Mastering the art of living is not as easy as you may expect. There is an art to nearly everything we do in life, but can you master the one that tops them all?
The idea of ‘living well’ will be different to each and it would appear that we each spend our lives working towards this, probably without realising. The balance between living your life to the fullest and just living your life can be determined by some factors such as how we treat ourselves and other people, our diets, a happy work-life balance, relationships and this is just to name a few. It means practising all of the time; it means learning to be mindful of when you have expectations and how to manage these when you both succeed and fail. It’s about letting go of frustrations and irritations if not all goes to plan.
When you learn to manage the things in your life which you hold expectations for or are unable to see them with an open mind, this is when you start deterring yourself from mastering the art of living your life to the fullest. Here is a handful of examples of ways to help yourself and simply let go.
Through showing appreciation, we have the opportunity to grow as people, and this also helps others to do the same. To the people you love, the people who challenge you and the people who are always at your side, there are many ways in which you can show gratitude. From something as simple as expressing your happiness towards something they have done for you and telling them how it made a difference to your day or compliment them on a talent or a skill that you admire will leave them with a smile on their face, as well as your own.
If someone in your life is particularly challenging, you can still practise gratitude towards them and grow yourself. Try listening to what they have to say instead of rehearsing in your head how you’re going to disagree with them and resist the urge to tell them then. Use this as an alternative way to also work on patience, compassion and courage. You learn here from the trying.
Do not avoid uncertainty
When you make the decision to avoid things which make you nervous or uncertain, you are limiting the boundaries of your comfort zone. It’s all very well remaining in your comfortable environment, it’s cosy and familiar and requires little to no work. However, there is no room to grow there, and you will never benefit from the feeling of overcoming a challenge. Enter each moment without expectation, just see the moment as it is, noticing, appreciating and being thankful. Take the task head on, without already contemplating or entertaining the idea of failure.
Manage your time
Procrastination is caused by worry, poor planning and probably the feeling of dread. Mastering a happy life can lead from avoiding the uncertainty and deliberation which is caused by procrastination. If you have been putting off a task for an extended period, learn to stop. Going into a new project with an open mind instead of holding onto expectations of failure, being late or not being good enough will only hold you back. Use your open mind to devote your entire focus on the task at hand, switch yourself off from everything and immerse yourself into one thing at a time.
Remember relationships are everything
It’s important to cultivate and look after the relationships we have; they’re vital for support, comfort and interaction. There are many studies which show that this is an important component of our health and wellbeing which contributes to a long, healthy and happy life. Comparably, being alone or finding yourself in isolation can severely adhere to how you feel and how you choose to live your life too.
The support you can offer someone or be offered to you can provide what you need when dealing with something like stress. You may find a speedier recovery occurs when you have a stable relationship, whether this is with friends, family or a partner to lean on.
Let go of expectations and judgement
Finally, the art of letting go may be one of the hardest to perfect. It’s not just perceptions or expectations which we hold; it can also be the feeling of wanting to be right, disliking something about ourselves, wanting to take control, being uncomfortable with something, being afraid of failure, giving into boredom or being irritated. All of these things hold us back, drop the expectation of one thing at a time, practice and learn from trying. Each time you try, you will get better, and you can learn to appreciate each moment, one after the next.