10 Rules of IKIGAI That Will Change Your Life For Better

Last Update on March 11, 2021 : Published on March 1, 2021

Did you know yesterday I was reading a summary of the book name, “IKIGAI: The Japanese Secret To a Long and Happy Life” by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles.

I came across the amazing 10 rules that the authors have proposed from the analysis of long-living residents from Ogimi, a small village in Okinawa. These rules really gave me food for thought.

Just after that a friend of mine posted a graphic of these 10 rules of Ikigai on her WhatsApp status, followed by a share of the same in my office group. So, I took all these events as a sign of the universe to share these 10 rules of Ikigai with you and enlighten you on your way to live a better life.

what is ikigai
Definition of ikigai

Also Read 9+ Life Lessons From The Dalai Lama That Will Change the Way You Live

Trust me once you make these rules of Ikigai a part of your life you are going to be invincible. Yes, you don’t need the infinity stones for it to happen, all you need is you to bring small changes in your life. To guide you with the same, these rules exist.

Please remember that you don’t have to go on abiding by all these rules overnight, take your time, and go for one rule at a time formula.

10 Rules of IKIGAI: Your Way To Transform Your Life

Ikigai Rule 1: Stay Active | Do Not Retire

Of course you can retire from your workplace but if you are planning to send your mind and body to retirement then you might want to reconsider your decision. By doing so you lose the purpose of your life and your bodily systems go for retirement as well.

Also Read: S.M.A.R.T. Goals The Key To Achieve Your Aim, Manage Time, and More

What to do then?

Don’t worry you can develop a hobby or run a side profession to keep your life, body, and mind moving. Don’t let your life functions get the rust or dust.

Excerpt from the book: “Those who give up the things they love doing and do well lose their purpose in life. That’s why it’s so important to keep doing things of value, making progress, bringing beauty or utility to others, helping out, and shaping the world around you, even after your“official” professional activity has ended.”

Ikigai Rule 2: Take It Slow

Slow and steady wins the race!” This is not just a childhood idiom or a moral of a story but a rule that we should be practicing on a daily basis in our life. You don’t have to rush in your life all the time!

Take a deep breath and just go with the flow, remember one step at a time and you will see yourself there! Plus, being in a hurry is negatively related to the quality of life. So improve your quality of living and leave urgency behind you!

Excerpt from the book: “Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to the quality of life. As the old saying goes, “Walk slowly and you’ll go far.” When we leave urgency behind, life and time take on new meaning.”

Ikigai Rule 3: Do Not Stuff Your Stomach

What you eat is how you feel has recently become the motto of my life. If you eat healthily, you think healthy, and you feel healthy. On the opposite side if you overeat, you tend to overthink, and feel overwhelmed quite easily.

That is why the rule suggests (and so does science) that you should be eating healthy and preferably a little less than your capacity.

Also here is a golden rule of eating that my grandparents always taught me, eat fresh and consume 50% raw diet. Soon you will see your skin and life glowing!

Excerpt from the book: “Less is more when it comes to eating for long life, too. According to the 80 percent rule, in order to stay healthier longer, we should eat a little less than our hunger demands instead of stuffing ourselves.”

Ikigai Rule 4: Surround Yourself With Good Friends.

A rule that we have always been told to practice while growing up is to surround ourselves with people who motivate us and think of our good (while you think of theirs). After all, we feed on each other’s energies which makes it important to have good and supportive friends in our lives.

Also Read: Stay Away from These Types of Toxic People

Also it is not only about having these good relationships but also maintaining them. Meet your loved ones frequently and cherish the bond that you share with them.

P.S.: Avoid toxic people and relationships in your life at all costs (please).

Excerpt from the book: “Friends are the best medicine, there for confiding worries over a good chat, sharing stories that brighten your day, getting advice, having fun, dreaming . . . in other words, living.”

Ikigai Rule 5: Get In Shape For Your Next Birthday.

This is one rule that I have been following for 5 years now and trust me there is no better gift that you can give to yourself then focusing on yourself! And please when I say get in shape don’t think of your physique (alone). Think of you as a whole and look for areas that need betterment.

Related: Influence of Body Image on Mental Health: Love yourself a little more

It can be your thoughts, your relationships, your boundaries, your physical appearance, your financial status, or any other factor that matters to you. Make it a way of living and spend each day working towards it (good luck).

