One of our deepest-rooted desires is to live a fulfilled and happy life. In the age of the internet, social media, a highly digitized world and in the middle of a pandemic crisis, it is easy to idealize lifestyles that seem unachievable at this time. You may feel that you have lost touch with the things that can make you happy. It can seem nearly impossible to balance a successful career and life while also keeping your health and well-being stable. Figuring out how to live life to its highest potential may feel elusive.
Truthfully, living your best life is within your grasp. You can learn to embrace happiness and achieve inner peace, no matter the circumstance, simply by changing and incorporating some healthy habits into your life. Sometimes living up to your full potential is just about taking the time for self-care. Taking little moments to meditate, journal, and goal-set can make all the difference.
The following 10 tips are a great roadmap to help us on the road to authentically living our best lives.
1. Be Intentional
One of the keys to success is being intentional about what you do. In general, when you set intentions, you are more likely to act with purpose and drive. Setting intentions with the mantra, “I am living my best life,” for example, will help form a clearer path for you to know what you need to accomplish. Setting an intention, or multiple intentions, on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis, will help you to feel like you are living your life with purpose and will help you measure your success.
Goal-setting and intention-setting are nearly the same concept. When setting intentions, you decide what kind of emotions—what kind of positive feelings—you seek. By you intending to do something or become something, you are that much closer to living the life that we desire.
An easy way to establish intentions is by writing them down every month, week, or day—whichever interval might work best for you. Simply jot down a list of whatever you want to accomplish for the next time period. For example, “I intend to rekindle my friendship with X” or, “I intend to start practicing yoga three times per week.” These exercises will allow you to gain a clear vision of what you want from life. Not only does this give you something to focus on, but it also allows you to not feel overwhelmed by the future. Taking things one step at a time and living in the present makes life more rewarding.
2. Reimagine Visualizations
Going hand-in-hand with intention-setting, visualization is a beneficial practice to living your dream life. Once you have a clear vision of what intentions or goals you want to achieve, it is important to take action. Taking action can seem scary and intimidating, or even impossible. Visualization is almost like a test-run of your dream life. It helps to further establish what you want and allow you to settle into a positive mindset.
During visualization, you must choose your focus. Choose a specific intention and how you will feel once it is accomplished. Then, take the time to daydream! Whether you’re lying in bed, or sitting on a bench during your lunch break, take a few quiet moments to daydream and let your imagination take the lead. If you want to get a specific job, for example, imagine what you will look like if given this position.
What kind of attire would you wear?
What kind of daily routine would you have?
What kind of car would you drive to work every day?
Ask yourself these little questions and allow yourself to feel the kinds of feelings you would feel if you were in the position you wanted to be in.
This practice can be crucial to success because it gets you in the right mindset and can be mood-boosting. Even Olympic athletes use visualization to prepare for their events.
3. Crystalize Clarity Through Meditation
Meditation can be an amazing practice for mental health and clarity. Meditation is a commonly used practice to take breaks from the hustle and bustle of life to get back in tune with your inner self.
If you are new to meditation, start slowly and ease yourself into the practice. Find a comfortable and quiet place where you are able to relax fully. If you don’t have time to start an hour-long meditation, begin with just 10 minutes. Listen to your body. Remember, meditation takes practice just like everything else so start slowly with a goal in mind.
4. Release Through a Journal
You might not have access to a listening ear when you need to vent. A great alternative to a vent-session with a good friend is taking time to write down your thoughts in a journal. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, putting a brain dump to paper can help ease symptoms of depression and manage stress and anxiety. Not only does it give you an opportunity to release cooped-up feelings, but it also gives you the opportunity to organize your thoughts. In the chaos of life, it is easy to overthink or feel anxious. Journaling can help you cope with life in a productive manner.
