How to Live Life With More Intention
You may just need a slight shift in perspective to thrive. Read about these simple, mindful habits to learn how to live with more intention.
Do you feel like life is a blur, and you’re just going through the motions? Are you constantly overwhelmed and stressed out, wishing you could catch a break? When your days are super hectic, living with intention might sound like a luxury you can’t afford – but it may just be the key to leading a meaningful and well-balanced life. Here are some simple tips on how to live mindfully every day.
Take Time for Morning Calm
Do you reach for your phone first thing in the morning? Even if you only mean to check the time, chances are, you’ll find yourself scrolling through upsetting news feeds and FOMO-inducing posts that inevitably disrupt the balance of your day.
Start the day intentionally with a personal calming ritual. Instead of being jolted awake and rushing out the door, set your alarm a little earlier than usual so you can have this tranquil pocket of time before the day’s obligations pour in. with a morning prayer or perhaps a to ground and empower you – even just ten minutes can do wonders! (If you’re a beginner, seek the help of guided meditation from apps like Calm and Insight Timer).
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One Thing at a Time
Guess what? Multitasking is overrated. Try to do only one thing at a time, do it mindfully, and to the best of your ability. Yes, this is a tough one for achievers who are always doing ten things simultaneously and praised for it.
According to a , frequent multitasking comes at a cost. Engaging in task switching imposes demands on the parts of the brain that support control and sustain attention. Often, it results in performance deficits. As an example, the same study shows that media multitasking in students leads to reduced information retention, reading proficiency, and homework accuracy.
Living with intention means being fully present in each moment, so concentrating only on the task or situation is a great way to bring mindfulness into your life.
For example, when eating, chew properly and savor each bite. When watching a film, immerse yourself in its world and resist the urge to reach for your phone. If you are chatting with a friend, listen with complete attention without daydreaming or formulating your responses in your head. When preparing dinner for the family, view each step not as a chore but as an act of love, bringing joy into the process.
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Engage the Senses
Doing one task at a time is challenging when accomplishing everything on your to-do list is hard enough. We mentally problem-solve the minute we step into the shower. You reply to emails on the go. You chat on the speakerphone while washing the dishes, and on top of everything, you feel the need to say yes to every social obligation. But when you constantly pack your days to the brim, how do you learn how to live with intention?
In his book The Practice of Not Thinking: A Guide to Mindful Living, former monk Ryunosuke Koike demonstrates how reconnecting with your senses can lead to a more peaceful, positive life. “Since ancient times, Japanese people have had the ability to regard the sounds in nature, such as raindrops or water running or falling, as interesting subjects, and they have enjoyed capturing in art or literature the elegance of the natural world around them. But because new sources of stimulation are created and sought in modern times, they are losing such refined and delicate sensibilities.”
Koike encourages, “Shift your mindset from hearing to listening, seeing passively to seeing intentionally, practice sharpening your five senses, and you will begin to feel a sense of fulfillment from contemplating things that may appear at first to be boring.” When you take the time to attune to the world around you, you sharpen your focus on what is essential, and the noise of the world falls away. Make each moment count.
Make Time for What Sparks Joy
Ok, so the reality is that most people don’t get to do what they love for a living. But nothing is stopping you from nurturing your favorite hobbies or activities in your spare time – even if it means waking up an hour early to sketch, tend to your plants, or finally read that book sitting on your nightstand.
This suggests that engaging in enjoyable leisure activities can induce positive emotions, lower blood pressure, promote life satisfaction, and improve overall health. Evidence also suggests that leisure activities can promote calm and cushion the negative psychological .
When was the last time you did something for pleasure – with zero guilt? There must be something that brings you joy or makes you feel alive. Discover what it is, make time for it, and realize that allowing time for yourself brings more meaning to everything else.
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Gratitude is appreciating what you have, tangible or intangible. Cultivate , whether it’s saying grace before a meal, writing letters of thanks, or keeping a gratitude journal.
by Emmons & McCullough found that “a weekly benefit listing was associated with more positive and optimistic appraisals of one’s life, more time spent exercising, and fewer reported physical symptoms.” Listing things you are grateful for sounds rather basic, but it’s especially effective in nurturing mindfulness, positivity, and general well-being.
Living intentionally means doing things thoughtfully, purposefully, and with compassion for the world around you, and especially yourself. Try these tips on how to live with more intention to find meaning, reclaim your time, and devote your energy to the things that really matter.