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What’s Ukeireru (and How Do You Practice It)?

A woman drinking a cup of coffee and taking a moment to reflect on life and relax.
Rido/Shutterstock

Ukeireru is a Japanese word that translates to acceptance in English and is a way of life that is now catching interesting the United States. Like other wellness trends over the last few years, like hygge and lagom, there’s definitely something to be learned from it.

Is Ukeireru the Key to Happiness?

You might have seen “ukeireru” in the news lately thanks to author Scott Haas and his recently released and briskly selling book, Why Be Happy?: The Japanese Way of Acceptance. The idea behind the book and the way of life is that by accepting life trials, we can better find happiness.

You’ll find comfort and joy with hygge, but with the addition of ukeireru, you have the potential to reduce stress and anxiety by learning to better focus and communicate as well as how to listen to yourself. The main idea is that you stop and take a moment before making decisions when things affect your life.

Rather than reacting immediately when you get bad news, can’t find your keys, or your husband forgets to wash the dishes, ukeireru teaches you to practice pausing, reflecting on the moment, and accepting what life has thrown at you.  More than that, Haas walks his readers through other things that help with relaxation and acceptance, some that reflect closely to the lesson in other lifestyle practices like lagom and hygge.

  • Using daily rituals can help with finding calm—this can be as simple as brewing your morning cup of coffee or your afternoon tea.
  • Relaxing habits are important for happiness, such as taking naps and relaxing baths.
  • Embracing a more minimalistic lifestyle in both relationships and experiences brings more peace—the fewer things you’re doing or people you’re spreading your attention to, the less stress you bring into your life.
  • Taking more time to listen and less time to talk.
  • Cultivating better ways to deal with anger and arguments, which helps with finding more respect for yourself and others.

By doing all of these things, ukeireru helpis you be more aware of your actions and the space around you. This awareness is meant to help you better deal with the negative things (and even the positive ones) that happen in your life. You slow down and take time to reflect and understand, rather than instantly reacting to things—it’s often that quick reaction that adds more stress to our lives.

How Can You Implement Ukeireru into Your Life?

You don’t need to buy a bathrobe and a furry blanket to practice ukeireru; all you need to do is slow down and spend some time accepting the fact that life comes with good and bad.

The next time something good happens, stop and think before you react, and allow yourself more time to enjoy the good. When it’s something bad—stop and reflect on what is happening, and take a moment to think of what the lesson is and how you can react more positively.


Like all of life’s lessons, practicing something you’re not used to is often easier said than done. It may take some time to cut back on instant reactions, but some time practicing ukeireru may help you slow down and find more calm in your life.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »

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