Harvard Studies of Psychology, Understanding Important Learning to thrive in any era: Cultivating “the root of life”

Written by Tomoko Nakamura:

  1. the concept of “the root of life”
  2. what happens when you cultivate “the root of life”
  3. how to cultivate “the root of life”
  4. why the concept of “the root of life” may be valuable
  5. what makes it difficult for “the root of life” to be nurtured
  6. why now
  1. The concept of cultivating “the root of life”

A sense of being okay with who you are.

Self-affirmation

Unfounded confidence

Unconditional affirmation of oneself.

  1. What it looks like when “the root of life” is cultivated

Having a strong emotional as well as physical foundation supported by a strong frame and supple like bamboo (including educating how to strengthen your ability to thrive even in hard times).

Increased non-cognitive ability and self-esteem.

  1. How to cultivate “the root of life”

Three key elements:

– understanding that we are born with unlimited potential and the power to live.

– cultivating the perspective of unconditional nature of life with wonder

– cultivating respect for one’s own life

Accepting the unconditional affirmation of life:

Giving unconditional acceptance and love to all of your thoughts, feelings, and senses.

Setting boundary of , this is me ,everyone’s different and unique in their own way.

We live in the same world, but we all see, feel, and think differently.

They can’t all match.

Cultivating respect for each other’s way of life.

You don’t have to accept all ideas and sensations that are different from yours.

There is no need to deny or reject them because they are different from you.

Keep in mind that differences are normal.

It is almost impossible to truly understand each other or to comprehend each other because we feel and see differently.

The learning’s and understanding or respecting each other’s way and value of being here, chance is that conflicts, prejudice, discrimination, and bullying in the world could potentially be solved.

Questioning your self on ,” What am I good at?”, ”What can I do? “

Could potentially lead to multiplying what everyone is good at and likes to do in creating something better and new with higher awareness of bettering each other and tings around us.

  1. Why the concept of “the root of life” may be valuable

– Number of younger generation struggle to cultivate their dream of the future.

– Talent will not flourish unless your core is well nurtured.

– If not cultivated no amount of good learning, knowledge, or techniques can be utilized.

  1. What makes it difficult for “the root of life” to be nurtured

When we were growing up, in a competitive society, we have always been compared to someone else or scored and evaluated, so we cannot affirm ourselves and others unconditionally.

We are overflowing with conveniences, and life (mind and body) is being left behind.

Drowning in a deluge of information.

The human function and ability cannot be nurtured by indulging in things that are convenient or attractive.

What is not used degenerates.

  1. Why now

1) Learning from the case of Low level of happiness within Japan

2) Background of Japanese Suicides

3) Suicide among young people

(1) [Low level of happiness among the Japanese]

Japan’s happiness ranking 54th in 2022

(Ranking data published by the UN’s SDSN)

Developed countries are said to be safer, have well-developed public services, high levels of education, medical care, and welfare, and a wide range of future options for their citizens. They are relatively easy countries to live in because they often have stable political systems and economic conditions.

Why is Japan’s happiness level so low when it is a rich country and easy to live in?

People who lived their lives thinking that they were happy to work and serve their company, and their family have lost their own lives, and although their country has developed and grown, they have not.

It could be said that we have left behind the [heart] that feels happiness.

Perhaps there has been an era when material abundance allowed people to feel happy.

The idea of being wealthy, being materially rich, would make me happy, but the truth may have resulted differently. Or the form of happiness has changed.

The current climate has caused people to think once again about the happiness of themselves and their families, and the level of happiness in Japan has recored its rise. However, within Japan this also seems to have polarized the level of happiness.

2) Background of Japanese Suicide cases

The number of suicides in Japan exceeded 30,000 in a single year in 1998, and has remained high ever since. This sharp increase is mainly among middle-aged and older men due to “economic and lifestyle problems,” and the impact of the collapse of the bubble economy has been speculated. Currently, we can only rely on data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and the National Police Agency to grasp the actual situation of suicide in Japan, and a more detailed understanding of the actual situation is an issue.

Japan ranks third in the world in total suicides, tenth in the world in suicide rate per 100,000 population (suicide death rate), and second only to Russia among the G8 member nations. Even in the U.S., which is known as a “gun society” and where gun-related suicides are common, the suicide death rate is less than half that of Japan, and in the U.K., less than one-third that of Japan. The reason for the high suicide rate in Japan, an economically affluent country with stable social conditions, is still unknown.

Japan ranks third in the world in total suicides, tenth in the world in suicide rate per 100,000 population (suicide death rate), and second only to Russia among the G8 member nations. Even in the U.S., which is known as a “gun society” and where gun-related suicides are common, the suicide death rate is less than half that of Japan, and in the U.K., less than one-third that of Japan. The reason for the high suicide rate in Japan, an economically affluent country with stable social conditions, is still unknown.

(Find more at e-Health Net, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare) 

3) Suicide among young people

Although the number of suicides in Japan has been declining in recent years, it still exceeds 20,000 per year and is a serious problem.

In particular, suicide is the leading cause of death among 10-39 year olds, and internationally, suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-34 year olds only in Japan among G7 countries. Among the G7 countries, Japan is the only country in the world where suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-34 year olds.

However, trying to track down the causes of suicide and mental illness can be complicated and difficult to clarify.

The total number is currently decreasing thanks to various measures taken by the government.

But what can we do now?

What can I do?

It is not the children and the younger generation’s fault that they cannot have dreams and hopes.

“Young people these days…”

The “generational” generation…”

We are the ones who have made Japan what it is today.

I think it is important for each of us adults to see this as our own business, rather than leaving it up to the government or leaving it to someone else.

Each of our children has found something they love to do and are working hard to achieve their dreams.

For children who will live in the future

What can I do now?

May be a good idea to put our selves in the driving seats and start thinking about solutions. 

  1. Final word

The concept of  “the root of life” is not only a matter of the mind and psychology. When we think of “life,” we think of the “mind” and the “body.

The “mind” and the “body” are connected.

The leading cause of death is what we call lifestyle-related diseases. These are diseases caused by lifestyle habits.

In other words, it can be improved by lifestyle changes.

When we face “life” and think about the importance of “life,” it is important to have not only a healthy mind but also a healthy body.

You take medicine after you get sick. Go to an osteopath after your body aches. Cure the disorder.

It is not about getting someone else to do something about it.

I create my own body.

I create my own “heart”.

I create my own “life”.

We are creating and cultivating those things ourselves. Life” is created through sleep, exercise, food, what we eat, and what we do.

Proposing the idea that

Once the “root of life” is nurtured, the rest will grow on its own in a healthy manner.

Related story of Tomoko Nakamura shared on incredible planet article featured:

World health day

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