‘Tis the new year. Have you thought of what plans you have for the future? Or are you still stuck pondering on the past?
Do you long to be able to wake up and greet the day with a smile? Do you wish life would just stay on track and go your way?
The previous year may have been a pain in everyone’s bottoms. Some of you may have lost your jobs or loved ones. Some of you may have experienced extreme stress and exhaustion from overworking at home. Some of you may have had problems regarding relationships. It felt as if the whole year had nothing but only despair and chaos.
But, did you know that the Japanese had come up with a few methods that could cure your problems? In order to regain your spirit and hope for this next year, we’ve compiled a list of Japanese methods for you to live a better, healthy and happier life.
This one, you might’ve probably heard of.
In Japanese, ‘Ikigai’ is referred to as the reason for being. In other words, this method is the key to find out what makes our life meaningful. It’s the question that tends to pop up in everyone’s heads.
What should I do to be able to live life fuller? What can I do next?
Ikigai revolves around four main areas; Passion, Mission, Profession and Vocation. To obtain the final result of a well-balanced life, these four areas must overlap each other. For example, passion and mission reflect what you love, while profession and vocation reflect what you can be paid for.
No need to rush to get the final result. Pursuing Ikigai itself is a long challenging spiritual process which also requires your well-being and optimism. Rather than pushing your limit, take your time and just enjoy the process to find true happiness.
Tired of always having to work at home? Or being cooped up indoors because of the virus?
Maybe it’s time to take a nature getaway. Nature doesn’t just do good to our physical health. It can also help us clear the stress and anxiety, as well as give us a sense of peace and relief. The Japanese also developed this nature getaway into a method called Shinrin-yoku. Shinrin is translated as forest, while yoku means bath. In other words, Shinrin-yoku means ‘forest-bathing’ or ‘to dive into nature’.
On the weekends, try going to your favorite nature spot or search for newer ones that you’ve never been before. Once you’re there, try to feel the surrounding nature with your five senses. Listen to the chirping birds. Fill your lungs with the scent of fresh air. Observe the different colors and patterns of mother nature. Feel the leaves and branches under your fingers.
Embrace Shinrin-yoku and let yourself indulge nature in mind and body.
As humans, it’s in our nature to crave for perfection. One single flaw could send us into an emotional rage. However, imperfection doesn’t mean something is completely bad. Once again, the Japanese were able to come up with a method to reverse the ugly stereotype.
In Japanese, Wabi refers to the positive aspects of living alone with a simple and quiet life, while Sabi indicates the search for beauty in withered state, scars and old age. This method acts as a reminder for us to see what lies beneath our imperfection and accept every scar as they are. Wabi-Sabi encourages us to accept the harsh and true realities of life that nothing lasts and nothing is perfect.
So, accept who you are and always be true to yourself.
Before we get into this method, here’s a little fact good to know: Japan is a nation with low resources and high population. In order to survive through suffering famines, they had to save any resources they have left. Thus, the method of Mottainai was born.
Mottainai basically means ‘what a waste’. It actually holds a philosophical meaning on how wasting anything in life is terrible. This method teaches us the importance of utilizing any resources we possess and to respect the nature and resources that might disappear in the future if we don’t treat them right.
We can take a close example from the slogan ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’. The widely-known slogan is used to promote the habit of reusing usable garbage into something useful for our daily life. In a way, it also helps us to protect and take care of our environment.
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Hopefully these methods can help overcome the sadness and worries you’ve experienced for the past year. Anyways, it also doesn’t hurt to learn some Japanese to dulge in deeper to these spectacular life-changing methods. Check out our Japanese course at LingoTalk.