How to feel alive

How to feel alive

You know how it goes. Work has been a drag lately, someone or something has been irritating you more than you would like, and you just haven’t been waking up on the right side of the bed for a while.

From time to time, everyone finds themselves feeling exhausted, disillusioned, and frustrated by life at large. But, the longer you let yourself lounge around in that self-defeating state, the harder it will be to actually pursue your goals, have a good time, and live in a way that’s in line with your ideal.

Fortunately, there are a bunch of different things you can try that may help you to feel more alive and energized in one way or another.

So, here are a few suggestions to play around with.

Get involved in some friendly competition with your pals

There’s a really irritating and destructive phenomenon that happens whenever you fall into a rut: apathy leads to more apathy, irritability leads to more irritability, and stagnation leads to more stagnation. In other words, a vicious cycle begins. Or, at least, it has the potential to begin.

One of the best ways of getting yourself motivated to break free from this negative spiral before it really gets a chance to build momentum, is to get in touch with some external forces that can help to keep you active, interested, and engaged on a daily basis.

Easily one of the most fun and reliable ways of doing this, is to get involved in some friendly competition with your pals.

This could involve anything from doing some responsible and light-hearted sports betting against each other, using a service like borgataonline, to signing up to a race or other fitness challenge together and seeing who comes out first, to doing a joint challenge like “sober October.”

Even if the competition you’re engaging in together isn’t something that seems “serious” or that has anything to do with “self-help,” it’s a fact that competition in and of itself can give you a good extra nudge to avoid sinking too deeply into the sofa, giving up on making an effort, and becoming despondent.

A lot of stock gets placed in willpower and discipline – and these things are indeed essential in life. But it’s worth keeping in mind that your external accountability mechanisms will almost always have a more powerful and sustainable effect on your life as a whole, than your own internal supply of willpower and discipline.

It’s also important to keep in mind that maintaining enthusiasm and momentum – in any dimension of your life – is an essential part of feeling alive and being energetic, in general.

Start a regular weight training practice (without killing yourself trying to hit PR’s every week)

A good weight training routine can – and often does – transform a person’s life for the better.

While aerobic exercises like jogging or cycling can be great for a variety of reasons, weight training allows you to engage in an activity where you get to directly track the incremental improvements you’re making in strength and muscle mass over time – while simultaneously boosting the level of circulating anabolic hormones in the body such as testosterone.

Getting into a regular weight training practice can absolutely and rapidly boost your confidence, your energy levels, your willingness to “get after it,” and your ability to reliably stick to a structure or routine.

In other words, a good weight training routine can really help you to feel alive.

The only thing to be careful about is that you shouldn’t do what many people do, by going for an ultra-intense training routine that leads to exhaustion, injury, and a chronic dread of working out. Although training like this might make you feel tough in the short term, it’s not going to give you a lot of the sustainable benefits that you’re after.

Train regularly, push and challenge yourself, but you should finish each workout feeling pleasantly tired rather than totally annihilated.

Do regular stretching and breathing exercises

Many guys, in particular, are totally enthusiastic about the idea of weight training but are very reluctant to do something like yoga.

Whether or not you actually end up attending a yoga class, though, there are real benefits to doing regular stretching and breathing exercises – not least of all relaxing and unfreezing your diaphragm, reducing chronic pain and tension, and helping you to feel more energized, mobile, and balanced on an everyday basis.

Stretching and breathing exercises are even said to help with things like digestion and sleep.

If you’ve been going through frequent cutting and bulking cycles, focus on regularly eating enough, and enough of the right stuff

If you’ve been following a bodybuilding routine, or have been trying to regulate your weight for some time, there’s a good chance that you’ve been through deliberate “cutting” and “bulking” cycles, where you constantly alternate between trying to strip back body fat, and trying to gain new muscle.

Although it’s not spoken about nearly as much as it should be, there are some serious risks to this practice – especially with regards to things like your energy levels, your mood, and your overall vitality and zest for life.

The Minnesota starvation Experiment, conducted on conscientious objectors during the 1930s, had a group of healthy men put on a “semi-starvation” diet of approximately 1500 calories a day, for about six months. The results were fascinating: in addition to losing a lot of weight, the men all experienced chronic fatigue, apathy and irritability, depression, and an inability to be interested in anything other than food.

