5 steps that will help you live life to the fullest
When we consider how to live life to the fullest, we often conjure images of skydiving and cliff jumping. But is living life to the fullest something much simpler? Perhaps for some, it merely entails enjoying each day and not letting adversities and everyday tribulations affect us.
If you often:
- Ruminate or worry about events you can’t control
- Let one mishap ruin an otherwise enjoyable day
- Feel like you’re not living your ideal life
- Are stuck in a rut of feeling tired, bored or sad
Now may be the perfect time to take a step back, and consider these five steps that will help you live life to the fullest.
5 steps that will help you live life to the fullest
Being present may be the hardest and best thing we can possibly do.
Did you know that:
- Researchers estimate that we all have around 60,000 thoughts a day. That’s one thought per second each minute we are awake.
- 95 percent of our thoughts are the same thoughts, repeated over and over again.
- A recent Harvard study found that we spend about 47 percent of our waking hours thinking about what isn’t going on. In other words, we are not present for almost half of our lives.
The Harvard study found that mind-wandering is an exceptional predictor of people’s happiness. Essentially, the more present we are, the happier we are.
So how can we be more present?
Here are some ways to get started:
- Schedule a “breathing break” into your afternoon. Get up from your desk at a time when you usually encounter a slump. Walk outside and observe your surroundings. Investing a few minutes in a quick break will help you focus better throughout the afternoon.
- Practice 4-7-8 breathing: Inhale for four counts, hold your breath for 7 counts, and exhale for 8 counts. Do this four times.
- When you find your mind slipping away, try to catch yourself and bring yourself back to the present moment.
Steve Jobs once said:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Take a look at your life. Do your career, home environment and calendar reflect your values? If you’re feeling like your accomplishments and the way you spend your time are not reflective of what’s important to you, it may be time to reevaluate your commitments.
- Consider engaging in a hobby that you loved to do when you were little.
- What is on your bucket list? Schedule one thing this week, month and year you can commit to crossing off.
- If you feel your whole life needs a refresh, start small. What is one small step you can take today to live a life that is meant for you?
Researchers at the University of California and the University of Miami recently asked study participants to write a few sentences each week. One group wrote about things they were grateful for that occurred during the week. The other group wrote about their irritations and things that bothered them each day.
After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were:
- More optimistic
- Felt better about their lives, and
- Had fewer visits to physicians.
A growing body of research overwhelmingly shows that simply practicing the art of gratitude can have a huge impact on our overall health, wellness and happiness.
Start practicing gratitude today by:
- Keeping a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, write down everything you are grateful for.
- Before you go to sleep at night, consider three things that happened during the day for which you are grateful.
- Pray or meditate. Cultivate gratitude during times of quiet you set aside for yourself each day.
Take care of yourself
Flight attendants always instruct passengers to put on their own oxygen masks before helping others. And for good reason – if you can’t breathe yourself, how can you possibly help someone else breathe?
Life is busy. It can be hard to find time to take a step back to practice self-care. But by investing time in taking care of yourself, you will be better able to have the vitality and energy to reach the goals you dream of and to help others.
- Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Introverts gain their energy by being by themselves, and extroverts gain their energy by being with others. Consider which you are. Then, make sure you give yourself time either alone or with others to recharge.
- Just as you fill your car with quality gas and clean oil, you, too, need fuel that is high-quality. Make sure the food and water you are eating and drinking are clean and full of nutrients. Here are some hydration and nourishment hacks to get you started.
Take care of others
Did you know that in addition to just being a nice thing to do, helping others can help to extend your own life? By helping those in need and showing compassion and kindness to those around you, you will:
- Be happier,
- Reduce chronic pain,
- Reduce blood pressure and stress, and
- Gain a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
Additionally, helping those who are less fortunate will open your eyes up to the world around you. By reminding you of how lucky you are, it will help put small inconveniences and problems into perspective.
- Try to do one random act of kindness a day
- Call a local nonprofit and see how you can help
- If you have ill feelings toward someone, consider what they may be going through. Once you can see life through their eyes, you will be better able to treat them with love and kindness.
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How do you live life to the fullest?
Have other tips that will help our community live the ridiculously awesome lives you deserve to live? Let us know in the comments below!