5 Steps How to Feel More Alive
Do you feel like you’re just plodding through life, stuck in the same worries and failing to experience joy?
It’s not hard for that to happen in the hum of daily life. That’s because your brain is like a sponge, absorbing your day-to-day life and trying to make sense out of it. Do you feel like:
- You think the same thoughts over and over again?
- You're worrying about what people might think of you?
- You're constantly worrying about the future (today, tomorrow, ten years from now), even when you're on holiday?
- Your life is filled with little that really matters?
- You're trying to control life by contemplating all kinds of scenarios, like your life is a game of chess?
If you feel these things on a regular basis, then you probably also feel from time to time that you're living on autopilot. You can change that and begin to feel like you’re truly alive just by following a few simple steps. Your life is not a game of chess; let go of the rules and try to think in possibilities. Your life is now. Here are some simple tips to help you break out of your old patterns and create new, more joyful ones.
Step 1 - Begin your day with 10 minutes of meditation
Make time every day to meditate for at least 10 minutes. This allows you create space in your head and trains you to calm your mind. To get started, integrate it with your morning routine.
Step 2 - Focus on now
Now is what really matters. If you're not paying attention to the present, you actually only live in the future or the past. And before you know it, the years and decades can pass you by while you suddenly wonder, "What have I really done with my life?"
Focusing on the moment you’re in puts you in a mindful state. In the now, the past doesn't matter as much, and the worries for the future also seem more distant. You might find this hard in the beginning, but it will make your life happier instantly. For more information, read Eckhard Tolle's masterpiece The Power of Now.
Step 3 - Make small things big
Try to pay attention to the "normal" things in life; things you have taken for granted that actually are very special. Cultivate gratitude for those things you've never noticed and they can become extraordinary.
Think of a rising spring flower, a hug from your partner, water coming out of a tap, a conversation with your friend, or the amazing power of your own eyes which help you see the world every day. Appreciate things the way they are.
Step 4 - Embrace boredom
Most people want to get rid of boredom right away. Look at how many people grab to their phones while they are waiting on their take-away order. They have to be occupied all the time!
Instead, embrace that feeling. First it makes you feel uncomfortable, but stay with it. You are trying to get past that feeling. You will figure out that it makes you calm and it gives you a strong sense of mindfulness.
Accept your life completely. Let go of your expectations for yourself and others.
Step 5 - Try something new
Don't think about what people think of you when you do things. If you enjoy it, do it!
Whether something you do is cool (or not), if it fits within your personal lifestyle (or not) or if it is something people expect you to do (or not); just do the things you like and let those thoughts go.
If it is just drinking tea for a whole day while wearing pajamas, swimming in a lake butt naked, or driving downhill on a bouncy mountain bike, if you enjoy it and it gives you a feeling of being alive, appreciate it and be okay with it.
Don't plan; just start now
You can start anytime, anywhere you like. Take control of your attention and focus on the present. Once you do, you begin to truly live. It is quite simple and incredibly satisfying.