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

Sunday, 17 September 2017

girls legs on bed and book

I have to admit, I'm slightly obsessed with books which promise that they can help me to improve my mental state and my life at the moment. I'm always open to finding out how people from across the world have learnt to achieve happiness. I was hooked by the Danish ideas of Hygge and Lykke, and now my eyes have been turned to Japan, who are sharing their own secret to happiness: Ikigai.

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life does exactly as it says on the tin (or cover). It shares how the Japanese people manage to live so long and keep their minds and bodies so young in the process. The people of Japan believe that everybody has an Ikigai. They describe this as your own personal reason to get out of bed each morning. Your single drive in life. It could be a desire to help people, a love for music or a need to write. You may already know what your Ikigai is, or you may have to dig a little deeper within yourself to find your own Ikigai, but once you find it, the Japanese people suggest that your life will be filled with more meaning and purpose.

I really loved this book. Not only does it show you exactly how you can find your own Ikigai but it offers case studies from the people of Japan, and others all over the world, whose lives have become better from finding theirs. It shares stories from people all over Japan, including a few famous hard workers such as writer, Haruki Murakami and animation director, Hayao Miyazaki. Reading these stories made me realise what really matters to me in my life and what doesn't. Finding your Ikigai can adjust your mindset and put you back on the right track.

The book also looks further into why Japan has the highest life expectancy rates in the world - something which I found so interesting and am hoping to learn a few tips from! It features interviews from 'supercentenarians' (my new favourite word which means people who have lived for 110 years or longer) and questions them on what they do to stay feeling young, healthy and happy. It also offers tips on how your diet, lifestyle choices and the types of excersize which you take up can help you to live a fuller and happier life.

Ikigai is a lovely book (with a gorgeous cover too!) which I'll definitely be dipping back into in future to remind myself of all of its brilliant tips! This book was very kindly sent to me by Penguin, but if you'd like to buy a copy you can grab one yourself right here!

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