Wouldn’t you agree that living your life to the fullest is determined by how you live your life?
Of course, it also depends on how you define your way of life.
Moreover, what elements you perceive as capable of making your life full also are the determining factors.
Therefore, whether you live your best life or not depends on your understanding and practice of life.
In short, it depends on your lifestyle and habits more than anything else.
Your lifestyle is the manner of living you have adopted that reflects your values and attitudes.
Everyone has the right to choose his or her own way of life, isn’t it?
Well, not completely because sometimes people are bound by the lifestyle of their religion, culture, society, or community.
In any case, there are many ways to live.
It’s possible for every person to consider that their way of living is the best.
Indeed, that is possible!
There is no one absolute way of life.
You can live your best life now and forever, in your own way. However, for that you might need to make some adjustments.
In that respect, it’s important for you to understand that there are some fundamentals of life that are common to all best ways of living.
If you put them into practice, you could bring happiness into your life, making it the best!
Before we go any further, let’s get our definitions and facts right.
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.” ~Albert Einstein
What Does Way Of Life Mean
According to the Collins dictionary, way of life means the behavior and habits that are typical of a particular person or group, or that are chosen by them.
It comprises of your practices, daily rituals, and traditions. In fact, these determine whether you live your life to the fullest.
No, I definitely do not mean that you fill your life with irrational dogmas and superstitions.
I mean that you cultivate some behaviors and habits based on scientific facts and spiritual wisdom, and incorporate them into your lifestyle.
I’m not referring to or discussing any religious or spiritual way of life in particular.
This is a general post about the common and most basic behaviors and habits that can help improve your life, irrespective of your religious or spiritual beliefs or views.
Let’s know the way of life that could fit in your lifestyle to make it better and the best.
“Wisdom is nothing but a preparation of the soul, a capacity, a secret art of thinking, feeling and breathing thoughts of unity at every moment of life.” ~ Herman Hesse
How To Live Your Best Life
Well, the answer lies in your question.
To live your life to the fullest, you need to practice the BEST way of life.
Here, BEST is the acronym for Breathing, Emotions, Senses, and Thoughts.
In addition to what you are already doing to live to the fullest, try to improve your technique of breathing, filter your emotions, control your senses, and be careful with your thoughts.
Your concept of the best life is a life full of love, happiness, positivity, and peace. Isn’t it?
Of course, it could be more as per your likes and interests.
But these BEST principles of life are some fundamentals of a good way of living that everybody needs to understand and implement in life to live the best life.
Probably you already do that as these are based on age-old time proven universal wisdom.
However, no harm going through them to check if you missed on anything that you should make a part of your life.
Breathing is more than just inhaling and exhaling of air. There is an art and science of breathing.
It’s one of the most essential factors of life. Good breathing makes all the difference and promotes healthy living.
In ancient India, the sages and philosophers discovered that the right way of breathing made you feel more relaxed. It made you feel good and alert.
They concluded that correct breathing techniques will bring you vitality, longevity, and personal power.
Moreover, breathing is also linked to your other life activities, including emotions and thoughts.
You may experience change in your breathing when you are sad or happy, angry or calm, and when you sleep or are awake.
The other way around, your control and regulation of breathing can help you manage and mitigate the consequences of your fluctuating emotional and thinking states.
Therefore, incorporating correct breathing in your way of life will help you make your life stable, thus happy and peaceful.
Do you know that with the practice of our normal breathing we use only one-tenth of the total capacity of our lungs? Instead, we should try to maximize this use.
“When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.” ~ Svatmarama
What to do
Practice deep breathing. It increases the breathing efficiency per breath.
As per the scientific facts, the normal breath rate is 15 to 18 breaths per minute. In deep breathing, this rate is reduced to about 4 to 8 breaths per minute.
The ancient wisdom says that the fewer or longer your breaths, the longer is your life.
What you should do is diaphragmatic breathing. It helps you relax, surge your energy levels, and keep you calm.
According to Wikipedia, in diaphragmatic or deep breathing, air enters the lungs, and the belly expands. This deep breathing is marked by expansion of the abdomen rather than the chest when breathing.
