Forget hygge: Ikigai is the new lifestyle trend to obsess over

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
Move over hygge, there’s a new lifestyle trend in town: Ikigai [Photo: Pixabay via Pexels]
Move over hygge, there’s a new lifestyle trend in town: Ikigai [Photo: Pixabay via Pexels]

Last year we were all about the hygge – the Danish art of living cosily. But now there’s another lifestyle trend to obsess over: Ikigai.

Forget marshmallow encrusted hot chocolate and layers of cosy knits and embrace the Japanese philosophy of ikigai instead.

According to advocates of the philosophy, ikigai includes spending plenty of time outdoors reconnecting with nature, surrounding yourself with friends and family and only eating until you’re 80 per cent full.

Sounds ok, right?

According to the residents of Okinawa, where ikigai has it’s origins, discovering your own ikigai, which roughly translates to “reason for being”, is the secret to a happier and longer life.

And as the island is said to be home to the largest population of centenarians in the world, there certainly seems to be something in it.

In their book Ikigai The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles break down the ten rules that can help anyone find their own ikigai.

The lifestyle that the Okinawans have adopted contains plenty of mindfulness, being appreciative of those around you and attempting to live at a slower pace.

While the philosophy might be somewhat tricky to adapt to busy, city lives, those wanted to incorporate a little ikigai into their day could try smiling at their fellow commuters (good luck with that), leaving 20% of the food on your plate (easier said than done), and giving thanks to anything that brightens your day (thanks cat meme!).

The Okinawans also recommend getting in shape by doing gentle, daily exercise and continuing to challenge yourself until long after retirement. In fact they don’t advocate retirement at all believing instead that you should continue doing what you love to do.

Ikigai involves reconnecting with nature and taking a slower pace of life [Photo: Tobi Dami via Pexels]
Ikigai involves reconnecting with nature and taking a slower pace of life [Photo: Tobi Dami via Pexels]

Ikigai isn’t the only lifestyle trend 2017 has witnessed. Earlier this year the Sandinavian philosophy lagom created quite the buzz.

The idea of being frugal and creating balance, lagom translates to ‘just the right amount’. It’s a state of having “not too much of one-or-the-other, but more a Goldilocks ‘just right’,” according to Kathleen Bryson, a PhD student in evolutionary anthropology.

According to the BBC, the term has recently seen a steady increase in Google searches and was tweeted over 13,500 times within the first three months of 2017.

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