Do you ever feel like you are losing track of your feelings and what your goals are in life? We all want to be included in the fast-paced world of today, but often in the process, we sacrifice our uniqueness in order to be something we are not. Conscious living is all about being aware of your actions and their consequences, about knowing how you feel and why and giving importance to the things that add value to your life. This form of consciousness comes naturally to some people, but the majority of us need to consciously stop and reevaluate our lives in order to get in touch with what is best for us. Here’s how you can start:
Reflect on Your Actions Daily
Conscious living requires a regular self-reflection process, some time to reflect on things that are happening in your life and bring any unconscious processes at work into your consciousness. Make it a part of your daily routine, be it in the mornings while jogging, or during the evenings after dinner. The more you reflect on the things you usually take for granted, the more aware you become. This will help in removing obstacles and problems that are holding you back. It is important to spend time with yourself in this way and give Life some thought. You never know what you will learn when you start evaluating things that happen in your day and how each day fits into the greater picture of your life.
Choose Relationships with Care
Your relationships define who you are in today’s world. It is extremely wasteful of your time and energy to constantly engage with people who have little or no impact on your life and who do not contribute to your well-being or learning in any way. On the other hand, your loved ones – friends and family – deserve your time and care. Ask yourself regularly, are you spending enough time with them? Are you communicating clearly and deeply with them? How can you improve your relationships? It is great to be self-aware, but to live life consciously, you need to be aware of the other people in your life as well, from family and friends to co-workers and employers. Choose your relationships with care, and make it a point to evaluate them from time to time to make sure they are still functional and valuable.
Invest with your Heart and Soul
Conscious living is a lot about doing everything fully and eliminating activities which do not interest or benefit you. If you’re working, make it a point to give everything you have to that job, for your personal advancement as well as the company for which you work. This dedication to your work only comes when you have a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve from it. If you find yourself unable to commit to your job fully, reflect upon what’s gone wrong and find ways to make it better. Sometimes, a simple lack of complete attention to what you’re doing can lead to a rising dissatisfaction with it – so before you consider quitting your job, try increasing attentiveness at work by eliminating distractions. Focus brings interest to an activity, so if despite focusing well on your work, you still find yourself unable to give it to your all, consider a change. This doesn’t just apply to work either; if you value someone’s presence in your life, a hobby, an area of study, be sure to give it your all.
Challenge Your Thoughts and Beliefs
As human beings, we operate through certain belief systems that tell us about ourselves and the world. To live more consciously, start challenging your thoughts and beliefs about the world; this does not mean denying those belief systems, it’s more about probing them and testing them to gain a better understanding of why you believe them. Some of these beliefs might be religious, such as our faith, or related to health or education, some might be social values, like modesty or honor, while some might be about your emotional life, like what feelings are acceptable to have or talk about. If you notice yourself jumping to conclusions based on an old belief, try analyzing your thinking and see what comes up. By challenging your thoughts and beliefs, you’re opening up to alternative thinking patterns and acknowledging the endless possibilities available in life.
Evaluate the Value of Your Material World
Money truly makes the world go round, and one of the best ways to exercise conscious living is to evaluate the real value of your purchases. When it comes to the things we buy with our hard-earned money, it does well to think before we end up spending on something we don’t need. Our trivial purchases, our material sources of assurance and comfort, the things we keep around our home to make life easy often leave us more limited; we get tied down by all of the ‘junk’ or else rely on technologies and gadgets and lack certain skills as a result. By de-cluttering, you can take more control over your peace of mind and also surround yourself with things that actually bring you joy and have value. Make a conscious effort both in this cleaning process and whenever you are at the checkout stand–will this be another thing that gets tossed on the rubbish pile or something that will last and improve your life?
Conquer Your Fears
Your fears often act as roadblocks to more conscious living. If you successfully face your fears, you are in a position of advantage, because you will feel more motivated and positive about the future. Make a list of fears you wish to conquer in the coming year and keep working towards conscious positive advancement towards those goals. You will find yourself more energized, feeling more alive and with an increasingly optimistic view about life.
Meditation will help you achieve a higher state of consciousness, increase your attention span, and help relax anxiety. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start slow. Look up some online videos and courses on meditation, and give it 10-15 minutes a day to begin with. The essential element here is perseverance. Do not expect a dramatic change within 2-3 days of mediating, the benefits will only set in if you keep at it and do it diligently. When done solo or as part of a yoga routine, meditation centers you in the moment by focusing on your breathing patterns and the stillness of your body. The calming benefits result in a happier, more peaceful you, ready to enjoy life as it happens, free from anxiety and judgement.