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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

15 Ways to Live a Fuller and Happier Life

15 Ways to Live a Fuller and Happier Life
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You want to learn how to live a fuller happier life, and that is amazing! Happiness is entirely within your control; you just have to release the idea that you can find happiness from external sources. You create happiness for yourself by changing your attitude towards your life and improving your mindset.

I have split this list into three sections: Let Go, Discover, and Take Action. We cover all the things you need to let go of to life a fuller life, the parts of you that you need to discover, and the actions that you need to take in order to live your best life.

Let Go

Learning to let go of things that no longer serve you is imperative on your path to a happier life.

1. Let Go of Perfection

Nothing slows down happiness and growth faster than the relentless pursuit of perfection. It stops you in your tracks, frozen with the endless edits, tinkers, and changes to create your idea of perfection.

You will never be happy if you are constantly in the pursuit of perfection, because perfection is unattainable. You can perceive something as perfect, but if you constantly search for perfection, you will only ever find more flaws. You are coming from a headspace that leads you to believe it isn’t good enough, and that negative headspace can’t be filled with more tinkering and changing; it can only be filled with love and acceptance.

Let go of trying to do everything perfectly. Do everything imperfectly, and breathe through that nagging thought that it isn’t perfect. You’ll be surprised by how much stress is left behind.

2. Let Go of the Idea That You Know Everything

As we become teenagers and adults, we develop this mindset that we know everything and to not know something is to be weak and vulnerable. Let go of this idea and start questioning everything you think you know.

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The concept that you know everything and that you are always right is a closed mindset. You can’t learn, grow, and change if you aren’t open to new ideas and ways of thinking. Practice saying things like: “I did not know that,” “What do you think about this?” and “Is this true, or is this something I have just known my whole life?” Question your reality because it might be just repeated, old, and outdated ideals.

3. Let Go of Your Ego

Your ego is a wonderful tool at times, but when your ego gets too bossy, it becomes a problem. What is the ego? The ego is your idea of self[1]. The ego makes you act for appearances instead of principles.

When you’re performing for imaginary people’s imaginary expectations for you, you can only lose because you are creating the expectations and making them unrealistic. It is a constant practice to let go of the ego. Practice gratitude and letting go of those all-consuming thoughts.

4. Let Go of Constant Comparison

If you really want to learn how to live a fuller happier life, you have to stop comparing yourself to other people. Comparing yourself to others is futile because you aren’t the same. You haven’t walked in their shoes, and you don’t have their resources or skill set. You are different, and focusing on comparing yourself to them will only bring negative results.

Comparison ultimately results in resentment and deprives you of the joy in your life because, instead of focusing on all that you have, you focus on how you aren’t enough. Be inspired by other people and use it to propel your goals forward, but keep your eyes on your own unique life.

5. Let Go of Focusing on Negative Situations

I hate the phrase “think positive,” but it is misunderstood. It doesn’t mean ignore your problems and feelings; it means get creative. Find another solution. Think outside of the box! It is so easy to focus on the bad that is happening to you, but try not to focus on all the lack; practice gratitude and focus on all that you have.

Redirect your attention to potential solutions to your problems. Reach out for help if you need it. You can control how you perceive and handle situations. For example: Life is hard, and you are down, and you can’t stop feeling sad even though you are doing your best to avoid it and change your mindset. Try a new approach. Sit with your feelings, feel them fully, and face them so they can pass. Don’t focus on the negatives out of your control. Focus on the positive, the things to be grateful for, and all that you have.

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Discover

Life is full of lessons and surprises that are constantly waiting to be discovered. However, the most important discoveries are found inside of you.

6. Discover Your Values

Who are you? What do you believe in? If you want to learn how to live a fuller happier life, start with working out who you really are, what you truly believe in, and what your values are. Once you know who you are, what you value, and who you want to be, live your life in this way, despite what others may think of your choices.

7. Discover Self-Compassion

Life is hard, confusing, and messy. You aren’t a God. You are just a person trying to figure it out like the rest of us. Give yourself a break; you don’t have to have it all figured out. Always speak to yourself with kindness, even after you have done something wrong. Learn from your mistakes and be kind to yourself, and you will be so much happier. After all, it’s hard to be happy when there is someone living in your head constantly being mean to you.