What’s more, when the “semi-starvation” phase of the study was done, many of the men didn’t return fully to normal for up to a year afterwards.

Keep in mind that many people today who go through bulking and cutting phases will restrict their calories to an amount that’s more or less equivalent to the 1500 calories a day used in the study.

If this sounds like you – and particularly if you’ve been experiencing the side-effects of metabolic slowdown, including feeling cold all the time, feeling fatigued, and feeling depressed and irritable – focus on regularly eating enough, and on eating enough of the right stuff so that your micronutrient needs are also being met.

Spend at least a bit of time outdoors everyday

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, huge numbers of people have been spending a lot more time stuck at home than they normally would have been under less exceptional circumstances.

Being constantly cooped up indoors, however, is by no means good for your energy levels and your overall zest for life. Among other things, it increases the odds that you are living a sedentary life, and it makes it much easier for you to get totally wrapped up in your own thoughts without a balancing contact point to the outside world.

While you might not be in a position where you can go and attend your usual social gatherings at the moment, you should at least strive to spend a decent chunk of time outside, every day.

This doesn’t have to be anything ambitious. Simply going for a stroll can be a game changer, if the alternative is that you’d be cooped up indoors from sunrise until sunset.

Remind yourself that it’s a big and interesting world out there, and that life isn’t just something that happens on the Internet.

This article was co-authored by Kirsten Parker, MFA. Kirsten Parker is a Mindset and Action Coach based in her hometown of Los Angeles, California. She helps high achievers overcome stress and self-doubt. She specializes in increasing one’s confidence and clarity by incorporating tools from positive psychology, mindful habit change, and self-regulation into her coaching. She is a Certified HeartMath Practitioner trained in Stress, Anxiety, and Intelligent Energy Management along with Emotional Intelligence and the Science of Self-Acceptance. She also holds an MFA from Yale University School of Drama in Stage Management.

There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 413,182 times.

Everyone feels sluggish, sad, or a bit dead inside every now and again. If you want to give your body a good shake and wake that soul back up, wikiHow is here to help. Below you’ll find lots of solutions, depending on the source of your problems. Read just one section or read them all: it’s all good advice! Just get started with Step 1 below!

How to feel alive

Kirsten Parker, MFA
Mindset & Action Coach Expert Interview. 22 July 2020. Try new, exciting things and you’ll find yourself getting more excited about life in the process. [2] X Research source

  • You can try creative activities, like learning to play an instrument or drawing.
  • You can try activities that really exercise your brain, like learning a new language or playing chess.
  • You can try activities that push your body, by taking up sports like swimming or jogging.

How to feel alive

Kirsten Parker, MFA
Mindset & Action Coach Expert Interview. 22 July 2020. When we push ourselves, we find out what we’re really capable of and we find new things to enjoy about life. This makes us happier, more fulfilled, and confident people.

  • You can push yourself to travel somewhere that you never imagined yourself going.
  • You can push yourself to meet a goal you thought was impossible, like losing 50 lbs.

How to feel alive

How to feel alive

How to feel alive

How to feel alive

How to feel alive

Kirsten Parker, MFA
Mindset & Action Coach Expert Interview. 22 July 2020. Start by getting the standard 8 hours of sleep, on a regular schedule (at the same time every night), for a couple of weeks. How do you feel? Some people only need 6 hours of sleep, some might need more like 10! You may have to experiment, but give your body a chance and lots of time to adjust before you write it off. [6] X Trustworthy Source American Psychological Association Leading scientific and professional organization of licensed psychologists Go to source

How to feel alive

Kirsten Parker, MFA
Mindset & Action Coach Expert Interview. 22 July 2020. Diet can also play a huge role in depression! Make sure to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Cut unhealthy fats and sugar from your diet as much as possible. Eat with a purpose. don’t just grab whatever tastes good and is easy! [8] X Trustworthy Source US Department of Health and Human Services Federal department responsible for improving the health and well-being of Americans Go to source

  • Healthy vegetables and fruit include: kale, spinach, broccoli, bananas, and citrus fruits.
  • Healthy grains include: quinoa, brown rice, rye, and oatmeal.
  • Good lean proteins with healthy fats include salmon, tuna, sardines, and nuts (soy nuts make a great snack!). You can also try lean proteins like chicken and eggs.
  • Avoid junk food like chips and crackers. Even crackers that label themselves as healthy, like Wheat Thins, aren’t healthy any more if you eat half the box and are still much less healthy than a snack of carrot sticks!