Excerpt from the book: “Water moves; it is at its best when it flows fresh and doesn’t stagnate. The body you move through in life needs a bit of daily maintenance to keep it running for a long time. Plus, exercise releases hormones that make us feel happy.”

Ikigai Rule 6: Smile

Do you know what the best medicine in the world is? A SMILE! It is a potent tool of creating a wavelength of happiness within you and around you.

The mantra that I have to share with you is, never miss a chance to smile, and smile at every moment that life has to offer. Basically, keep smiling it will make you feel happier about yourself and your life (Hey, no toxic positivity intended here).

Excerpt from the book: “A cheerful attitude is not only relaxing – it also helps make friends. It’s good to recognize the things that aren’t so great, but we should never forget what a privilege it is to be in the here and now in a world so full of possibilities.”

Ikigai Rule 7: Reconnect With Nature

This Ikgai rule has to be my favourite. I am always in awe with the beauty of Mother Nature and its offering to us with better mental health being one of them. Believe me or not but merely looking at a greenspace can release happy hormones, reduce cortisol levels, and improve your overall wellbeing.

Related: Understanding the Role of Nature in Promoting Our Mental Health

That is why it is recommended that you should spend at least 5 minutes a day in nature. Don’t worry if you don’t have an accessible forest or garden area nearby, you always add a positivity radiating plant in your surroundings. It’s sure to keep negative vibes away from you.

Excerpt from the book: “Are you familiar with the Japanese word shinrin-yoku. It translates to ‘forest bathing’ and means connecting with nature using the five senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. It is a mindfulness practice to help you reconnect with nature so that you can rejuvenate the body and give the mind a moment of peace.”

Know more about Shinrin-yoku: Forest Bathing here.

IKIGAI Rule 8:  Give Thanks

Gratitude is a great practice to get going in your life (sounds like a tongue twister?) Well, gratitude can truly twist your life to 180 degrees. There is so much in life to be thankful for but even if you sit down to analyze your thoughts for a day, you will find that we are always complaining.

Let us promise ourselves to look for more reasons of appreciation and less reasons to complain in our lives from this very moment (welcome to club gratitude!).

Excerpt from the book: “To your ancestors, to nature, which provides you with the air you breathe and the food you eat, to your friends and family, to everything that brightens your days and makes you feel lucky to be alive. Spend a moment every day giving thanks, and you’ll watch your stockpile of happiness grow.”

Ikigai Rule 9: Live In The Moment

I think we all practice this unhealthy habit of swinging between past and future rather than savoring the present moment (I am guilty of the same).

Also Read: Carpe Diem Guide! Live the Present Moment, It Will Not Come Again.

However, according to Ikigai we should quit on this habit of ours and start living in the present movement. After all, the past brings sadness and the future makes us anxious, then why not be in the present and enjoy the gift of the moment.

Excerpt from the book: “Stop regretting the past and fearing the future. Today is all you have. Make the most of it. Make it worth remembering.”

Ikigai Rule 10: Follow Your Ikigai

According to the authors of the book IKIGAI and the people whom they analyzed we all have a unique passion and talent within us, that drives us and gives us meaning.

Find your Ikigai and follow it. You can get a step-by-step guide to find your Ikigai by clicking here. Once you have discovered it, keep moving in the direction of achieving it.

Excerpt from the book: “There is a passion inside you, a unique talent that gives meaning to your days and drives you to share the best of yourself until the very end. If you don’t know what your ikigai is yet, as Viktor Frankl says, your mission is to discover it.”

Now take a deep breath and ask yourself:

“What rules can I implement right now in my daily life?”

Pen it down, start working on making that particular rule of Ikigai, and embrace beautiful changes in your life.

P.S.: Don’t forget to share with us in the comments section which rules ok Ikigai are you going to begin the transformation of your life!

More power to you!!!

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About The Author

Anjali Singh
Anjali Singh

Anjali Singh is a content curator in the field of Mental Health. She is currently done Ph.D. in Psychology. Her aim is to light up the world with positive vibes through her words, her idea of life is ‘Grow through what you go through’. Apart from this, she is a big-time pet lover.

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