8. Discover How to Live With No Regrets

When I was 14, I saw this motivational quote printed on wallpaper: “When you want to do something, do it right away. Do it when you can. It’s the only way to live a life without regrets.” I still remember it because it is so true.

Do you want to wake up at 70 or 80 or 100 and realize that you have regrets? Money comes around, time does not. If you want to do something, go do it. Now. Live your life right now, because you never know when you will wake up regretting all the things you never did.

9. Discover Balance

If you want to learn how to live a fuller happier life, you need to find balance. Do more things you love! Have more fun!

Spend some time finding balance in areas that you are lacking. For example, a workaholic will most likely need to have adventure. Someone who is constantly stressed may need to incorporate yoga or meditation into their routine. Find a way to stabilize your actions and emotions to live happier.

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10. Discover Your Self-Expression

If you learn how to express yourself emotionally and creatively, you will find a new world of happiness and fulfillment. Embrace your inner artist. Speak your truth, and say how you truly feel, fearlessly.

Part of living authentically is expressing who you are, even if people don’t like it. Live your truth, and find your tribe. You are wonderful and important, and you will find happiness in expressing who you really are.

Take Action

Taking action in life is only helpful if your actions help you stay true to your authentic self. Practice the actions below to learn how to live a fuller happier life.

11. Leave Your Comfort Zone

To live your fullest life, it means you have to leave your comfort zone and achieve your goals. Everything you want is on the other side of your comfort zone. Fear and happiness may seem like opposites, but they aren’t. Fear is just the step to help you up to the cookie jar that is happiness. To get there, you must be brave enough to get on the step and risk falling off.

12. Take One Day at a Time

Focus on living your best day each day. Don’t focus on how bad the past has been or what the future could be. Every day is a new day, and your past mistakes were lessons for you to apply today so you don’t repeat your mistakes. Focus on how you can improve today to be happy, fulfilled, and hit your goals in the future.

13. Surround Yourself With People Who Lift You up

You are only as happy as your environment. If you are surrounded by negative people who don’t believe in you and try and keep you down, your ability to be happy and fulfilled will be capped. If there are people in your life trying to sabotage your happiness, you’ll have a difficult time overcoming those negative emotions.

You are a combination of the five people you hang out with most, so make sure they are on your team and will to spread positivity wherever they go. Don’t be afraid to change up your people; you are doing them a favor, as well.

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14. Do What Makes You Happy

Not everyone is going to understand what you are doing, and people will try and tell you that you are crazy and hold you back. However, if it makes you happy and fulfilled, do it anyway. Prove them wrong.

Innovators have to push the boundaries of what is possible, and this applies to your life. You are an innovator, too. Your project is your life, and you have to be willing to continue down your path despite the negative voices that may come your way.

15. Take Personal Responsibility

It’s time to take action and take personal responsibility for your life. Bad things happen to people every day, and you have to stop blaming other people and situations for your bad experiences. This is a simple but vital mindset shift because it takes control back.

If you are responsible for everything that happens to you and you do, then you can change it. Take responsibility for each thing that happens to you, and use the knowledge you gain to prevent the same mistakes in the future. However (and this is key), don’t use it to blame and torture yourself about how bad a person you are. Use it to learn and apply to the future, without self-shaming. None!

Final Thoughts

Learning how to live a fuller happier life is completely in your control. It is all about attitude, mindset, and actions taken to create the life you want. It can be scary and overwhelming, but if you take small steps and practice gratitude, you can find your happiness. You deserve to be happy, so choose it.

More Tips on How to Live a Fuller Life

Featured photo credit: Antonino Visalli via unsplash.com

Reference

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Jade Nyx

Qualified Life Coach

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Published on June 11, 2021

What Is Well-being: A Guide On How To Measure And Improve It

What Is Well-being: A Guide On How To Measure And Improve It
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Well-being is a term often utilized in psychology literature to describe healthy individuals. It is often associated with contentment, happiness, or fulfillment. However, there is debate about what well-being really is and even how to spell it.[1] With so much confusion around the definition, individuals are often left to wonder what well-being is and how to achieve it.

