“Many people seem older than they are. Research into the causes of premature aging has shown that stress has a lot to do with it.”
“The American Institute of Stress investigated this degenerative process and concluded that most health problems are caused by stress.”
“Existential crisis , on the other hand, is typical of modern societies in which people do what they are told to do , or what others do, rather than what they want to do. They often try to fill the gap between what is expected of them and what they want for themselves with economic power or physical pleasure, or by numbing their senses.”
“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.”
“The happiest people are not the ones who achieve the most. They are the ones who spend more time than others in a state of flow.”
“In order to achieve this optimal experience, we have to focus on increasing the time we spend on activities that bring us to this state of flow, rather than allowing ourselves to get caught up in activities that offer immediate pleasure.”
“Japanese people often apply themselves to even the most basic tasks with an intensity that borders on obsession.”
“Our ability to turn routine tasks into moments of microflow, into something we enjoy, is key to our being happy, since we all have to do such tasks.”
“Artists, for example, who carry the torch of their ikigai instead of retiring, have this power. Art, in all its forms, is an ikigai that can bring happiness and purpose to our days. Enjoying or creating beauty is free, and something all human beings have access to.”
“Artists know how important it is to protect their space, control their environment, and be free of distractions if they want to flow with their ikigai.”
“Many such artists might seem misanthropic or reclusive, but what they are really doing is protecting the time that brings them happiness, sometimes at the expense of other aspects of their lives. They are outliers who apply the principles of flow to their lives to an extreme.”
“To be able to concentrate for a considerable amount of time is essential to difficult achievement.” — Bertrand Russell
“The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” — Washington Burnap
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” — Viktor Frankl
“Nana korobi ya oki (Fall seven times, rise eight.)” — Japanese proverb
“Metabolism slows down 90 percent after 30 minutes of sitting. The enzymes that move the bad fat from your arteries to your muscles, where it can get burned off, slow down. And after two hours, good cholesterol drops 20 percent. Just getting up for five minutes is going to get things going again. These things are so simple they’re almost stupid.” — Gavin Bradley
Find a quiet space. Using a cushion or chair, sit up straight but not stiff; allow your head and shoulders to rest comfortably; place your hands on the tops of your legs with upper arms at your side.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and relax. Feel the fall and rise of your chest and the expansion and contraction of your belly. With each breath notice the coolness as it enters and the warmth as it exits. Don't control the breath but follow its natural flow.
Thoughts will try to pull your attention away from the breath. Notice them, but don't pass judgment. Gently return your focus to your breath. Some people count their breaths as a way to stay focused.
A daily practice will provide the most benefits. It can be 10 minutes per day, however, 20 minutes twice a day is often recommended for maximum benefit.