Time flies by when you pause to reflect upon events. Sometimes, by the time you take a brief pause to comprehend where you are, you can already find yourself wondering how you got there in the first place. This is the result of not living consciously.
This is what happens when you live on automatic pilot. You might feel like you are on a dead end road.
Everyone wants to lead a fuller and more fulfilled life. There is no shortcut to happiness. That said, learning how to live mindfully can help you turn off autopilot and make the sort of life you want.
What is living consciously?
It’s about taking control of your life. Some call it “living awake” or living life with your eyes wide open.
The idea is to consider each decision you make rather than just going through the motions.
In the end, you can live one’s life to the fullest by making your own choices instead of waking up one day and realizing that your life is the result of years of passive decisions.
Conscious living vs unconscious living
To comprehend conscious life, you must first understand unconscious living or passive living.
Passive (or unconscious) living
Contemplating life means that most of one’s decisions are reached automatically without effort.
In other words, you might not know exactly why you are doing something or where you reside or work.
Why most people don’t live with intention
Sadly, most people live unconsciously without even realizing it.
Maybe they never had a chance of learning to live independently. For example, during adolescence and young adulthood, your parents may have traditionally made the majority of major decisions in your life.
You may not have learned how to make choices all by yourself.
On the other hand, some people aren’t in a conscious state because it is frightening at first.
Living with heightened awareness increases your sensitivity to factors that may cause you anxiety, such as loneliness, fear of death, uncertainty, etc.
People often avoid thinking about their own mortality by turning on autopilot and ignoring their future.
Unfortunately, this only makes things worse because people never learn to move past their fears. On the other hand, living consciously can help you learn to overcome your anxieties and work toward creating your own ideal life.
Signs you aren’t living consciously
Living unaware is similar to being trapped in a trap. You may not be conscious of your predicament until you finally break free and avert disaster.
Learn how to identify the signs of frostbite and hypothermia, as first aid for these situations is the utmost priority.
Why you should live consciously
Living consciously will enable you to have a more fulfilling life. Furthermore, the benefits of mindful living will mount over time to become increasingly beneficial and better.
By learning to manage your own life (your actions, speech, behavior, habits, etc.), you can make improvements in nearly all areas of life.
Benefits of learning conscious living
When you live with purpose, you’ll learn how to:
How to start living with purpose
Living in conscious, as opposed to unconscious, form doesn’t happen overnight. Rather, it is a learning process that can be honed over time.
You may be able to live more purposefully by making conscious choices.
What does that mean, exactly?
Think about everything that you do, such as:
13 steps to live consciously
Initially, all this self-reflection can feel like a lot. Don’t be discouraged-Rome wasn’t built in a day.
1. Get into the habit of self-reflection
Self-reflection is the most important part of mindful living. After all, to make appropriate decisions, you need to identify what it is you actually want so that you can work toward attaining it.
To implement this plan, you need to find a means of self-reflection that works for you. For instance, these could be keeping a gratitude journal, reflecting each day, or having a weekly or monthly check-in meeting with yourself.
2. Determine your core values
Clearly, you cannot choose wisely if you don’t know where you wish to go. So, figure out what you want!
Once you know who you really are, it will be much easier to make the right decisions. For example, rather than being swayed by others, you will be able to make decisions that are consistent with your goals, beliefs, and values.
3. Be more aware of who you are
Clinical psychologist, John Duffy, defined self-awareness for TODAY as “the recognition of one’s own emotional state at any given point in time.”
In other words, you can become self-aware by focusing your attention on yourself and how you feel at a certain point.
Being able to recognize your emotions and actions-and whether or not they’re causing your values-is vital in making optimal decisions for a happier life.
4. Set goals that are realistic
Creating a map of your life is like setting destinations. This includes both short-term and long-term objectives, as well as both personal goals and objectives for professional advancement.
Setting achievable goals goes hand in hand with becoming clear on your core beliefs and living actively. If you know what you intend to do with your life, then you will make much more efficient choices to achieve your goals.
5. Track your progress toward your goals
It’s important to regularly check your goals to ensure you’re on track to meet them. Make a habit of reviewing your objectives at least once each year.
Even better, share your list of goals with a friend. Research from The Ohio State University shows that people are typically more dedicated to their goals when they share them with someone they trust.