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack. Read full profile

How to feel alive

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If you’re feeling down then we have a solution; quick, easy activities you can do to make yourself feel like you really are alive. Jordan Lejuwaan, creator of High Existence, has 20 fun ways you can liven up your day. By all means, go mental!

Unless you are the second coming of Jesus Christ (if you are, please comment!) it’s impossible not to feel a bit down sometimes. Here are 20 quick ways to revive yourself and get back that “on top of the world” feeling.

  1. Stick your body out of a sunroof while the car is driving
    I can tell you first-hand this one is a lot of fun. If you don’t have a sunroof, a window works just as well. Speeds of 40 mph+ make the experience much more invigorating.
  2. Go experience nature.
    Being outside just feels right.
  3. Destroy something.
    Take out some frustrations on an inanimate object like the printer in ‘Office Space’.
  4. Dance!
    Remember that one time you got a bit tipsy and ACTUALLY danced and didn’t care about everyone watching? Go do that again (being tipsy is optional).
  5. Realize that you are ALIVE!
    You have years and years of potential ahead of you. If you feel dead today, consider what stupendous things you could be doing tomorrow.
  6. Exercise.
    Hormones are the best legal drugs out there. Pump some iron or go for a run and get that adrenaline pumping.
  7. Watch the sun rise.
    You can’t argue with this one. Wake up a bit early and remind yourself how refreshing this experience can be.
  8. Scare yourself.
    Are you deathly afraid of spiders? Go touch one. Pick a fear and go check and see if it still freaks you out.
  9. Run around in the rain.
    Haven’t you seen ‘Singing in the Rain’ or ‘The Sound of Music?’
  10. Blast your favorite badass song.
    My favorites are Bliss by Muse, You and Whose Army? by Radiohead and Without a Face by Rage Against the Machine.
  11. Do something outside of your comfort zone.
    Surely you can find something in this last but I wanted to keep your imagination going just in case.
  12. Scream at the top of your lungs.
    Like in all of those cliche movies where they yell in the rain on top of some mountain… except do in right where you are, right now.
  13. Meditate.
    Google “meditation techniques” if you’re unsure of the best way to do this.
  14. Do something spontaneous
    It doesn’t have to be crazy or dangerous, just fine. Stepping outside your normal schedule and throwing responsibility to the wind feels great.
  15. Practice an act of random kindness.
    Giving feels really good. Sometimes we forget exactly how good.
  16. Get to know a stranger.
    Truly connect with another human being. Skip the small talk and ask about their goals and ambitions.
  17. Make love and/or have an outrageous make-out session.
    The room/closet/dressing room you occupy should be FILLED with steam afterward or you’re not rocking it hard enough.
  18. Do something illegal
    Oh my gosh, did I just tell you to break the law? Hell yes I did. Laws are made to be broken and it feels great to do it.
  19. Drive fast…really fast.
    Think ‘The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift.’ If you have a Prius, maybe you should just skip to the next one…
  20. Get Mad!
    Anger is a gift. If something is getting you down, express your frustration about it! Just getting your feeling out can feel amazing.

Bonus Reader-Suggested Ways

  1. Swim in a cold lake, beach or riverI never feel more alive than when I get out after a cold swim and my heart is pumping to keep my body warm. A cold shower is good too. I believe the word is: invigorating. — Elkano
  2. Attend a funeralIt’s been said that nothing makes you feel more alive than death. — Ace

By Jordan Lejuwaan:
Hey, I’m the creator of HighExistence. I love inspiring others to follow their bliss, which in turn fulfills my own. I live for traveling, late-night conversations and moments of intense clarity or intoxication.

Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, Writer, Video blogger, Speaker

How to feel alive

I had a lightbulb moment this morning.

As I was meditating, snuggled up under my blankets, listening to Deepak Chopra tell me about life, something that I’ve intellectually known for sometime suddenly really started to make sense. It was like those moments when someone says something to you that is so true, you physically feel it.

Intellectually, I’ve known that to really live, to really truly feel fully alive, we have to be able to be with the uncomfortable feelings as well as the comfortable ones. I’ve known that to get to the lightness of life you have to be ok going through some darkness. I’ve known in my head that we have a full range and life is about exploring all of it.