This article will unlock the answers to three questions:

  • What is well-being?
  • How is it measured?
  • How is it improved?

What Is Well-Being?

Well-being includes a combination of feeling states and lifestyle factors. Feeling states associated with it may include happiness and contentment. Lifestyle factors may include feelings of fulfillment, achieving one’s potential, having some control in life, and engaging in meaningful relationships. Well-being is also associated with positive mental health.[2] In simpler terms, It is a construct used to describe many facets of life including psychological, physical, and social health. Synonyms for it include happiness, health, positive feelings, welfare, and wellness.[3]

It may also be defined as a state of balance or homeostasis. This balance is achieved by having enough resources to cope with life’s challenges.[4] Both challenges and resources may be prevalent in three areas: physical, psychological, and social.

When there is an abundance of challenges and inadequate resources, well-being is lost. However, humans are designed to work towards achieving a state of balance. Well-being is linked to interpersonal, professional, and personal success. It often results in greater productivity at work, increased learning and creativity, prosocial behavior, and fulfilling relationships.[5]

Why is well-being difficult to define? Likely because it encompasses a variety of life experiences and feeling states that may vary among individuals. To help individuals assess themselves, several measures have been created.

How Is Well-Being Measured?

Researchers need to agree on a standardized definition of well-being to accurately measure it. An adequate measure must therefore encompass every facet of well-being, including as a feeling state as well as a lifestyle. In other words, an effective measurement takes both life satisfaction and functioning into account.

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Well-being can be broken down further into two categories: objective and subjective.

Objective Well-Being

Objective well-being looks at standards of living. This is useful for research looking at cultures, countries, or groups of people. It includes measuring education, income, safety, and life expectancy.[6]

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United National Development Programme, and the Italian Statistics Bureau have identified six areas for study related to objective well-being:

  1. Health
  2. Job opportunities
  3. Socioeconomic development
  4. Politics
  5. Safety
  6. Environment

Subjective Well-Being

Subjective well-being includes an emotional and mental assessment of an individual’s life. Two prominent subjective measures are life satisfaction and happiness. Measuring subjective well-being is useful for predicting mental health patterns.[7] It is determined intrinsically by the individual. Regardless of how their life might be perceived by others on the outside, this measures how individuals feel on the inside.

Subjective well-being can be broken down further into two categories: hedonic and contentment. The hedonic component relates to feelings, emotions, and moods. The contentment component relates to thoughts and whether an individual feels their life has been fulfilling. Individuals often measure their thoughts and life fulfillment against social and cultural backgrounds.

In other words, it is important to consider the context in which an individual lives. Individuals may perceive their lives differently based on social and cultural expectations. Furthermore, individuals cannot be measured without taking their environment into consideration.

In 2013, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development determined subjective well-being to be an important factor in assessing well-being. Because it is perceived by the individual, it is often assessed by self-report measures. In other words, individuals rate their own level of well-being through psychological tests.[8]

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There are five areas associated with subjective well-being:

  1. Genetic factors
  2. Basic and psychological needs
  3. Social environment
  4. Economics and income
  5. Political environment

How to Improve Well-Being

There are many ways that individuals can improve their sense of well-being. It is a complex construct with a variety of factors at play. Therefore, there is no one, perfect solution for it. Instead, the goal should be to engage in a holistic approach the incorporates a variety of factors.

The following methods are not comprehensive. What works well for one individual may not be the right approach for others. Instead, these approaches should be considered suggestions for improving well-being.

Individuals looking for a truly comprehensive assessment of well-being should consider scheduling an appointment with a psychologist, therapist, or medical doctor. These individuals may also provide resources, prescribe medication, or share tips for making lifestyle changes to assist in overall improvement.

