Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Feature -

Cul­tural dif­fer­ences aside, your in­ter­nal mono­logues and the way you deal with feel­ings and emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ences can very much be changed, re­gard­less of where in the world you live. Here’s a Swedish psy­chol­o­gist’s take on a lagom ap­proach to men­tal well­be­ing. Why lagom? “Sim­ply speak­ing, af­fect the­ory, which de­scribes the or­gan­i­sa­tion of emo­tions and ex­pe­ri­enced feel­ings, sug­gests we have a ba­sic set of emo­tional states that are uni­ver­sal. Th­ese are meant to help us nav­i­gate through life — like a com­pass of sorts. When we learn, de­pend­ing on our ex­pe­ri­ences, ei­ther to sup­press or to over­re­act to our own emo­tions, that com­pass doesn’t work very well. “We need to know how we feel about cer­tain things to make sound de­ci­sions, yet with­out al­low­ing the feel­ings to take over com­pletely. “Be­ing in touch with your feel­ings in a lagom way is thought to be linked to good men­tal health and mak­ing sound de­ci­sions. That’s the goal of many ther­a­pies, to find the right balance — to get bet­ter at iden­ti­fy­ing emo­tions you’ve per­haps learned to sup­press and learn to man­age and har­bour feel­ings if you have a ten­dency to over­re­act.”

Erika Stan­ley is a psy­chol­o­gist based in Stock­holm.

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