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The 10 Essential Rules for Slowing Down and Enjoying Life More

Check out these tips on living a more meaningful life to get inspired on how to live life to the fullest!

1. Start the day with gratitude.

Intentionally focusing on what’s good in your life can help you start the day on a positive note. Practice gratitude by saying “thank you” more often to strengthen your relationships and deepen your connection with others. Wearing a smile is another easy way to practice gratitude. Research shows that smiling—even when you don’t feel like it—actually makes you feel happier and boosts your health and immunity! [1]

2. Don't sweat the small stuff.

Life’s too short to waste precious moments getting upset about trivial things. While it’s easier said than done to avoid dwelling on minor annoyances and issues, getting in the habit of “letting go” can go a long way to making your daily life less stressful.

3. Collect experiences, not possessions.

While splurging on those new shoes may feel good for a while, the feeling eventually fades. Spending money on experiences, on the other hand, creates new memories that add meaning to your life in a much deeper way. Positive experiences create a lasting impact on your life, while accumulating possessions can end up causing clutter and make you feel more stressed out and anxious [2].

4. Spend time in nature.

Most of us spend a lot of time in front of screens, which can cause fatigue, irritability, and worsened health [3]. It might feel like a chore to get outside, but the benefits of spending more time outdoors make it well worth the effort. Research shows that spending more time in nature can boost your mood, make you feel more relaxed, and even improve your cognition! [4]

5. Nurture positive relationships.

While you might not be able to completely cut off negative relationships, it can make a huge difference to minimize your interactions with people who bring you down. As much as you can, surround yourself with positive people that add value and meaning to your life.

6. Practice kindness.

Start by being kind to yourself. Forgive yourself, and treat yourself like your own best friend. When we practice compassion with ourselves, it becomes easier to be compassionate with others, which can help even difficult situations become more rewarding.

7. Build keystone habits.

Keystone habits are good habits that have a compounding positive effect on your life. In other words, building keystone habits is all about investing in yourself. For example, making healthy eating a habit improves other areas of your life, and this positive improvement increases with time. The longer you eat healthy, the better you feel, and the easier it becomes for you to maintain good physical and mental health. Other keystone habits that improve your quality of life include getting enough rest and exercising regularly.

8. Make time for yourself.

Managing a busy schedule and juggling many responsibilities means our needs often come last. Over the long term, however, this isn’t sustainable and often leads to burnout [5]. Consciously deciding to spend time each day doing something that is meaningful to you not only reduces stress and helps you enjoy life more, but also makes you more successful in other areas of your life! Research shows that more time, not money, increases life satisfaction. People who have more free time are “happier, less depressed, experience more joy, exercise more, eat better, [and] are more productive” [6].

8. Give back.

Beyond making the world a better place, giving back helps increase your sense of purpose and meaning and is even proven to increase your own life quality [7]. Some great ways to give back include showing gratitude, giving gifts, helping friends and family complete a task, or volunteering in your community.

8. Try new things.

Novelty is the spice of life. Exploring new places and trying new things helps keep life fun and interesting, and is a great way to get inspired if you’re feeling bored or stuck in a rut!

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