1. Spend Time in Nature

There is evidence to support the claim that interactions with nature increase well-being. This includes an increase in positive emotions, happiness, and subjective well-being. Time spent in nature is also linked with an increased sense of meaning and purpose in life as well as the ability to manage challenges in life.[9]

One study found that spending at least 120 minutes in nature each week was associated with greater health. In the study, it did not matter if that time was spent all at once or stretched out over the course of a week. Peak gains in well-being occurred between 200 and 300 minutes of nature time, weekly.[10]

2. Practice Gratitude

Individuals who experience gratitude as a trait experience increased well-being. Trait gratitude refers to the willingness to see the unearned value in one’s experience. State gratitude is a feeling that occurs after individuals experience an act of kindness and, therefore, feel motivated to reciprocate.

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One study assessed state gratitude, during Covid-19 in China. Individuals were instructed to journal while practicing gratitude for 14-days, which included a one-month follow-up. The study found that gratitude practiced in a natural setting during times of increased stress and anxiety resulted in increased positive feelings and increased life satisfaction. However, increased life satisfaction was not sustained after one month.[11]

As a result of the aforementioned study, there is evidence to support a daily practice of journaling and gratitude for increased well-being. Individuals should practice both trait and state gratitude, whenever possible. Over time, these practices will become a habit and lead to lasting improvement.

3. Develop Increased Awareness

Increased awareness is associated with improvements in positive subjective experience, increased self-regulation and goal-directed behavior, and successful interactions with others.

Increased awareness can be attained through meta-awareness. Meta-awareness is the ability to consciously notice an emotion, thought, or sensory experience. It is a skill that can be taught. Mindfulness-based meditation and psychotherapy are two ways in which meta-awareness is learned. Kindness and compassion meditations are both linked with improved well-being. Both Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may help increase awareness.[12]

4. Achieve Work-Life Balance

An individual’s workplace has the potential to either help or harm them. Workplace factors that negatively impact well-being include:

  • Work-related pressure or demands
  • Lack of autonomy or flexibility
  • Poor coworker and supervisor relationships
  • Shift work
  • Longer workday length

Employers can directly improve their workers’ well-being by providing paid leave, opportunities for salary growth, support for individuals with disabilities or those returning after injury, and access to health care. Improvements in the work environment and job structure may also be helpful.[13]

Worker well-being is beneficial both for workers and their employers. It is associated with improvements in:

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  • Performance at work
  • Coping with stress and self-regulation
  • Satisfying relationships, prosocial communication, and cooperation
  • Immune system functioning
  • And physical and psychological health

Workplace well-being is also associated with a decrease in burnout, stress, and sleep-related issues.[14]

5. Seek Out Positive Relationships

Individuals with caring and positive connections often rank higher in well-being. On the flip side, poor social relationships can be more damaging than excessive drinking and smoking. Positive social relationships also help to protect against mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Prosocial behaviors are important for forming social connections that lead to increased well-being. Appreciation and gratitude are both pro-social traits. For example, focusing on the positive qualities and actions of others. Empathy for others also contributes to higher levels of well-being. Lastly, generosity is also a strong predictor of life satisfaction.[15]

6. Stay Hopeful

Hope is a concept often related to spiritual and religious traditions. However, it entered the world of psychology around the 20th century. It is now an important construct in positive psychology. Hope can be defined broadly as the belief that things can get better, and that goals are achievable.

Hope is associated with an increase in:

  • Emotional adjustment
  • Positive feelings
  • Life satisfaction and quality of life
  • Social support
  • A sense of purpose

Takeaways

Well-being is a construct that is hard to define, yet widely cited in psychological literature. It is linked with feelings of happiness and contentment. It might also be described as a sense of purpose or satisfaction with life.

To accurately measure it, there needs to be an agreed-upon definition. In general, it has been separated into objective and subjective categories. Objective well-being considers social and cultural constructs. Subjective well-being refers to the individual’s felt sense and internal assessment of their own.

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There are several things that individuals can do to improve their well-being. However, no one thing will improve everything. Rather, this requires a holistic practice of mental and physical health. Nevertheless, individuals who spend time in nature, develop positive connections, practice gratitude, stay hopeful, and develop awareness have a greater chance of experiencing better well-being.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

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