The twenty-first century is a period of constant hustle culture. It can be difficult to focus on living a life that makes you happy. People spend every day just trying to make a living, and it can be easy to forget what matters most to us.
There is a rising subculture of individuals who refuse to adhere to this mindset. They utilise mindful practices in order to slow down and live a life that fulfils them. This phenomenon is called intentional living.
What is Intentional Living?
Contrary to popular belief, intentional living is not about giving everything up and abandoning the life you live in order to start from scratch. It’s choosing to live a more emotionally fulfilling and sustainable lifestyle that’s in line with your core values and beliefs.
Intentional living is all about the why.
In essence, it’s about being mindful of the choices you make and knowing why you made those choices. It is based on the concepts of perception and action. You first perceive and examine your actions and choices. Then, if you find you aren’t happy with them – you act and change them!
Living intentionally can be done on any scale. For example, it can be about a big life and perception shift through the act of changing your career. On the other hand, it can also be about incrementally changing little things in your life to make you happier. It all depends on the person and what they specifically want to achieve.
How Can Intentional Living be Beneficial to Me?
Living more intentionally can be beneficial for your health and wellbeing. It can do this through many means.
It can fundamentally improve your quality of life. Analysis shows that the happiest among us are those who seek to align their actions, words and behaviours with what’s meaningful to them. You are happier when you are doing things you believe in because it’s self-affirming and fulfilling.
It can motivate you. Determining your goals is always the first step to achieving them. You create a deeper understanding of your goals by knowing what you want and why you want it. It allows you to know roughly what your life goals are and where you want to be. This means that you can plan and take steps to achieve your goals easier.
It can make you grateful for what you have. Awareness of yourself and your actions can show you the good in your life. Or alternatively it can show you what you have achieved through your intentional changes and actions. According to a study by the Harvard Medical School, this is beneficial because gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
It stops you from living on autopilot. Living on autopilot means that you make decisions mindlessly in the moment that can have negative effects later. In a recent study, 96% of the participants surveyed said they were living life on autopilot. So, living intentionally can stop you from missing opportunities for growth. It can lead to more fulfilment in different aspects of your life: personal, professional, or financial.
How Can I Live More Intentionally?
Some large-scale changes you can make are:
- Ask yourself questions to evaluate your life. Psychology Today explains that this is done to gain a deep understanding of your external and internal environment. So, these questions could be about your job, living situation, or your relationships.
- You should also be asking questions about the way you think, behave, or feel about situations.
- Identify your core values. These are the things that guide the way you live, so by identifying them you can adjust how you live to meet them. Core values are important to intentional living, as when these don’t align with your personal values, it can be a real source of unhappiness.
These big changes can seem a little overwhelming. Here are some everyday steps you can take:
- Make daily happiness a priority. Consciously take time out of every day to do something you enjoy. This can help you slow down a little from the bustle of everyday life. It makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something, even if it’s something small!
- Be mindful of the media you consume. Social media especially can lead to unhealthy comparisons, stress, and a sense of being overwhelmed. Consume media content at a pace you can realistically take and set boundaries. Protect your space online!
- Stop buying things you don’t need. Question your purchases! Ask yourself whether you need the item, or whether it is worth it to spend money on. It reduces your capacity for unnecessary material items and helps you save money!
For more assistance and tips on how to live intentionally, contact one of our life coaches here at Ceed.