One thing is for sure; we’re all different when it comes to our preferences and how we approach life. Yet, despite all of our variances, we have so much in common. William James described this well when he acknowledged that:
“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”
However, “craving to be appreciated” seeks the approval of someone or something else. While I concur with the proclamation’s essence, I’ve found that significant growth and development comes from turning inward, reconnecting, and appreciating ourselves. Here are ten practices that have enriched my well-being and outlook on life:
1. Being aware.
Awareness is the first step towards change, as it’s what we don’t know or understand that typically holds us back. For example, how others perceive our intentions and behaviors may not match what we intended. Acknowledging blinds spots and then working on improving them can be transformative. Learn more about how others perceive you with this assessment.
The simple act of stillness can be magical. From breathing techniques to guided meditation to tapping to release fixations, meditation leads to better health and well-being in mere minutes. As a result, you create space to see more clearly and objectively, minimizing adverse reactions when things don’t go according to plan.
3. Letting go.
It can be a life-altering experience to release the need to control an outcome, dictate how people should be or act, and expect certain behaviors from others. By freeing yourself and allowing things to be as they are, you welcome new possibilities and experiences that you may have never imagined.
4. Being present.
If you are a planner, this can be challenging. However, through practice, I’ve found that my output and relationships improve remarkably, and these results outweigh the need to plan. Even better, I’m more creative and happier. There’s an enormous benefit to meeting people where they’re at without judgment and listening without concentrating on what you’re going to say next.
5. Having patience.
Equally tricky is having patience. Instead of worrying about how fast I can finish something, I can let go of time and deadlines by enjoying the actual activity. Having patience empowers me to take time to develop new concepts and be kinder toward myself and others.
6. Clearing out the clutter.
Whether it’s the mess in our mind or our physical space, getting rid of what is no longer serving you is cathartic and liberating. Organizing, throwing things out, and donating items you are no longer using provides a rewarding experience. The process itself allows you to make space for new things and fresh ideas. If you’re thinking, “I just don’t have time to stop doing,” set boundaries for yourself.
7. Taking a balanced approach.
Finding balance within yourself strengthens your resiliency. Effective transformation occurs when our thinking, feeling, and action centers are nurtured equally with constructive habits and routines. Having an objective view, allowing ourselves to feel, and being active releases negative energy and helps us to slow down and stop overthinking.
8. Setting intentions.
I like starting and finishing my day with intentions and gratitude. It’s easy to get swept up in negativity about what may be going wrong or what you may not have. Choosing what you’re going to focus on and reminding yourself of what you do have is a much better way to experience life. Here are some ways to live the attitude of gratitude.
9. Acting on inspiration.
When you’re feeling inspired, charge ahead with ideas and possibilities. Take the time to do something that can benefit you or those around you. These moments will happen more and more if you start taking action when you’re inspired.
10. Taking small actions in the direction you want to head.
Instead of tackling everything at the beginning of a New Year or new month, start with one thing at a time. In principle, we need over 2.5 years to master change, so start small and accomplish big. Develop the characteristics to help you change.
These life-changing practices will help you increase your resilience and boost your confidence. In turn, you’ll find greater joy and peace for yourself and help others do the same.