting and ventilation. Students may appreciate the neighbouring woodland through large window walls. To constantly check in with the nature aspect, a forest management specialist was consulted by Studio Weave throughout the construction process for Belvue School.

“We identified that the boundary between the playground and woods marks the border between familiar school territory and the magical, mysterious world of trees,” said Studio Weave. “This very important threshold, symbolising the entrance to another world, like the gate to the secret garden, or the cupboard to Narnia became a focal point and we consequently designed the woodland classrooms to act as a gatehouse between one world and another.”

If that doesn’t sound magical, I’m not sure what does. It makes me want to be a child and rediscover the earth with fresh eyes again. Maybe that’s what we all need to really care for nature. Then again, bringing back the past is totally impossible. So here’s to hoping the children retain the wonder and magic they experience in this gorgeous wooden classroom to the bigger world once they themselves grow bigger in the future.

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Let Swedish Concept “Lagom” Bring Balance to Your Life

Mindfulness is a pretty trendy lifestyle choice that truly appears to be effective, though of course different people have different takes on it. Some professionals say that living in a fast-paced world where everything is instant exhausts us, and therefore we must sometimes slow things down a bit. For a person with a mental health condition, acceptance and awareness are necessary tools in order to find ways to live with it—though again, what worked for me might not necessarily be as successful for someone else.

There are many opinions on how to find a healthy and functional lifestyle that is most suited to one’s well-being. But if there’s another word to describe this world other than “fast-paced,” I think it would be “excessive.” We work so hard to buy so much stuff, eat so much food to do so many things, take in so much information in order to survive and then so much media to keep ourselves entertained. We need so much and want so much. This is why I find myself rather invested in the balance of one’s life as described by the Swedish concept of “lagom”.

“Lagom” [celebrates] the idea of “just enough.” It’s the space between minimalism and living in excess . . . With lagom, less is more, and instead of buying things we do not need, it is about finding pleasure and fulfillment in moderation. It is the belief that extremes on the spectrum are bad. For instance, exercise is good, but none at all is just as detrimental as too much.

The idea seems exciting, though a bit lofty. So the question now would be: how does one embrace “lagom”? Well, to answer this, you would constantly have to ask another question: is this good enough? Because good enough is the way to go for “lagom”. When it comes to housekeeping, one should learn to keep what’s valuable — don’t hoard every single souvenir, but don’t toss everything out so quickly either.

[B]efore adding anything else to your space, ask yourself if things are good enough already. The point is to find a simpler life that still has room for the things that make you happy.

As for work, you have to know your limits. Decide when enough is enough. Don’t demand too much, but don’t let your employer demand too much from you either.

Accept that work is an important part of life, but find the balance between letting it be the main focus of your life and an unpleasant task you charge through as quickly as possible.

Another compartment of life that “lagom” works wonders with is your diet. This is because the idea of balance and moderation is best when it comes to nutrition.

[T]here is a time for indulging in all the delicious goodies that make a celebration great, but there is also a time to moderate. The first step to eating lagom-style is to eliminate waste.

Not every good meal has to be indulgent and expensive. Buy local. Grow your own produce. As long as it doesn’t take too big a space in your schedule, make time for things that will balance your life.

Like I said, you may read a lot of opinions about the real way to achieve a healthy lifestyle. You may hear from your momma or Aunt Carol about their own take. Then again, every person’s life is so specific, and what you end up doing with mindfulness, slowness, or even “lagom” depends entirely on how you want to live yours. “Lagom’s” only reminder is as simple as this: simple is best.

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