Although all that glitters is not gold in Japan, there is a vision of the world and traditions that allow many to improve their lives. healthy and filling.
The healthy habits of the Japanese have their origins in ancient times and a vision of the world that prioritizes inner peace and harmony with the environment and with other people.
To find peace and restore strength, the Japanese perform shinrin-yoku – “forest bathing”. It consists of immersing yourself in the forest for several hours, leave your usual worries and enjoy everything that comes to you through your senses.
Being in the forest, where you breathe in the environment with all your senses, has a restorative effect on the body and mind because a person experiences “biophilia” it is a tendency to connect with the natural environment, with animals and plants, because in their society we have evolved over millions of years.
The scientifically proven physical and mental health benefits of this popular healing ceremony include: reduced stress, better sleep, increased concentration and creativity, physical recovery, immune regulation and overall happiness.
To practice Shinrin-yoku, you simply need to go to the forest (or park) and follow the steps that we will explain in the section How to take a forest bath?
Ikigai has a long history in Japan. This is a completely normal and everyday term meaning “the value of life” or “the meaning of life.”
Essentially your ikigai It’s the thing or things that make it worth getting up every morning. However, not everyone knows their ikigai. Discovering and developing this will help you live a more fulfilling life by developing your skills, desires and passions.
You cannot force your Ikigai to open. It’s about freeing yourself from social restrictions and living your true self. So don’t worry, just incorporate the question of why you get up in the morning into your daily life. Any activity or topic that piques your interest can become your ikigai. This could be, for example, learning to draw or play a musical instrument, or volunteering for an NGO.
If you want to know more about Ikigai, you can read the book dedicated to it by Francesc Miralles or his article in Bodymente: Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to Living Longer and Better.
Like ikigai, moai is a concept that comes from the island of Okinawa, a region of the world where People live much longer, happier and healthier lives than average.
Moai is a group of lifelong friends who share joys and problems and are always ready to provide support. They begin to form in childhood and persist throughout life.
Originally moai They were created to pool the resources of the entire city. for public projects or works. If a person needed capital to purchase land or help in an emergency, moai were the only way to raise money.
Today this idea has expanded to become a social support network, a cultural tradition that encourages solidarity and camaraderie.
In the vicinity of Okinawa, Friends “uniting for a common goal” (sometimes daily, sometimes a couple of days a week) to gossip, share joys and personal discoveries. If necessary, financial assistance is also provided.
Traditionally, groups of about five children were formed and were devoted to each other for life. As their second family, they periodically met with their moai for work and play, as well as to gather resources. Some moai have existed for more than 90 years.
Moai members They make a monthly contribution to the group which is used for dinners, games, meetings or any of your general hobbies. Some of these funds can be used if the participant needs it if their well-being is at risk.
Close relationships, not money or fame, make people happy throughout their lives. These bonds protect people from life’s dissatisfaction and help delay physical and mental deterioration.
4. Hara hachi bu
In Okinawa, per 100,000 residents, there are more than 60 people over 100 years old, which is three times more than in the United States. Part of the secret lies in the diet, and one of its principles is hara hati bu, a rule that recommends Eat only until the “eight parts of your belly” are full. This way you can avoid excess calorie intake and all the problems it causes.
Science says that the brain senses that the stomach has reached its limit 15 to 20 minutes after it has actually been full. This means The slower you eat, the sooner you will notice the moment when your body is full.
To practice hara hati bu, it is necessary make a conscious decision and this means savoring every bite, chewing it well and not being distracted by anything other than the food itself.
Also known as Japanese hospitality. Translating this concept is almost impossible because it is about much more than simple hospitality, and in Japan it usually goes beyond what we in the West understand as a good host.
The magic of omotenashi lies in create an atmosphere in which the visitor can feel comfortable and safe, Without expecting anything in return. It is the fruit of acting from the heart, without selfishness.
The royal roots of omotenashi go back to the origins of the tea ceremony, the rules of which were established by master Sen no Rikyu in the 16th century. During the tea ceremony The owner pays full attention to his guests. Understanding the meaning of omotenashi means understanding Japanese culture on a deep level. Of course, not everyone is always courteous, polite and sensitive, but Many of the values embedded in omotenashi reinforce positive cooperation and ensure that one feels welcome.
Elomotanashi It can be found wherever something comes from the heart. If you keep your eyes open during your visit to Japan, you will be able to appreciate countless behaviors that may go unnoticed, but whose purpose is to make you feel good.
This concept is applied in the business world. The term “kaizen” consists of Kai (change) and Zen (for the better). It refers to the continuous improvement of activities, processes, procedures or products by all employees of the company.
It’s not so much about great innovation as it is about every employee constantly critically question your activities and your workplace and constantly improve your work methods.
Kaizen philosophy This means improvements for everyone, always and everywhere. Masaaki Imai first brought the concept of continuous improvement to Western attention in 1986 in his book. Kaizen: the key to Japan’s competitive success.
According to Kaizen, There is always room for improvement. Be it products, services, processes, activities, workplace… everything can be improved.
The Kaizen mindset states that every employee should think every day about how they can improve. simplify or optimize your work and make appropriate proposals. This applies to all companies or other institutions.
Thus, Kaizen offers opportunities for recognition and growth at work, which is an important aspect of our lives.