Living a Life of Beauty: 6 Mindful Habits We Should Cultivate
You have many goals in life that can be described as living a life of beauty. Perhaps you want a rewarding career that allows a work-life balance. Or you aspire for a healthy romantic relationship. You have plans of starting a family with whom you can share the fruits of your labor. Maybe you want to travel and see the world and immerse yourself in activities that feed your soul. You want to be at your best, and that’s why you’re reading more about health and beauty in search of inspiration.
Looking at these goals separately might be a little too overwhelming. As an alternative, you can encapsulate them into one holistic plan. That is living a life of beauty. La dolce vita, as the Italians like to say. Consider it a mantra, a way to simplify what’s often an unnecessarily complicated approach to life and existence.
Why we should appreciate life more
You may see life as something you had no say in. You might feel as if you were put in this world without your explicit consent. But these thoughts don’t do you any favor.
Perhaps you can start seeing life as a gift. It’s something bestowed upon you by greater forces that, when all are said and done, have your back. It is yours to enjoy and turn into something special that’s worth your while.
Take a cue from the Italians. They know how to make life sweet, like a glass of wine.
Lessons to learn from Italians
It’s safe to say that Italians have life figured out. They have even coined a catchphrase for it: la dolce vita. It means “the good life” or “the sweet life.” So how do they do it?
For starters, they take time to appreciate simple things. They do not focus on grand aspirations. That does not mean Italians don’t dream big. It’s just that they know that en route to their desired destination, there are nice things by the roadside. And they are worthy of a stopover, either quick or extended. Italians enjoy their lunch breaks, for instance. They won’t mind postponing work or business for a few hours if that means they can savor what’s on the table better.
While they love to eat, Italians are not prone to weight issues and their consequent health repercussions. That’s thanks to the so-called Mediterranean diet, which experts consider healthy. This diet typically includes fruits and veggies, fresh fish, lots of olive oil, espresso, and yes, a glass or two of fine wine.
When Italians dine, they don’t just eat. They socialize. They talk. Instead of bottling up emotions, they share them with people they hold dear. They don’t mind vulnerability. It’s more favored than a guise of stoicism. As a result, they don’t harbor bitterness and spite.
When Italians talk, they don’t just talk with their mouths. They talk with their hands and their eyes. They talk with their hearts. They’ll touch you on the arm or shoulder to show affection. And they appreciate receiving these friendly gestures too. Science vouches for the health benefits of touching. It triggers our brains to release the happy hormone called oxytocin, which also lowers stress.
Italians take pride in their culture. They appreciate beauty, which manifests in their long history of creating art. They also value family. These keep them proud and grounded in equal measure.
In the evening, Italians go out for a lazy stroll. This is called passeggiata. This allows them to squeeze in socializing, exercise, and take pleasure in what the evening has to offer in one sweet routine.
6 Mindful Habits (for everyday living)
A life of beauty demands that you be present here and now. The following habits will help you do that.
- Gratitude journal – Learn to appreciate the good things in your life, no matter how small. Put your gratitude on paper. Make it a habit. What this does is condition your mind into thinking you are blessed, which you truly are.
- Breathing exercises – Every breath you take is a testament to the here and now. You cannot retake the breaths you took in the past nor can you anticipate the breaths you’ll be taking in the future. The breath you breathe in and out now is all that matters.
- Meditation – There’s no hard and fast rule on how to meditate. If your body’s agile enough, you can do a yoga routine every day. If yoga’s out of the question, you can just sit still and find your center for a few minutes daily.
- Reading – Our overdependence on technology has compromised our attention span. You need to reclaim your ability to focus. Reading can help you achieve that goal. So always have a book nearby.
- Rest – Your work is just one aspect of your life. It should not control how you live. When it’s necessary, take time to rest and recalibrate. Your job will be there waiting for you once you’re ready.
- No judgment – A quiet mind is a mind devoid of judgment. So train yourself to see past what usually irks you. If your mind’s at peace, it’ll manifest in your physical appearance. This is mindfulness and beauty routine rolled into one.
Additional Tips on Getting Started
If you’ve been used to living a fast life that’s all about the hustle, it might be challenging to put the brakes on. But it has to be done. You need to reassess your priorities. Life need not be a contest or a race. It’s something you must and can enjoy. It’s a sweet life, after all.
La Dolce Vita
Living a life of beauty is all about balance. This is where we commit to taking care of our overall well-being. You zero in on the things that truly matter, cutting away whatever is in excess.
Once you find that sweet spot of harmony and equilibrium, you’ll see your life flourish into something nothing less than majestic. You will surround yourself with positivity. And in times when things get dark and difficult, you’ll find it in you to see a source of light and lightness.
About the Author
Amy Parsons is the CEO of Mozzafiato, the largest collection of iconic Italian beauty brands in the US. With Mozzafiato, Amy is on a mission to find and import the very best heritage beauty brands and products in Italy, and change the beauty landscape for discerning consumers in the US. With more than 20 years of experience as an executive in higher education, a practicing litigation attorney, and a member on many nonprofit boards, Amy is living her passion for all things beauty and Italy with Mozzafiato. When not traveling, Amy and her husband, daughters, and dogs live in Denver, Colorado.