5. See the World, Any Part of It
Finances and work can easily create a barrier to travel. However, traveling and seeing the world can contribute to feeling like you are living a fulfilled life. There will always be an excuse to not travel, whether it be your work schedule, a tight budget, or the fear of traveling alone. But by taking the plunge and making travel happen, your life can transform from normal to your best life.
Traveling doesn’t have to require spending thousands of dollars on a month-long trip to Europe. It can be as simple as taking a road trip to a nearby city or camping for a weekend. Whether you feel like you’ve gotten stuck in a boring routine, or if you’re stressed by the tasks of daily life, traveling is a way to step outside yourself and your comfort zone; it is a reminder of how big and diverse the world can be.
6. Prioritize Your Health
Another step toward your best life is starting your health journey. Taking a conscious step to take better care of your physical health is one essential part of improving your overall well-being. Eating healthy and staying active can do a world of good for your mental health as well. Taking the time and effort to plan your meals, cook at home more, and exercise regularly are additional ways to set yourself up for long-term success.
Starting small is key when beginning a conscious health journey. Try starting by incorporating more whole foods into your diet—add in a few more leafy greens and fresh fruits. Try going for a walk in the evenings or taking a break right after work to do some yoga. It’s all about balance when it comes to sustainable healthy habits, so it’s necessary to take baby steps.
If you’re newer to healthy living practices, it’s never a good idea to start restrictive eating patterns that will ultimately crash, or to buy an expensive gym membership that you will never want to use. Instead, gradually add these healthy practices as you feel you can handle them.
7. Fall Into the Deepest Love of Self
You may work hard on your relationships with friends, but forget about your relationship with yourself. Learn to practice daily self-love. Creating your dream life will not happen if you are neglecting your intuition and your emotional state. It is important to check in with yourself. All the things on this list are forms of practicing self-love, but there are even more.
Take a bubble bath.
Watch your favorite comedy.
Spend an hour in the sun.
Embrace everything and anything that fills your spirit and adds to the good in your life!
8. Boost Your Brain Power
If you’re reading this article, you’re already on the right track. When it comes to reading and learning, you may not take the time to do enough. But when you feel intellectually stimulated, you are more likely to feel good and productive in other areas of your life.
So start reading the newspaper every morning, or pick up a few books to keep on your night stand instead of scrolling through social media before bed. Find a topic that interests you and foster that passion by reading up on it. Not only will this stimulate your mind, but it may inspire you to take action toward something you love.
9. Practice Yoga
Yoga is an enriching practice on many levels. Like meditation, it can be healthy for you mentally and physically. Taking time to practice yoga weekly, or even daily, can help to give your brain the mental break it needs from the chaos of life. In addition, it connects your mind and body on a deeper level. By practicing yoga, you can become more aware of what is going on in your body and more in-tune with what your body might need.
On a physical level, yoga is a great way to exercise. Many forms of yoga, like Bikram or hot yoga, can be a great workout. There are also yoga practices aimed at stretching and flexibility. Whatever benefits you are trying to achieve physically from yoga, there is likely a practice that will fit your goals. Yoga is a way to honor yourself.
10. Be Aware of the Ego
You have a little voice in your head that tells you that you can’t do something, or that you’re not good enough for something else. It is easy to get wrapped up in your thoughts, and that can be a source of stress or lack of fulfillment in life.
Becoming aware of your presence in your own head can seem like a daunting task. But the more you are able to identify that little voice in your head, sometimes known as the ego, that criticizes or questions everything you do, the more you can let go of negativity.
Learning what your negative self-talk is and redirecting it is an essential part of personal growth. When you are aware of negative patterns in your thought processes you are able to transform them into more positive energy. Self-awareness is one of the most crucial stepping points on the path to your best life, and every little step will get you closer to creating the life you want.
Each one of these 10 tips can help you improve your life. However you approach these tips, you can benefit from these concrete steps to make each of your days that much better!
This article was written as a combined effort of the editors for Chopra.com and the Chopra Centered Lifestyle community.