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IKIGAI-The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life : Book Review

Learn the holistic approach to well-being through the principles of this international bestseller book - IKIGAI:The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Book Review: IKIGAI-The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Exploring the foundational chapters of Ikigai, we delve into how mastering life's basics can lead to a fulfilling and joyous journey toward longevity and happiness. Well-being isn't a competition of push-ups or laps; it's an internal process. It flourishes within the realms of mental and social wellness, where authentic strength takes the spotlight. Ikigai, centered around the pursuit of one's life purpose, promotes several strategies for improving overall well-being. Here, we delve into three particularly intriguing tactics that numerous individuals have found immensely beneficial.

 

The book itself is fairly straightforward and doesn't require a detailed breakdown. However, in the following analysis, we delve into its nuances.

 

Antiaging secrets

This chapter offers us no new insights, it is merely an insistence on the things we are already familiar with. It essentially offers us the art of staying young while growing old. The book proposes that melatonin serves as a valuable ally in maintaining youth; however, its natural production diminishes after the age of 30. To counteract this decline, one can maintain youthful vitality by adopting habits such as consuming a well-balanced diet, receiving moderate sunlight daily, abstaining from caffeine and alcohol, and ensuring an adequate amount of sleep. 

 

Although persistent and intense stress is recognized as an adversary to longevity and both mental and physical well-being, moderate levels of stress have been proven to be advantageous. Individuals experiencing minimal stress often cultivate healthier habits, smoke less, and consume less alcohol.

 

Logotherapy

Given by Frankl and in contrast to psychoanalysis, this therapy is markedly distinct and effective. Patients undergoing this approach often grapple with an existential crisis stemming from the absence of a defined and meaningful purpose in life, resulting in feelings of emptiness and profound unhappiness. The primary goal of this therapeutic method is to highlight this inherent lack of purpose and assist individuals in uncovering their concealed life purpose. As they discover this newfound passion for life, patients become equipped to surmount obstacles and address personal sorrows successfully.

 

Frankl provides case studies to illustrate the theme, including one involving a suicidal mother contemplating the tragic loss of a son. During therapy, another woman is prompted to envision herself on her deathbed, wealthy and accomplished but childless. Her response, labeling it as a failure, prompts the suicidal mother to recognize the value of her sacrifices for her sons, dissuading her from attempting suicide.

 

Morita therapy, another effective therapy advises individuals to accept their feelings, be it positive or negative, as attempting to control them can worsen mental well-being. The approach suggests that recovery will occur naturally, and individuals can aid the process by focusing on the present and learning from their mistakes and experiences.

 

Find flow in everything you do

Each of us has a unique activity that enables us to escape from our concerns and become fully absorbed. We lose ourselves in the task. Whether it's reading, cooking, sculpting, playing a musical instrument, or any other pursuit, the goal is to attain a state of flow. This state involves a complete focus on a specific task, free from distractions, leading to a sense of order in the mind.

 

In Japan, the concept of perfect flow is evident in Takumi, or artisans, who dedicate extensive hours to meticulous, singular tasks, like painting brush handles or just assembling the same. Immersed in these specific activities, they lose a sense of self and attain a state of flow.

 

In conclusion, the exploration of anti-aging secrets, logotherapy, and the concept of flow in the book "Ikigai" offers a holistic perspective on leading a fulfilling and purposeful life. The anti-aging insights remind us of the importance of maintaining a balanced lifestyle, while logotherapy emphasizes the significance of finding meaning in our existence. The concept of flow, as highlighted in "Ikigai," becomes a guiding principle, urging us to identify and immerse ourselves in activities that bring about a deep sense of engagement and satisfaction. Together, these principles provide a roadmap for not only extending our years but also enriching them with purpose, meaning, and a continuous sense of rejuvenation.


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