Do You Know Your Purpose?

The age-old question on the meaning of life may never be fully answered, but individually, each of us can find a purpose. Our purpose or where we find our meaning in life and living does not have to be earth-shattering. In other words, our life purpose doesn’t have to be heavy and burdensome. It can be in finding small pleasures. It can be in performing services and kindnesses, intentionally or whenever the opportunity arises. And, it is ongoing and changes as we inevitably transform through the various stages of life.

The search for meaning and purpose is tied to the quest for happiness. Every culture has its own path for this lifelong journey. The Japanese have clearly defined this journey as ikigai—a way to find purpose, joy and fulfillment in daily living.

Hector Garcia, co-author of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, explains ikigai as “the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing.”1 Ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements: your passion, your mission, your vocation, and your profession. Put another way, the four elements are what you love, what the world needs, what you are good at, and what you can get paid for. When these four elements are in balance, life is believed to have meaning, purpose and joy.2

Okinawans have the highest number of centenarians in the world, and their interpretation of ikigai translates to “the happiness of always being busy.”3 Their meaning of life is discovered through daily actions and to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances—to choose one’s own way.4

It also is rooted in the principle of ichariba chode, a local expression that translates to “treat everyone like a brother, even if you’ve never met them before.”5 This behavior of kindness toward one and all is found also in the Golden Rule as quoted by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

Living with Active Wellness certainly is one facet of pursuing ikigai. Staying active keeps us busy and helps keep stress at bay. Eating healthy foods in moderation and getting restful sleep are behaviors that help us to live well. Caring for ourselves and being strong enough to care for others is living to serve. We may do these things unconsciously, but when we become conscious of what we do on a daily basis, purpose and meaning unfold more clearly.  

At Nikken, Humans Being More training teaches that meaning is often found in our mission in life, in what we do to develop ourselves and to serve others. Humans Being More posits that our purpose in life is to be and become the very best version of ourselves. Purpose and meaning is thus found through doing and being.

The next Humans Being More training is on January 30, 2021 at 10 AM Eastern to 2 PM  Eastern. Your host will be Barb Satterwhite and the online class will be led by Jeff Isom, Chancellor of Nikken University. Simply go to the Nikken shopping cart and look under Training and Development to register.

1, 2 https://medium.com/thrive-global/ikigai-the-japanese-secret-to-a-long-and-happy-life-might-just-help-you-live-a-more-fulfilling-9871d01992b7

3, 4, 5 https://showmedamani.com/2020/05/20/book-review-ikigai-the-japanese-secret-to-a-long-and-happy-life/

Do You Have a Sleep Disorder?

Sleep disorders are conditions that disturb our normal sleep patterns. Sleeping is a complicated biological process where we are unconscious but the brain and body are still actively functioning. These continuous bodily functions help us stay healthy. When we don’t get enough restful sleep, we feel tired, but even worse, it can affect our physical and mental well-being. Restful sleep is one of the most important facets of Active Wellness.

The term “sleep disorder” refers to conditions that affect sleep quality, timing, or duration and impact a person’s ability to properly function while they are awake. These disorders can contribute to other medical problems, and some may also be symptoms for underlying mental health issues.1

Over four decades, more than 100 specific sleep disorders have been identified and complex methodologies categorize them based on causes, symptoms, physiological and psychological effects, and other criteria.2 However, most sleep disorders can be characterized by one or more of the following four signs:

  • Trouble falling or remaining asleep
  • Difficulty staying awake during the day
  • Imbalances in circadian rhythm that interfere with a healthy sleep schedule
  • Being prone to unusual behaviors that disrupt sleep

Some fairly common types of sleep disorders are insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome (RLS), hypersomnia and parasomnia.3 According to general estimates by the Sleep Foundation, 10 to 30% of adults live with some form of insomnia. Most of us have experienced some form of insomnia—either having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Chronic insomnia occurs when sleepers experience symptoms at least three times per week for at least three months. Insomnia lasting less than three months is known as short-term insomnia.

Sleep apnea is ubiquitous and presents more of a problem, because left untreated, it could lead to serious health issues. It’s not only a sleep disorder but also a breathing disorder where the sleeper stops breathing for 10 seconds or more. There are various forms of sleep apnea, but each warrants checking in with a health practitioner for possible treatment.

