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9 Essential Ways to Find Meaning in Your Life


Your typical day might go something like this:

Alarm goes off at an ungodly hour. Hit snooze five times. Finally drag yourself out of bed. Brew some coffee…make it strong! Groggily get dressed and ready for your day, hoping you won’t be late. Run out the door to your car to drive to the day job you can’t stand. Spend the next 8+ hours chugging through meaningless tasks and checking the clock frequently until quitting time. Rush around to run a few errands after work. Make dinner, eat and clean up. Spend the rest of the evening watching TV or browsing Facebook because you’re too tired to do anything else. Get ready for bed so you can do the same thing all over again tomorrow.

Sound familiar? If this is your life, it’s easy to get burnt out, discouraged or even spiral into a deep depression. When it feels like every day is the same, you start to lose your sense of purpose. Life begins to feel meaningless.

The good news is that even if you’re feeling lost in life, there are plenty of simple ways to add meaning and purpose to each and every day. If you haven’t figured out what exactly you want from life, begin with these little steps towards living intentionally.

Take some time daily for spiritual reflection.

Whether or not you are a part of an organized religion, getting into the habit of focusing on the present is beneficial. Forget about past regrets, and put fear of the future aside while you meditate, repeat mantras or positive affirmations, pray or clear your mind with a walk outside.

Share a random act of kindness.

Offer clothing, food or time to someone in need. Lend a listening ear to a friend or stranger who is struggling. Pay for the person behind you in line, or walk a dog at an animal shelter. It might not seem like much, but a small act of kindness could change someone’s life.

Be a light to others.

Radiate positive energy everywhere you go. Enjoy life; sing in the car – loudly, dance down the aisle at the grocery store, do a handstand on the sidewalk or make someone laugh. Even if some people think you’re crazy, others will catch on to your infectious love of life.

Do something you enjoy.

Listen to some good music, write, go outside, call a friend – whatever it is that makes you happy, take at least 30 minutes for enjoyment.

Learn something new, or try a new activity.

Read about a topic you don’t know much about, watch a documentary or take a free class online. There’s a wonderful world of information out there, and learning something new might help you stumble upon a new passion. When possible, travel to a new place, try a food for the first time or try a new art form.

Share your talents with the world.

Are you good at writing? Dancing? Painting? Programming? Wood working? Meeting new people? Making people laugh? Everyone has at least one great talent that they can share to help make the world a better place.

Practice gratitude.

Take a minute (or a few) each day to think about the people/things/events you’re thankful for. You can go over them in your mind or write them down. No matter how shitty your life seems at any given moment, you’re on this planet for a reason, and there is something good in each day.

Join a movement for a worthy cause.

Fair trade, food freedom, human rights and clean water are some of the causes that are important to me. It’s overwhelming to think about everything that’s wrong with the world, but it’s good to know you can help. There are plenty of websites where you can take FREE and easy actions that help others. Test your vocabulary, math skills or art knowledge at Freerice.com. For every correct answer, you can donate rice to the hungry. With a simple click of a button, sponsors at The Hunger Site will donate a cup of food to the hungry.Change.org provides petitions for numerous worthy causes.

Add a new healthy or ecofriendly habit into your routine.

Shop local produce and meat, buy something secondhand instead of new, begin a new exercise routine or start your day with a green smoothie.

The best thing you can do to live every day with purpose: celebrate life!


Credit: expandedconsciousness.com

Alex Howlett is a yoga instructor based in Western PA. Practicing yoga makes her feel stronger both physically and mentally. She became an instructor to share the benefits of yoga with as many people as possible through teaching group classes and online classes. In her free time, Alex enjoys reading, writing and enjoying nature. Learn more at alexhowlettyoga.com.

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