But as I sat there, eyes closed, legs crossed, I saw, for the first time, the kind of game I’ve been playing with comfortable and uncomfortable feelings.

I spend most of my time chasing the comfortable, safe, happy feelings. The emotions feel like a euphoric place where I jump out of bed every morning like a child on it’s birthday. It is a place of joy, lightness, fun, hope, aliveness, invigoration, humanness.

I make choices in my life in the hope that I will feel that euphoria, and sometimes it works. In all honesty though, most of the time I’m chasing the feelings rather than feeling them. And whilst chasing those emotions, I’m also trying not to feel the uncomfortable ones, feelings like fear, shame, anger and anxiety.

I’m running towards lightness and trying to escape the dark. And subsequently I end up spending less time in either place, and a lot of time in a sort of middle space. A place of chasing and avoiding.

What I realised in my meditative state this morning is I can stop running, and be with the uncomfortable feelings. And then what really landed for me was that the uncomfortable feelings actually offer some of what I’m chasing in the lighter feelings. Fear, anger, shame, sadness, disappointment are all very real, authentic, invigorating feelings. If I’m chasing feeling alive, then the full body blow of failure is as alive as you can get.

So suddenly it all made sense. Everything Brené Brown, Deepak Chopra, Danielle LaPorte, Thich Nhat Hanh, all my teachers at the Coaches Training Institute say, I feel I now understand on a greater level. Failure suddenly doesn’t seem so scary anymore. Failing, trying, falling short, having things work, feeling joy, feeling sadness, feeling despair, feeling excitement, they’re all two sides of the same coin. They all make me feel alive.

When I first started coaching, I thought it was all about feeling great and getting stuff done. What I know now is it’s about something much greater. It is about knowing that all emotions are beautiful, all emotions are invigorating. My life is about being in emotion, I choose to live an emotional life, because really, what else is there.

Learning along with you

It’s not easy and it seems that no one notices or cares.

But what we feel as I have come to realize many times have nothing to do with the reality. Depression is undescribable. And to lay men and people that have never experienced depression that compare it to sadness… Well, they are very ignorant. To care for ones self is important when depression hits, because frankly the battle is only felt by you. Now, how to feel alive in the midst of turmoil:

  • Choose self love first: Embracing yourself no matter how you feel about your self currently. Think of yourself as a farmland that grows and changes with time. Know that you are not fixed and anything can change. It’s easy for voices of discouragement to come, but remember that they are all lies. And the best part is that this is applicable to anyone, so that voice will not be able to tell you different.
  • Be greatful: I myself has seen the effects of gratitude in my life (and also the lack of it). Once we express gratitude for all we have (even when it feels like we have nothing at all), we do our soul a big favour. It’s not just God that will like it, as it has far more benefits for your emotions and positivity. Be grateful for you merely existing if you feel like there is nothing to be greatful for.
  • Do not try to shut up the judgemental voices: I will say that it’s best to not try to fight a battle in your head. You can casually refuse all the lies that depression feeds you, but going back and forth with the voices do not help. Let things flow, as hard as that may sound. Soon you’ll find out that you don’t need to fight it.
  • Go out, do stuff: Feel the air, even if it hurts. Go outside and play even if you don’t feel like it. The same goes for anxiety. Meet with friends and interact. Do not lock yourself inside because of fear. Though you may want to go slowly, make some steps.
  • Quit stuff: Do not be afraid to quit some habits or activities. If hanging out with a group is making you worse, stop doing it. Say no to what you don’t want. This is a time to take control of your life. Also, now the true friends and the snakes will come into light. Be strong in your own decisions for how to make your life feel better.
  • Get help, accept care: Do not hesitate to get help. Feel free to reach out to people you know or don’t know that can help. There are many organizations, sites and groups that help with depression. All you have to do is reach out to find them. Let yourself be cared for, this does not make you weak. You do not have to go through it alone. Remember you have always have a choice.
  • Take medication confidently: If it requires medication given to you by the doctor, take it. Do not be ashamed to take drugs to help your mental well-being till you get better. Remember that it’s not only physical pain that needs treatment.
  • Think of the people you love: You will not want them to be hurting if you take a rash action. know how your pain feels and I know that that is not how you wish anyone to feel. Choose life by remembering the people you will not want to leave behind.

