How to Live a Fulfilling Life
Do you want to lead a fulfilling life? Tending to the day to day minutia of life can make it easy to fall into a humdrum pattern of behavior. If you’re simply going through the motions and you feel the need to break out of a rut and shake off the mundane, you’re not alone. Here are a few suggestions to help you shift your mindset, alter your behavior, and make sure that you’re feeling fulfilled on a daily basis.
Always Be Mindful
It all starts with your own mindset. If you’re struggling with depression or discouragement because of the time of year, it’s going to impact everything else in your life. If you’re feeling strung out and on edge from a busy schedule, you’re going to see it seep into your interactions, either at work or with loved ones.
Practicing mindfulness is an excellent way to combat these tendencies towards despondency. However, while it may be an excellent tool, it’s also a challenging one to utilize. Genuinely shifting your mindset — being happy for just a few hours doesn’t count — takes a long term effort.
You can begin the process by reviewing some of the most common cognitive distortions that everyone struggles with. Things like all-or-nothing thinking and jumping to conclusions can seriously distort the way you see the world around you. As you identify various cognitive distortions, you can begin to catch yourself mid-thought and direct your ponderings towards something more positive, like thankfulness.
Tony Fahkry put it best when he said that, “Being irrational creatures, we fail to see past our tragedies to realize life gives us encouragement even though it may not appear in the form we expect.”
This is a rudimentary revelation that, when truly understood, can lead to a whole new lease on life. When looking for things that one can be encouraged by or thankful for, many people will script precisely how said encouragement and thankfulness should look.
However, by exercising a thankful attitude on a regular basis, you can learn to cultivate an attitude of gratitude that can look at the most dismal situations and still see the good that can come out of it. Being thankful is key to living a fulfilling life.
Spend Time With Others
Along with tending to your own mental processes, it’s also important to take measurable steps to find meaning in your surroundings. One of the easiest ways to do this is through socialization. And interacting with others is essential for a fulfilling life.
For example, Dawn Determan points out that the simple act of a new resident coming to live at the senior living community Meridian Village typically leads to their health improving “Thanks in part to the opportunities they have for socialization.” In other words, the mere act of coming into proximity with and interacting with others is a balm for their body, mind, and soul.
Now, it’s important to point out that there are many different forms that socialization can take, and it’s important to approach the concept of interacting with others with care. For instance, if you spend time with someone who is perpetually spouting negative comments and viewpoints, it can be a source of toxicity in your life. Not that you shouldn’t interact with and support them — just don’t go to them for your own socializing needs. Instead, look for ways to interact with social peers in a positive setting or, even better, in a scenario that allows you to help others who will be receptive to your support.
Add a Splash of Minimalism
If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer white noise of your life, it may be helpful to step back and look at your current situation through a minimalist lens. Contrary to common stereotypes, though, this doesn’t simply mean gut your life of meaningless stuff.
Minimalism is a lifestyle choice that focuses on concepts like intentionalism, thoughtfulness, and purpose. Rather than stripping your life of everything, look for the things that truly provide value. This can come in more dramatic forms like moving into a tiny house to fully embrace the sense of “needs over wants,” or it can also come in smaller, simpler doses like sorting through the junk in a closet to find the treasures worth keeping.
Practice Self-Care Thoughtfully
Self-care is a buzzword — and a too-often a destructive one at that. If you’re feeling the need to find fulfillment in your life, the truth is, you may need a little self-care, just not necessarily the kind that pop culture is constantly referring to.
True self-care should come in the form of genuine, thoughtful caring for your needs. That means taking time to exercise even if you don’t want to. It also means steadily eating healthy food rather than binging on junk food or jumping on a fad diet bandwagon.
If you’re feeling the need to take some time for yourself, do so — although not at the cost of others that depend on you. Just make sure that you focus your efforts on what you genuinely need, not just what you want. Only then will you truly see powerful, positive results that can lead to a more physically healthy, fulfilling life.
Finding a Fulfilling Life
If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, there are plenty of ways to stop spinning your wheels, metaphorically speaking. However, each item on this list requires a certain degree of intentionality and effort in order to implement it. You can’t simply wish that you were more mindful and magically become so. You also can’t stay up late eating ice cream in the name of self-care and find self-actualization the next morning.
If you’re looking for fulfillment, it starts with a genuine commitment to seek out what truly matters, even if it requires a certain degree of effort and focus to get there. If you can do this, you’ll be able to break free from those apathetic feelings and move forward with a strong sense of purpose. Just remember that it takes time, so be patient with yourself. Good luck!