Restless leg syndrome causes the sleeper to waken from an urge to move the legs or simply twitching from an irritating sensation, while hypersomnia causes extreme sleepiness during the day, to the point of not being able to function.

Parasomnia is a collective term for unusual behaviors that occur prior to sleep, during sleep, or during the transition period between sleep and waking. These behaviors can occur during different stages of sleep. Sleepwalking and night terrors are examples of parasomnia, as are talking or eating while asleep.

Sleep disorders can be caused by health issues including heart, lung, nerve and pain conditions. They can also be caused by depression and anxiety, certain medications, caffeine, alcohol, irregular schedules, aging and even genetics. It’s best to check in with a health practitioner, just to be on the safe side.

When going to sleep, make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend removing all electronic devices from the bedroom.4

From November 1 through December 31, 2020, the discounted Nikken “Cozy Winter” Packs not only help you to reap the health benefits of a good night’s sleep but also to expand your Global Wellness Community when you share it with others.


1, 2  https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders

3 https://medlineplus.gov/sleepdisorders.html

4 https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html

Sleep Better to Work and Feel Better

What a difference a good night’s sleep can make! We work better, feel better and consciously or not, we treat people better when we’re well rested. In fact, the importance of sleep continues to be a hot topic. Nikken has been advocating for restful sleep with the help of advanced magnetic technology way before it became one of the primary focuses of Active Wellness practitioners!

Just how important is sleep for Active Wellness and overall health? In a 2018 study, Mayo Clinic scientists found that sleep deprivation increases the likelihood of age-related memory loss.1 This follows a 2017 study that linked poor sleep to higher levels of other biological markers associated with age-related brain conditions.2 Another 2018 study even determined that one sleepless night alone can be damaging, leaving behind harmful protein debris in your brain.3

The National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) annual Sleep in America® poll shows Americans feel sleepy on average three times a week, with 62% trying to “shake it off” as their primary response. Those who feel sleepy five to seven days a week report especially high rates of irritability (52 percent), headaches (40 percent), and feeling unwell (34 percent). The Sleep in America poll found when people feel sleepy, more Americans say it’s generally because they’re not sleeping well enough (55 percent) as opposed to not having enough time to sleep (44 percent).4

To help achieve restful sleep, The National Sleep Foundation advises us to focus on maximizing comfort and minimizing distractions:

•            Use a high-performance mattress and pillow, such as the KenkoNaturest® Custom Pillow. This helps with comfort and the support of the spine to avoid achy muscles and joints.

•            Choose quality sheets and blankets. Again, this is to help with comfort and maintenance of suitable temperatures throughout the night. The Kenko® Dream Comforter is ideal to snuggle under during cool nights.

•            Avoid light disruptions. Excess light exposure can throw off sleep and circadian rhythm. Use blackout curtains or a comfortable sleep mask, such as the Kenko PowerSleep Mask, to block out light.

•            Keep noise to a minimum. If you can’t eliminate nearby sources of noise, consider drowning them out with a fan or white noise machine. Earplugs or headphones are another option to block abrasive sounds when you want to sleep.

•            Make sure the room temperature is not too hot or cold by using heaters, fans and air conditioning as necessary. Researchers have found that sleeping in a cooler environment of around 65 degrees Fahrenheit is conducive to restful sleep.5

From November 1 through December 31,2020, the discounted Nikken “Cozy Winter” Packs not only help you to reap the health benefits of a good night’s sleep but also to expand your Global Wellness Community when you share it with others.

1 D. Carvalho et al. Association of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness with Longitudinal Β-Amyloid Accumulation in Elderly Persons Without Dementia JAMA Neurology. Vol. 75, June 2018. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.0049.
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/article-abstract/2674279

2 Sprecher KE et al. Poor sleep is associated with CSF biomarkers of amyloid pathology in cognitively normal adults. Neurology. 2017 Aug 1; 89(5): 445-453.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5539733/

3 Shokri-Kojori E et al. Β-Amyloid accumulation in the human brain after one night of sleep deprivation. PNAS April 24, 2018. 115 (17) 4483-4488;
http://www.pnas.org/content/115/17/4483

4 https://www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/nsfs-2020-sleep-america-poll-shows-alarming-sleepiness-and-low-action

5 https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/healthy-sleep-tips