It is considered to be a healthier way to breathe and a useful form of complementary and alternative treatment.
You should reduce on shallow or rapid breathing, also known as chest breathing.
Diaphragmatic breathing is also one of the most important foundation practices for meditation. After learning from an expert, you should consciously practice diaphragmatic breathing.
Remember, the breath is intimately connected to the autonomic nervous system and the mind.
“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh
Therefore, breath regulation and diaphragmatic breathing even helps calm your mind, enhance your cognitive and mental abilities, and help you live your best life.
Emotions are important in life. We deal with emotions all the time.
To the extent that we love to use emoticons in our writing and digital interaction as well, don’t you too! 🙂
Sometimes, we lay emphasis to our emotions more than anything else, such that we let it take us for a ride.
But the emotional roller coaster ride is not always pleasant. Sometimes, the ups and down of emotions can take a toll on your mind and body.
Emotions can be negative as well as positive. They incite corresponding moods or motivation within us. Remember that not all emotions are true.
Especially, negative emotions can be an obstacle to living your best life. Even being overwhelmed and flooded with positive emotions takes you off the balance and make you feel uncomfortable.
“Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf.” ~Jonatan Mårtensson
What to do
To live your best life, you need to maintain a balance of emotions and try not to go to extremes.
Its okay to enjoy and express emotions, but don’t make yourself vulnerable to suffering by getting too attached to these emotions.
Don’t tie yourself to your emotions, as these are the waves that come and go. It’s wise to anchor yourself in something concrete and then enjoy or experience these tides of emotions.
The ancient Chinese believed that excess emotions caused damage to qi, the life force, and eventually damaged the vital organs.
Don’t surrender yourself and drift away in the emotional storms, as sometimes excessive emotions can be irrational and counterproductive.
Balance and moderation of emotions is the key to happiness in life.
“Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.” ~ Joel Osteen
Ways to deal with emotions
If you indulge in negative emotions, then you might suffer from physiological injury, mental traumas, estranged relationships, and psychological issues.
- Instead, you can choose and try not to react in situations of emotional conflict.
- Divert attention to your breathing.
- Focus on the positive aspects or affirmations.
- Come to an understanding that the situation is temporary, and it will pass.
- Make an offer of positive emotion and display it to counter the negative emotions.
- Avoid blockage of emotional channels by choosing positive ways to release emotions
However, you need to make your choices depending upon the circumstances.
You may require expressing your emotions rather than holding them based on your assessment and discretion.
But negative emotions can never help you lead a happy life.
You will love your life only if you have a healthy and positive emotional state.
If you make efforts to keep your emotions in check and to develop inner happiness, you’ll have more of healthy relationships that are conducive to healthy living.
Senses and sensual pleasures seem to be the spice of life.
The five senses, sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch help you live a 5-dimensional life.
But the lack of any sense faculty or body sense organ does not make your life meaningless.
You can still live your life and make it enjoyable and memorable.
While the senses are good, you should try not to be overly dependent on them. Enjoy the senses, but don’t let them rule you.
Dependency on the sensual pleasures provided by the senses may turn you as a victim instead of making you victorious.
Lack of control over the senses may also alter your perception, judgment, and make you take irrational decisions that may even harm your life.
For example, you like the taste of certain food, and you decide to have more of it than required.
Conversely, you limit your diet and have less than what is required because it doesn’t satisfy your palette in spite of being beneficial.
Therefore, you need to lead a sense-controlled way of life to live to the fullest.
“The senses deceive from time to time, and it is prudent never to trust wholly those who have deceived us even once.” ~ Rene Descartes
What to do
Your mind is the master of all the senses. It has the power to control and limit your sensory desires.
You need to develop this control center so that the senses are harnessed to a more efficient and productive life for healthy living.
The practice of inner meditation besides helping in self regulation of the body and mind also helps you experience living without the dependency and use of senses.
Try meditating for a few minutes on a daily basis. Then gradually increase the duration of the meditation time period.