Finally, know that love is still abundant in this cold world.

And for those who have someone who you think might be going through depression.

‘Why didn‘t she tell us she was depressed?”

She did. She told you when she started hiding in her room. She told you when ‘the cat’ suddenly started scratching her more than usual. She told you when she said she wasn’t hungry and began pinning the clothes you just bought her.

She told you when she stopped doing her school work and cried when you called her lazy. She told you when she locked her bedroom door at night. She told you when you noticed alcohol missing and she started waking up with headaches. She told you when she spent an hour in the shower and came out with putty eyes.

She told you. The thing about depression is that it’s quiet. It isn‘t loud. and the reason

you didn’t hear it was because you weren’t really listening.

Are you feeling dead inside?

Do you wish you had nearly as much energy as your childhood and teenage years?

Lots of adults feel empty inside and are searching for ways on how to feel alive again.

There are many reasons why someone may feel this way. One of the main reasons someone feels empty is that their jobs/careers consume the majority of their lives, and they just don’t have the time to do anything for themselves.

These people are longing to live life on their terms and do things that they find enjoyable.

But there is hope, gentleman.

There are many ways to become energetic again and feel alive.

I’ve been through this myself, and I want to help you guys feel more alive again.

So without further ado, allow me to show you 7 Fool-Proof Methods on How To Feel Alive Again.

Set a Goal

Gentleman, one of the best ways to feel alive again is to set an attainable goal.

Whether you want to lose weight, start a business, have a certain amount in your savings, payoff debt, or raise your credit score, setting a specific goal will help you feel more alive, you will gain a sense of purpose, and feel like the man you are supposed to be.

Men with no goals or purpose usually are walking zombies.

I was like this at one point myself, before I decided to get serious about life.

I assure you, if you set a goal, you will feel better about yourself and will work hard to accomplish it so you can set another goal.

Volunteer

Another way to help you feel alive again is to donate your time by volunteering.

There are plenty of non-profit organizations that need your help!

I once read a quote by a famous personal development guru who said, “The secret to living is giving”.

Basically what this means that when you give of yourself, your time, or donate money to a charitable cause, you will feel more alive since you are helping someone else get what they need.

Helping other people will bring more joy to your life, and will inspire you to give more.

Volunteering also can help you reduce stress by taking your mind off things that are weighing you down in life, and direct your attention to something meaningful.

If you are serious about feeling more alive, find an organization where you can volunteer. You will feel much more better about yourself when you give back.

Take Up a New Hobby

Another effective method you can use to feel alive again is to take up a brand new hobby.

By taking up a brand new hobby, something that you are unfamiliar with, it just might revive you from the dead and there is a good chance you will actually enjoy it.

Taking up a hobby such as biking, fishing, painting, etc can help you discover yourself, and also help you meet new people.

Travel to Somehwere You’ve Never Been

Do you have a passport? If not, you should apply for one!

Traveling to a new destination, preferably somewhere outside of your home country, will do you well.

Indulging in new cultures, meeting new people, learning a new language, tasting ethnic food, will fire up your life, and will help you feel like a brand new person.

I can attest that traveling can help bring you to life, if you’ve been down and out.

Going on trips has helped lift me out of depression and also has boosted my creativity.

If you are feeling down and out, schedule a trip to somehwhere new. I am sure it will help in more ways than you can imagine.

Start Reading Personal Development Books

If you really want to jumpstart your life, you should consider reading personal development books.

Authors like Tony Robbins, Napolean Hill, Les Brown, and Dale Carnegie have written very powerful self development books, that have inspired people and created leaders across the globe.

I’ve read books from a few of these authors myself and I can admit that their words and teachings are very powerful and will help you to find a new meaning in your life.

If you need book suggestions, I suggest you read Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins, and Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill.

These 2 books should help you get started on the path of feeling alive again.

Exercise More Often

If you did not know already, exercising is good for your soul.

Getting your blood flowing & rushing, and breaking a sweat while doing your favorite will definitley energize you and spark your mood.

Another benefit is it can help you lose weight and get in shape (obviously).

The euphoria you feel when endorphins are released into your body is damn near orgasmic.

Then after you are finished exercising, you feel as if you can tackle any task that you have on your list.

Smile More

Yes, you should definitley smile more.

It’s simple to do, and it doesn’t cost any money.

