If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we truly never know what life is going to throw our way. This year has certainly been full of unexpected twists and turns, to say the least.
But these new and frightening anxieties have also brought with them a small silver lining in the form of new coping mechanisms and positive philosophies from all around the world.
As we continue to work through these new and uncertain times, there seems to be a resurgence in the popularity of ancient wisdom and various helpful teachings on wellness, inner peace, and happiness.
What is hygge?
One of these popular philosophies is the Danish and Norweigan idea of hygge. If you haven’t been introduced to hygge yet, it’s actually quite simple. The word ‘hygge’ (pronounced ‘hue-guh’) comes from a Danish word that is used to describe any moment that feels especially cozy, charming, or comfortable.
This word can also be used interchangeably to mean the following terms as well: Familiar, secure, content, happy, simple, and reassuring.
At its core, hygge is meant to describe a special “feeling” and embraces a mindset of slowness and increased focus on the present moment.
Danes incorporate hygge as a natural extension of their lives, whether it’s lighting a cozy candle or pouring a cup of warm coffee. Perhaps the best part about it is that it doesn’t require any extra purchases or extreme action on your part.
If you want to embrace a more hygge mindset, you should begin by trying to recognize and enjoy simple moments more often, while also trying your best to “have a slower lifestyle in a busy world.”
But of all the new philosophies we’ve learned to embrace this year, the one that we’re probably most excited about is the ancient Japanese principle of kaizen.
In our fast-paced, busy lives, we are often pushing our bodies to the limit, working long hours and enduring large amounts of stress, in order to see results fast and “get ahead” of the game.
But this approach all too often leaves us feeling burnt out, tired, and defeated. But does it always have to be this way? In traditional Japanese culture, they tend to see things differently…
Let’s take a closer look at the kaizen approach and discover how we can use this ancient art to get one step closer to our goals.
Kaizen is a centuries-old philosophy from Japan that is based around being gentler on yourself and making small but consistent changes that lead to big results over time. It's known as the philosophy of "continuous improvement."
In Japanese, the word “kaizen” literally translates to “improvement” or "changing something for the better," with the primary idea being that slow and steady improvements are the best way forward towards your goals.
When used correctly, kaizen can help promote increased overall life satisfaction, happiness, and productivity. It has been shown to positively affect many different areas of our lives by removing some of the unrealistic expectations that we normally place on ourselves.
Ironically, our desire to reach a goal as quickly as possible is often what set us up to fail in the first place. But in kaizen, they choose the ‘hare’ over the ‘tortoise’ and opt for a more gentle, “slow and steady wins the race” type of approach. In other words, it's a long-term commitment... but it can work for anyone!
Kaizen invites us to look at things from a different perspective and realize that by rushing our way towards our goals, we generally only hurt ourselves. Even worse, this hurried approach doesn't seem to get us across the finish line any faster.
How to apply kaizen to your daily life...
Kaizen is all about making small changes continually. These changes could be as minor as adding one piece of fruit to your lunch each day, or meditating for five more minutes in the morning.
In this philosophy, it doesn’t matter how small the act, as long as it’s done consistently.
This approach is believed to help prevent us from becoming overwhelmed and giving up on our goals before we even really begin to see progress. This tends to be a huge struggle in the modern world, where perfectionism plagues so many of us and we struggle with feeling "good enough" or "achieving enough."
Believe it or not, you can even incorporate the art of kaizen into your supplement routine. This is because dietary supplements require consistency above all in order to experience their full benefits.
In other words, kaizen would likely argue that it's better to take just a few simple supplements consistently and for the long-term, over buying tons of products you dislike or barely ever consume.
In fact, one of the biggest mistakes that we often see when it comes to supplements is that people don’t stick to a consistent routine, and therefore don’t experience the results they desire. This very much goes against the kaizen philosophy, and often leads people to give up on supplementation too soon.
Fortunately, with a more ‘kaizen’ approach, it’s possible to simplify your supplement routine and consistently stick to a few good choices instead of trying to take on everything at once.
And just like kaizen teaches, these small but consistent habits can add up to impressive results over time. For example, you may notice an increase in your energy levels, less mental fog, clearer skin, or improved digestion, just to name a few.
You might even notice one day that you haven’t gotten sick in a while or that you've been experiencing bodily aches less often. Whatever it may be, the kaizen approach certainly has a great deal of value when it comes to health and wellness.
Here are some simple examples of kaizen...
Your path to achieving your health goals is simple when it comes to kaizen: Small daily changes, like adding the right supplement to your routine, can deliver incredible results over time when done consistently. And that’s what the philosophy of kaizen is truly all about!
Here at Primal Harvest, we use a version of the kaizen systematic business improvement approach to continuously better ourselves personally, while also improving the work environment for all of our employees.
Are you ready to incorporate a more kaizen approach to your daily habits? Here are some easy ideas to start you on your journey towards becoming a kaizen master!
Eat one additional piece of fruit or an extra serving of veggies per day
- Take a 5-minute stretch break in the middle of the day
- Stick to taking the same vitamin or supplement each day
- Hit the sack just 30 minutes earlier than usual
- Walk for 2 minutes for every hour that you sit at your desk
- Meditate for just 5 minutes in the AM or before bed
- Start a morning walking routine, even if it’s just 15-20 minutes (30 minutes is ideal)
- Commit to journaling your feelings and thoughts once per week
- Read 5 pages daily out of that book that’s sitting by your nightstand
- Drink one glass of water (or lemon water) every morning upon waking
Take our kaizen challenge
Before next week begins, choose one area of your life to apply the kaizen philosophy to. Once you’ve decided, simply write it down on a piece of paper or on your phone, and remind yourself of it each day.
At the end of the week, let us know how you did and what your first experience with kaizen was like! Did you feel anxiety from taking a more “slow and steady” approach? Or did you feel accomplished that you fulfilled your goals, no matter how small?
Leave a comment below, email us at Support@primalharvest.com, or send us a message on social media @primalharvest. We can’t wait to hear from you!
DID YOU ENJOY LEARNING ABOUT THE ANCIENT JAPANESE WISDOM OF KAIZEN? DON’T WORRY, WE HAVE PLENTY MORE WELLNESS CONTENT COMING YOUR WAY VERY SOON!
IT'S ABOUT YOU. IT'S ABOUT YOUR HEALTH. IT'S ABOUT RECONNECTING.