You may meditate by concentrating on your breath, on some imaginary point, on some mantra or chanting of words while keeping your eyes closed.
“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” ~ Confucius
However, there are many other ways of meditating. There is also a ways of meditating that uses the senses – it’s called mindful meditation.
In that, you live in the moment experiencing the sensory stimuli. When you eat, you attentively observe the look of the food, its smell, and taste.
When you go for your morning walk, you attentively hear the sounds of birds, watch the surroundings, smell the air, and feel your body, being in the moment.
Sensory fulfillment is good and conducive for healthy living, such that it does not make you addictive and keeps you in charge.
The right way of using your senses can help you live your best life.
Some researches indicate that your brain produces or processes around 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day.
This is quite a lot, and managing your thoughts is a serious and tedious business.
Statistically, you’re bombarded with a thought every alternate second.
While some of these thoughts may be helpful, meaningful, and useful, a majority of them may be counterproductive, including negative thoughts.
Negative thoughts induce negativity and lead you to behave negatively. This can lead to negative perceptions, negative attitude, and overly negative way of living.
If you find a way so that less number of thoughts are processed or produced, and a way to filter out the negative thoughts, then you may be able to live a better life.
“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.” ~ Swami Vivekananda
What to do
This is easy to guess. All you need to do is see, feel, think, and do positively.
Everything is related to and results in thoughts.
1) Think Positive
Positive thinking and optimism is the way to counter negative experiences and negative thoughts.
By adopting a positive way of life, you majorly experience and process positive thoughts, and thus turn the invasion of thoughts in your favor.
2) Feel Positive
Thoughts and emotions are also interlinked.
Thoughts may excite certain emotions and emotions may produce certain thoughts. On the other hand, emotion is also considered as a thought.
Therefore, if you feel good, you are likely to think good and positive.
3) See Positive
Your sensory perception may be the root of your thoughts. For example, your brain generates or processes thoughts based on what you see through your eyes or visualize in your mind.
Now, if you try to not let your eyes wander – this may help you face less number of thoughts.
4) Do Positive
Actions speak louder than words, and even thoughts. No matter what, force yourself to indulge in positive actions and behavior.
Thus, you may even convert negative thoughts into positive outcomes. For example, get involved in community or social service.
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
While there are many ways to remain positive and live your best life, one is mostly missed out by many.
There is an inextricable relationship between breathing and thoughts.
When your breathing is controlled, your mind is calm; you process less number of thoughts.
Meditation combined with positive self-affirmation leads you to a completely positive mental state.
In the deepest and highest levels of meditation, you go beyond the emotions and thoughts, into a stage of breathless body and mindless state.
For some, that is the best way of life to be lived to experience the ultimate ecstasy and enlightenment.
“When there are thoughts, it is distraction: when there are no thoughts, it is meditation.” ~ Ramana Maharshi
Adopt and include the BEST way of life for living your best life.
- Control and regulate your breath by practicing deep breathing. You may live long, be stress-free, happy, and peaceful.
- Keep your emotions in check. Don’t get carried away. Root out negative emotions, avoid emotional conflicts and keep the emotional channels open.
- Be in charge of your senses, don’t over indulge. Practice meditation and mindfulness. Don’t become dependent on your senses and sensory perceptions.
- Have positive thoughts and always be positive in everything. See good, hear good, speak good, as well as think and act good.
One of the keys to bringing happiness into life is balance and moderation. Honor the limits, and avoid extremes or addictions.
In cases of upsetting emotions and thoughts, just shift your attention to your breath.
The body, breath, and mind are linked. And so are emotions and thoughts.
Therefore, proper breathing habit and practice of meditation will help you in living your best life now and forever.
This is the way of life incorporating the BEST principles, which includes the elements of breathing, emotions, senses, and thoughts.
However, this is not a comprehensive and exhaustive lifestyle solution as there are many other elements that help you to live life to the fullest. Read this post to know some of them.
Over to you –
How do you try to live your best life? What is the way of life you believe makes your life full and complete? Share in the comments below.
Posted on: February 26th, 2015
Last Updated on: May 31st, 2015