Smiling will brighten up your day, and when you smile towards other people, you could possibly brighten up someone else’s day also.

Smiling doesn’t take any effort. So try it!

That’s all I have for you in this article. These tips on how to feel alive again are priceless, and should be used everyday.

Thanks for stopping by and I will see you soon!

How To Feel More Alive & Stress Less

I think that we are all striving to feel more alive and to feel like we have a purpose in our life.

And if you don’t, it’s because you feel too much stress in your life and you don’t know why.

So today I’m going to discuss…

How To Feel More Alive & Stress Less.

Your ability to feel more alive and to feel less stress, go hand in hand and are directly related to your ability to be present in the moment.

Now, what do I mean by that?

When you’re feeling stressed and when you’re feeling overwhelmed, usually you are anywhere but present in the moment.

So follow me on this one.

When you’re ruminating over something in the past, whether it’s…

  • something that you said or did to somebody or
  • something that somebody did or said to you that you feel hurt you or
  • some traumatic event or events that happened to you in the past,

You think excessively over and over and over again, what happens is, that takes a part of you. It takes a part of you from your present self. And what happens is that part of you gets held captive in the past, and that your present self becomes smaller in the moment.

Now add to this worrying about a future that hasn’t arrived yet. We’re worrying about things that might never happen at all. Things that might happen. Things that are going to happen, but you’re worrying excessively about it. We worry about things like our job, our spouse, our partner, we worry about our kids. We worry about our health.

This negative cycle or what I call a Negative Mindset Loop keeps you focused on past events and future worries, and you be become more stressful and less present in the moment.

“So if you perseverate on the past or worry about the future, you end up missing the present.” …Mark Marino

So this means that in a present, you are not focusing on what you want to accomplish in a purpose driven day, in a purpose driven way.

You end up just reacting to the pressures of the outside world. And this increases your stress levels because you feel like everything is happening to you and that you have no control.

So how do you turn this around and become more present in the moment, more alive and have less stress in your life.

So do you just become more present in the moment?

BAM!, …You’re more present in the moment because Mark said you would be more present in the moment and everything will turn out, right? And you’ll be be more alive and have less stress in your life.

Well, we know it doesn’t work that way, right?

Now to varying degrees, we all worry about past events. We all worry about the future. It’s normal, but what happens is it becomes a problem when it’s excessive and then it becomes paralyzing to you in you’re present now because your mind is not here. It’s not NOW. It’s actually anywhere, but now, or should I say …”Any When” but Now.

So here’s what we need to do. We all need to, and should continually focus on our mindset.

We all need to work on our mindset every day, all the time.

Our mindset can be our own best friend, but our own worst enemy as well.

You need to continually focus on becoming aware of your thoughts and choose to focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want to prevent yourself from focusing excessively on past traumatic of the ends and worrying about a future that hasn’t happened yet.

And by getting clarity about who you are, what your values are and what you want to be do, and have, will allow you to be able to be more focused on a purpose driven life in the present.

And the degree to which we can do this, we will lead a more purpose driven life, be more present in the moment, more alive, and to be less stressed in our life.

Now, to help you remember this, I’m gonna give you an acronym and you know how I love my acronyms and today’s acronym is action.

Now, I can’t believe I’m gonna do this, but this reminds me of cheerleaders when I was playing high school and college football. And there was the action song that they did, and it went like this… A. C. T. …I. O. N. … Action! Action! We want Action! So there you go. That’s my cheerleader song.

So the A in ACTION stands for Awareness.

Become aware of your thoughts. Are you excessively thinking about past traumatic events or worrying about future events that haven’t happened yet?

Remember either of those takes away from your present self. If I’m worrying about past traumatic events, that’s part of me that’s worrying about the past. Another part about me worrying about the future, making me less present in the moment and the more I’m less present in the moment, the more stressful I will be and be reacting to the environment and the environment will be happening TO me.

The C in ACTION stands for Choice.

Make the choice that you will make a difference in your life and that you will choose to become more aware and be more present in the moment.

The T in ACTION is Take action.

Taking action is actually setting goals for yourself. Remember we were saying, getting clarity on what you want to be, do, and have setting specific goals for yourself.

By setting goals for yourself, you will actually be creating your future. And that allows you to make decisions in the moment to lead a purpose driven life.

The I in ACTION stands for… In the moment.

