Kanso: The Japanese Principle for Mental Detox

Kanso japanese principleSometimes your heart is heavy

  • with the weight of responsibilities piled onto your plate.

Sometimes your mind is overwhelmed

  • by the class-5 rapids of daily to-dos in your day.

Sometime even the lightness of your heart can darken

  • from the clouds of 24/7 news, delivering traumas and dramas every day.

It’s like your heart and mind need a weight loss program. Some way to shed the burden that weighs you down, and makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning.


Kanso is a Japanese principle that emphasizes simplicity, purity, and elimination of unnecessary elements, and is closely related to the wabi-sabi principle as well.

Kanso isn’t just subtractive — where you clear out extraneous junk in your life.

It’s also additive — focusing on adding essential elements of mindfulness.

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Lose the weight on your heart and mind

These 2 parts of Kanso equation — the subtraction of distractions, and the addition of calm and focus — help achieve a sense of mental clarity, tranquility, and thriving.

Soul Food:

If you overconsume (anything), eventually you will be overburdened by it in some way. This includes what you spoon into your mind each day as well.

Kanso encourages being intentional about what you bring into your heart and mind as well. Consider the quality, usefulness, and long-term value of items before mentally ingesting them.

So to start with, avoid excess consumption of negative news, people, and events. Rather, portion yourself items that align with your values and contribute to a simpler, more meaningful life.

Your Mental Detox:

Embrace the beauty of nature in your external surroundings, get out in it every chance you get, and find the simplicity and tranquility it offers.

For your indoor environment, incorporate natural elements like plants, natural light, and organic textures into your living space.

Daily Activity:

Daily routines and rituals are anchors for your inner peace, habits that add the comfort of predictability. These give you moments of calm through simple activities like sipping morning coffee, reading a book, or taking a walk.

Create opportunities for to build in activity routines. This is your space of stillness and quiet reflection that acts as a meditation. This is exactly the kind of regular calm and clarity that help cast off the weight of the overportioned life.

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