The biggest test of modern living is balancing between a demanding work life and maintaining a balanced personal life with optimal health and happiness. One way to accomplish this is by using mindfulness and self development strategies.
You will often hear people narrow down self development strategies to healthy eating habits and maintaining an exercise routine. Mindfulness, however, goes the extra mile to factor in your mental and emotional wellbeing for a well-rounded lifestyle.
Working hard is necessary for comfortable modern lifestyles but attaining longevity in such a system without burning out requires a consistent self-care routine.
Mindfulness in Japan is an all-encompassing process that replenishes mind, body, and spirit, allowing you to live to your fullest.
In fact, some of the suggested techniques are so practical in minimizing stress, that they enrich the level of recreation you get to enjoy in your life.
Many individuals seeking to enrich their lives with quality self-care practices visit Shinto Shrines in Japan. The shrines offer a place where they can partake in informal meditation to help them relax and rid themselves of the impurities of daily life and stress.
There are different types of shrines and reasons for visiting them. For example, some people visit shrines to receive blessings of good fortune or good luck, especially when facing a difficult exam, being considered for a promotion, or even gambling online.
Aside from visiting a Shinto Shrine or Buddhist Temple, the Japanese practice several beneficial self-development and mindfulness techniques.
Self Development Strategies Practiced in Japan
Hara Hachi Bu – Conditioning Yourself to Enjoy Healthy Food Portions
The Hara Hachi Bu formula helps create healthier eating habits through rationing food intake. When practicing this method, you only allow yourself to eat until you are almost full. You do not satisfy your hunger completely.
The Japanese believe that stopping eating when you are 80% full, will ensure internal organs have adequate room for digestion and will not be overworked.
Residents of Okinawa Japan commonly practice this principle. As a result, they tend to live longer and don’t have to deal with conditions like obesity.
To adapt quickly to this lifestyle, you should use smaller sized plates or bowls. If you are not used to second servings, your mind and body systematically adapt to lesser food portions alleviating you from binge eating for no plausible course.
Savor your food and ensure your meals are adequately balanced. Gobbling everything down makes such servings have less utility in your body as the greater portion of the barely chewed food will be hard to digest.
Be diligent in the process; it only takes about 17 meals for the stomach to readjust to this feeding habit. The effort is worth the improvement in your health.
Kaizen – Breaking Down Personal Goals
If you have issues seeing goals through to the bitter end or would like to up your tactics in handling huge tasks, we recommend Kaizen.
Kaizen is a continuous improvement business method that was developed after observing how successful humans achieve big goals by systematically powering through the small steps that accumulate into significant milestones.
The study concluded that focusing on the bigger goal demotivates and causes people to stress about the task ahead. This concept can be applied to one’s personal life as well.
By breaking down personal goals into smaller steps, you can consolidate and focus your efforts on daily tasks that will contribute to the desired outcome in the long run. Doing this allows pursuing your goals to becomes less stressful and more manageable.
This technique can even be used by addicts to help them overcome an addiction (such as smoking). They can systematically reduce the amount of their intake, which could finally help them quit.
Shukanka – Embracing Good Habits
Though Shukanka was not intended to help achieve goals, like Kaizen, it works by integrating positive habits into personal lifestyles.
The Japanese discovered that the continuous practice of virtues over a long time helps make them part of our daily lives, thereby improving the quality of our lives.
For this to work, you have to muster self-discipline and have the will to practice new habits until they become part of your lifestyle.
These self development strategies will go a long way in helping you reach your goal of a more balanced lifestyle.
Mindfulness Strategies Practice in Japan
Shakyo – Coping With Depression, Grief, and Anxiety
It’s pretty much impossible for a human to go through life without facing periods of depression, anxiety, and grief. Shakyo, or the Buddist practice of hand-copying sutras, can help you focus your mind and deal with those troubling times.
Shakyo has been practiced for thousands of years by many people in Japan as well as people from around the world, it’s a tried and trusted technique.
The practice of Shakyo originated in China, later finding it’s way to Korea. Then, during the Nera Period (710-794) it arrived in Japan. Since then, Shakyo has become a very popular Buddhist technique in a global society.
If this particular mindfulness activity doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry. There are other mindfulness techniques and self development strategies you can employ.
Wabi-Sabi – Accepting Imperfections
The Wabi-Sabi concept works when one learns to normalize imperfections and see them as part of a collective whole. It also includes the idea of impermanence and transcience.
We sometimes see other people’s lives and admire a lot that we lack. However, we forget that everybody deals with their own shortcomings. The difference is that some are better at hiding their frailties than others.
By acknowledging and accepting personal flaws, you are better positioned to work on yourself. Perfect and permanent not in human nature, and this is not necessarily a bad thing.
Wabi-Sabi helps us embrace this reality and better manage our personal expectations and the resultant stress that could affect our mental health.
Although adapting to such a lifestyle may take some time, you could slowly apply the Kaizen concept to form a habit of acceptance.
Ikigai – Live a Happier Life
Ikigai mindfulness teaches us to evaluate our lives and focus on things that make us happy and those that we are good at doing in an effort to achieve our life goals.
This focus helps you appreciate minor things that contribute to your overall wellness. By practicing Ikigai, your lifestyle readily relates to activities that add joy to your existence hence making you more comfortable about the life choices you make.
The first step in practicing Ikigai is to outline your strengths and core interests. It would help if you further analyzed your outline to develop a priority list to identify your most pressing needs.
The secret is to remember and utilize your strengths and values as you go about your daily activities. Doing so will help you develop a happy lifestyle and improve your abilities and talents in life.
Mindfulness is the first step taken by every big achiever in life. Knowledge of self goes a long way to determine your outlook of life and gives a sense of direction for personal goals.
Try some of the self development strategies presented here to help you achieve a balanced life.