You want to be in the moment. In the present. In the now. There is no time but NOW! The past already happened. The future hasn’t happened yet.

Now! The moment is right now. How will I decide to be in the moment in the present?

The O in ACTION stands for… On purpose.

By setting specific goals for your self, for what you want to Be, Do, and Have you are creating your future and it allows you to make decisions in the moment to live life on purpose, to be purpose driven rather than allowing life to happen to you.

The N in ACTION is just simply… NOW.

Be in the Now.

Be in the present.

Be more alive,

and that you will see, if you’re purpose driven and you set specific goals for yourself, and you reduce the excess of ruminating over past traumatic events or worrying about the future, that you will also feel more alive and you’ll feel less stress in your life.

I hope this information helped you out!

Have a wonderful Week!

Be Positive, Be Motivated, Be Focused and Be Well,

How to feel alive

How to feel alive

by Jordan Lejuwaan

Unless you are the second coming of Jesus Christ (if you are, please comment!) it’s impossible not to feel a bit down sometimes. Here are 20 quick ways to revive yourself and get back that “on top of the world” feeling.

Stick your body out of a sunroof while the car is driving

I can tell you first-hand this one is a lot of fun. If you don’t have a sunroof, a window works just as well. Speeds of 40 mph+ make the experience much more invigorating.

Go experience nature

Being outside just feels right.

Destroy something

Take out some frustrations on an inanimate object like the printer in ‘Office Space’

Dance!

Remember that one time you got a bit tipsy and ACTUALLY danced and didn’t care about everyone watching? Go do that again (being tipsy is optional).

Realize that you are ALIVE!

You have years and years of potential ahead of you. If you feel dead today, consider what stupendous things you could be doing tomorrow.

Exercise

Hormones are the best legal drugs out there. Pump some iron or go for a run and get that adrenaline pumping.

Watch the sun rise

You can’t argue with this one. Wake up a bit early and remind yourself how refreshing this experience can be.

Scare yourself

Are you deathly afraid of spiders? Go touch one. Pick a fear and go check and see if it still freaks you out 😉

Run around in the rain

Haven’t you seen ‘Singing in the Rain’ or ‘The Sound of Music?’

Blast your favorite badass song

My favorites are Bliss by Muse, You and Whose Army? by Radiohead and Without a Face by Rage Against the Machine.

Do something outside of your comfort zone

Surely you can find something in this list but I wanted to keep your imagination going just in case.

Scream at the top of your lungs

Like in all of those cliche movies where they yell in the rain on top of some mountain… except do in right where you are, right now.

Meditate

Google “meditation techniques” if you’re unsure of the best way to do this.

Do something spontaneous

It doesn’t have to be crazy or dangerous, just fine. Stepping outside your normal schedule and throwing responsibility to the wind feels great.

Practice an act of random kindness

Giving feels really good. Sometimes we forget exactly how good.

Get to know a stranger

Truly connect with another human being. Skip the small talk and ask about their goals and ambitions.

Make love and/or have an outrageous make-out session

The room/closet/dressing room you occupy should be FILLED with steam afterward or you’re not rocking it hard enough.

Do something illegal

Oh my gosh, did I just tell you to break the law? Hell yes I did. Laws are made to be broken and it feels great to do it.

Create something!

Record a song, draw a crazy doodle, or write an eyebrow-raising short story!

Get Mad!

Anger is a gift. If something is getting you down, express your frustration about it! Just getting your feeling out can feel amazing.

Bonus Reader-Suggested Ways

Swim in a cold lake, beach or river

I never feel more alive than when I get out after a cold swim and my heart is pumping to keep my body warm. A cold shower is good too. I believe the word is: invigorating. — Elkano

Attend a funeral

It’s been said that nothing makes you feel more alive than death. — Ace

How do you make that feeling permanent?

Step 1: Figure out what it is that makes you feel dead and cut it out of your life.
Step 2: Find your bliss and go after it with every fiber of your being.

by Jordan Lejuwaan

Hey, I’m the creator of HighExistence. I’ve since moved on from writing for this blog, but you can see the latest thing I’m up to here 🙂

These last few years have left so many of us feeling drained, stifled, without energy, excitement or well, happiness or joy. At least not consistently. And that’s understandable, it’s been a tough moment. But, what if access to feeling these things was more in your control, regardless of your immediate circumstance, than you thought? That feeling of being alive, of flourishing, of feeling positive and hopeful and connected, it’s so important to our ability to live a good life. And after all, that’s what GLP has been all about, for a decade now.

