The Japanese Secret to a Long & Happy Life-Ikigai & NLP
What is Ikigai?
I was researching how NLP impacted health & wellbeing recently and came across the term “ikigai”. This was a new term to me so I decided to explore. Ikigai translates roughly to, “the happiness of always being busy”. My exploration led me to a book called IKIGAI, the secret to a long and happy life, by Hector Garcia & Fancesc Miralles find it here. Which turned out to be an international bestseller.
It tells the story of how the authors travelled around Japan interviewing centenarians about their lifestyle. In an effort to establish some guidelines on how to live healthier, happier lives. They captured the thoughts of the centenarians about living to 100 years and more. The focus of the book is a Japanese island called Okinawa. On this island you will find 24.55 people over the age of 100 for every 100,000 inhabitants. Which is significantly greater than the global average. In addition, there are 4 others areas in the world that have higher numbers than average of centenarians too and these are:
- Sardinia, Italy– where locals typically consume plenty of vegetables and 1 or 2 glasses of wine a day 🙂
- Loma Linda, California– A group of seventh day Adventists were among the longest living in the USA
- The Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica-locals remain remarkable active after 90, many waking at 5am to work in the field
- Ikaria, Greece– 1 in 3 of this islands inhabitants is over 90 years old vs worldwide average of 1%
So how can Ikigai help me live longer?
Apparently as a result of their research there are 10 practices you can adopt. These have been derived from the input of the subjects studied in the book. Obviously nobody can guarantee how long you will live. Perhaps you will see potential improvements from adopting some of these??
- Stay active: Don’t retire: Giving up what you love doing may cause you to lose purpose in life. Better to focus on doing meaningful things of value. Ensure you are making progress, bringing beauty or usefulness to others by helping out. Make a difference in the world after your professional activity has come to an end.
- Take it slow: A hurried life reduces the quality of your life. Take time to enjoy the journey.
- Don’t fill your stomach: The 80% rule applies here, eat until you are 80% full. Difficult to determine but you should leave the food once you begin to start full. Less is more when it comes to eating for a long life.
- Surround yourself with good friends: Consider your friends as a good tonic. Share worries, concerns and laughter.
- Get in shape for your next birthday: Water moves and is at its freshest when it flows. Exercise keeps our fluid moving and releases feel happy hormones so keep active.
- Smile: An attitude of cheerfulness is relaxing and can help you make friends. It’s a privilege to be here on earth in a world full of so much possibility, enjoy it!
- Reconnect with nature: We are made to be part of the natural world try and escape the city and enjoy the wonders.
- Live in the moment: Time to stop regretting the past, no more fearing the future. Today is all you have for certain, enjoy it and make it worth remembering.
- Give thanks: Spend some time each day expressing your gratitude-see what happens! You happiness could grow.
- Follow your Ikigai: Your unique talent and passion drives you to share the very best of you, find it and share it.
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