6. Learn how to improve your focus
Your ability to concentrate and pay keen attention plays an important role in learning to live consciously. Therefore, paying close attention heightens your awareness, and being distracted causes it to decrease.
Once you learn how to focus, you’ll be able to ignore unimportant things and concentrate on only the tasks that improve your life.
Start with small steps. Do one thing at a time.
For example, do not watch TV as background noise when you are at home. Put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode for an hour each day.
Being a multitasker isn’t a sign of exceptional ability. Rather, focus on each task with intense attention to detail.
7. Think about the hours in your day
Time is the most valuable resource of all.
Keep a logbook in which you record everything you do for each day, week, or month. This way, you can gain valuable insight into how you spend your time. The results can be quite surprising!
With a clear idea of how you spend your day, you can make conscious decisions regarding where and where you can make changes to stop wasting time and start living the life you want.
8. Learn how to spend (and save) intentionally
Many of us have no trouble spending $30 here and there on impulse purchases. In fact, CNBC reports that Americans spend $314 each month on impulse purchases.
A crucial part of unconscious living is impulsivity. Furthermore, experts say the line between impulse purchases and credit card debt is extremely thin.
However, you can overcome the temptation of impulse shopping by learning to think carefully about every purchase before you make it.
Living in today’s world is not just about spending money wisely; it’s also about saving money.
Preparing for your retirement financially means purposefully arranging the money you earn and spend each month. For example, you should set goals and save for them so you can live the life you want.
9. Get honest about your own materialism
We live in a materialistic world, and the pressure to possess more things never gives off. So take a break and have some time to relax.
Walk around your home and ask yourself honestly: “What do I have that I don’t need, don’t use, or don’t even want?”
At the end of the day, having things means having things to clean, maintain, move, sort, and, ultimately, dispose of. It’s a source of stress.
A savvier life is one led by well-informed material owners.
First, think highly of the things in your life that actually provide value. If they are only adding to your stress level or taking up space, then eliminate them.
In the end, only activities that improve your life can enable you to squander your day more consciously, happily, and peacefully.
10. Take stock of your relationships
Similarly, to live your life fully, you should allot time to evaluate your relationships.
Always remember that friendship goes beyond romance. Don’t forget to keep your friendships with loved ones, neighbors, community members, coworkers, and even people in your community.
11. Reevaluate who and what you follow on social media
We know that social media can cause a considerable strain on the mental health of a large portion of Americans. According to the American Psychiatric Association, “nearly a third of Americans say that social media does more harm than good to their mental health.” But many of us are still checking our feeds every day!
Cultivating an awareness of your surroundings is an important part of healthy living.
Do you ever find yourself scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and then asking yourself, “Why am I looking at this?”
Much of what you see online makes you feel bad. Maybe it makes you angry, stresses you out, gives you FOMO, or distracts you from your goals.
Finally, none of this is helping you live a more comfortable life. So start choosing your following and unfollowing carefully.
Unfollow. Unsubcribe. Above all, be sure to narrow your news feed so that you are only exposed to content that is valuable to your life.
12. Weigh your impact on the world
Even if you are not aware of it, your activities have a significant effect on the Earth.
Living life fully entails being more aware of yourself and how your actions affect others.
Think about how your life influences the people around you, the Earth, and perhaps even the entire world. Your actions matter, so be sure to take actions that you’ll be satisfied with.
13. Be willing to grow and learn
Your mindset significantly affects your life experience and overall well-being.
A person with a fixed mindset is unwilling to change their behavior or learn new skills, so they are unable to improve themselves over time.
whereas a growth mindset means you’re prepared to develop new habits, it’s essential to get started with sensible living. For that reason, adopting a growth mindset goes hand in hand with starting to take care of yourself.
If you want to adopt new behaviors (such as all the aforementioned ones), you can make a life that is motivated by conscious decisions.
Start with small steps to begin living consciously!
Living life is not made in a single day. But by learning to live this way, you can experience a complete 180 with your life (if you have such goals!).
Above all, focusing on living mindfully will allow you to waste time on things you do not care about so you can spend your days with a sense of peace and fulfillment.
Remember to live consciously by including all aspects of your life. That includes your mental health, financial life, and more. Use these suggestions to do your best in life.