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  • Writer's pictureRahul Guha

#5 Japanese Secrets to a Long and Happy Life

Every time we hear the word Century, our minds go straight ahead toward the Century score in a cricket match. A century represents a mere 3-digit number that holds a different meaning for various people in the situation.

Here, I am going to share a different perspective on the Century. People who live for 100 years or more are referred to as Centenarians.

While talking about such extraordinary people, one thing that comes to my mind is the centurions of Japan, the people of Japan who live so long but remain active.

Recent statistics say that there are 86,510 Centurians living in Japan.

An obvious question that baffles us is what is the secret behind living a long but purposeful life. Many theories float around, and this topic can be read even when you look forward to living a healthy and purposeful life and not aspiring to be a centurion. The answer to this mystery is IKIGAI; in Japanese, it means the philosophy of Lifelong Happiness.

But what does Ikigai mean?

In the simplest term, Ikigai is "Your Purpose of Being." Having an Ikigai gives you the core reason to get up every day and start your day joyfully.

I read the book written by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles named "IKIGAI" one may find this in different versions and languages. If you take an interest and are keen to discover your purpose in life, I recommend reading this book.

This book deals with your Ikigai by throwing light on your four elements Passion, Mission, Profession, and Vocation of your Life. Somehow our career relies a lot on having a purpose to SETTLE in life and make it MEANINGFUL.

What do you love to do?

Is it tuned with what the world needs?

What are you good at?

What can you be paid for?

It would help if you reflected on these questions while deciding on Your Ikigai (The Purpose) of Life.

Now that you know how to find your Ikigai let me reveal those #5 Japanese Secrets to a Long and Happy Life.

#Secret 1 Hara Hachi Bu

You wonder what these words mean. It is simply eating until you are 80% complete. Keep yourself a bit "still hungry state" in every meal. Easy tactics of eating will keep you healthy and fit.

Some say that age is a number. Indeed I found many people around the world behave like young even when their biological age manured enough to be called old. When I look back on my beliefs in my 20s, I feel 40 is old; oh God, don't push me to 40. When I crossed that age, I felt I needed to go a long way; this was just another chapter to begin in my life.

If you are reading this blog, remember perception changes as we grow old, but a good habit of eating less in every meal should remain throughout. Being young comes more from the mind than your actual age. Most accept aging without trying to live a long, healthy, purposeful life like the Japanese.

We are becoming more Digi-social (my term, don't get perplexed) than being socially engaged. This is a unique thing to follow in Japanese culture; they bond with locals with similar attitudes. These small social groups are called Moai. They celebrate life together with games, dinners, meetings, and simple outings. These groups make them mentally fit. We are very active in social media but shun those real-life interactions in groups.

#Secret 2 Workouts for mental health

We are hearing about mental health and wellness too often in a new normal scenario! It was never a topic for discussion before the pandemic. We had understood the importance of Mental health lately when it started affecting our physical health. The secret of being mentally alert and leveling up our cognitive ability lies in simple mind games & workouts that keep our mind, body, and soul lively even when we are aging.

Another crucial element I must mention here regarding mental health is the surging curve of Dementia. WHO estimated that It will rise to 78 million in 2030 and 139 million in 2050. These statistics are enough for you to understand why you should do mental workouts. Playing tricky games, working under certain circumstances, being curious to learn new things, and planning intellectual stuff are a few ways to be full of spirit.

Stress is generally construed with a negative connotation, but it can greatly help you to make your brain remain more active and sustain improved mental activities. Even writing does it for me.

#Secret 3 Morita Therapy

Morita therapy is a purpose center therapy created by Shoma Morita, an ardent Buddhist and contemporary of Sigmund Freud.

Morita addressed human feelings by building traction with nature. To discover the ultimate purpose of being is a complex and time-consuming process; many fail to connect even with the word called PURPOSE.

He has shared a few simple steps to help an individual reach the ultimate purpose of being.

a. Accept your feelings

The suppressed feeling are the killers; they transit you back to the negative zone whenever you try to be happy. These feelings are inside you, and they build over time and are hard to ignore. The theory says instead of controlling or getting rid of these feelings, we should try to accept and deal with them.

b. Do what you should be doing

Morita therapy allows people to analyse and comprehend their own actions instead of comparing them to other examples. When you know what you did that has given you a positive or negative result, you will consciously understand what needs to be done at that moment of action. You take your call.

c. Discover your life's purpose

We are responsible for our actions, with no one to blame. Of course, It is your choice to discover your life & career purpose and find what you should be doing at the moment? Moving forward is pivotal by aligning your purpose before you take the first step, according to Morita Therapy.

#Secret 4 Going with the flow

Imagine you went on trekking and successfully met the summit of a decent height. After reaching the top, the only thing you wish to do is to stay there to enjoy the moment and experience that one-off achievement to the fullest, forgetting all other things that need your attention.

Morita therapy teaches you to be in the moment and live it thoroughly because that is what makes your life worthy.

Living in the present and going with the flow enhances our perspective on life and ensures a point of mental stability throughout.

#Secret 5 Proper diet and exercise

Japanese people, especially those living on Okinawa Island, follow a particular diet. Their diet resembles "eating a rainbow," which includes peppers, carrots, spinach, cauliflower, and eggplant.

Few other specialties are White Tea and Shikuwasa (a citrus fruit), which are highly effective against aging.

Once we are talking about diets and exercise, let me tell you, perhaps 98% of people will start with all energy but soon give up both. I advise people to follow a strict diet & workout regime as it could reverse my diabetes with these two habits.

Japanese consider exercise a vital part of their everyday life. They use various forms of fitness methods like Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong, to name a few, which help them in fostering mental and physical health. You may google to check the real application of these typical methods.

Well, I have given a very elaborative perspective of finding your Ikigai (purpose of life) through this blog. These five elements sound easy but are most difficult to transform into a habit.

The message I would like to percolate here is that even if you follow some of these and be consistent, you will have a healthy life. Our physical and mental health are capable of playing spoilsports whenever we recharge ourselves to attain a bigger goal if these are not nurtured well.

Have you ever seen a tall leader sluggish, lost, or run out of energy?

Aspirations need an agile mind, a distinct purpose, and steady progress to realize your goals. Here IKIGAI techniques work the best.

Hmm inspired! Pack your bags and let the journey towards a long and happy life begin. I offer to handhold career seekers with my coaching, community, and courses.

Quickly check out my website for valuable content. Do not forget to spare time to write comments.

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