So, today, we’re going to dive into a powerful, science-backed model that comes out of the world of positive psychology, that’ll help you understand how to reclaim those feelings of flourishing or aliveness that, for so many, seem to have gone missing over these last few years, no matter what life has delivered to your doorstep. And, along with each element, we’re including specific actions you can take to start feeling more like yourself, more alive and capable and connected than maybe you have in a long while. A quick reminder, I am not a mental health professional. While the ideas and the framework and specific exercises I’m about to share come from the world of research and clinical application, if appropriate for your unique needs and circumstances, please be sure to check in with friends, family, the many freely available mental health resources, and a qualified mental health professional. Okay, now, so excited to share today’s exploration of how to feel more alive in this new year.

Find All Of The Episodes In This Series:

How to feel alive

One way to appreciate virtually any moment of your life is to pretend that the whole thing is already over.

Your life came and went a long time ago, but for some reason you’ve just been sent back to this random moment, here in this office chair, or in line at Home Depot.

It isn’t clear why you’ve been sent back. Maybe it was a cosmic accounting error, or a boon from a playful God. All you know is that you’re here again, walking the earth, having been inexplicably returned to the temporary and mysterious state of Being Alive.

Any moment will do for this experiment. In fact, the more mundane the moment, the more profound the effect. You might find yourself, in this instance, pushing a cart through the frozen foods aisle. Or maybe you’re seated in front of a bowl of cereal at the speckled Formica breakfast table you bought on Craigslist. Or you’re carrying a bag of recycling down the back stairwell on a muggy night. It’s definitely your life though, and at least for now, you get to be alive again.

When you view life as something you’re returning to — rather than something that has never not been happening — it feels like the gift it perhaps always should. It’s just so damn interesting to be alive and experiencing things, and choosing what to do during those experiences.

Seeing life as the curious and rare condition it is gives even ordinary events the character of a brilliant film. An oblong rectangle of sunlight on the table flutters with the shadows of leaves. While you fold laundry, your phone lights up: a friend texting you a cheesy pun she knows you will appreciate. A short-lived party of bubbles appears and disappears when you fill a glass of water from the tap. A thin mist pours from the open freezer display onto your sandaled feet. It’s all spectacular, just because it’s happening, and once it’s over you would greatly miss it if you could. So why not miss it now? Or at least understand why you would.

The state of Being Alive also comes with a rich and distinct sense of possibility. You can make any number of interesting things happen by sheer will. You can scrawl sentences on a scrap of paper that will trigger certain thoughts later, for you or someone else. You can touch a few buttons on your phone and be speaking to any of a hundred people you know, and whatever is said would change each other’s day, or life, in some way. You could clean the house this afternoon, or leave it messy, and each option would give a different shape to the evening.

Can you believe that this condition – of being in the world, of feeling stuff and doing stuff — was once happening all the time? Remember being able to open windows and pet dogs and wash your hands in warm water? What an amazing time that was. No matter what happened, whether life was decidedly going “well” or not, it was always so eventful, and you got to decide what to do in each moment of it.

It’s all over, of course, which is too bad. You didn’t realize at the time how small a window it was, and you can’t believe you spent a lot of it complaining. However, for right now at least, for some reason, you’re back. You have at least this moment to enjoy being alive. There may be more coming afterward, but you can’t count on that. Not this time anyway.

Except in moments of extreme emotional tilt, this exercise always seems to work. I can almost always, when I think of it, choose to see the current moment as a certain kind of an unexpected gift — a long-awaited return to the most interesting thing ever, which is being alive.

It works because if it were true – you really had just been sent back to the realm of the living — chances are you really would think it’s unutterably great to be here, even if you didn’t the first time. By mentally jumping out of life and then back in, it becomes clear that the experience of being alive really is a profoundly interesting thing, and we can live with an ongoing awareness of that. That few seconds of contemplation reframes virtually any moment as the best thing that can happen: you, enjoying a rich pocket of Being Alive Right Now, amidst a vast universe that is almost entirely not that.

At least, it becomes interesting when you’re aware that there’s no reason any of this should necessarily be the case. There will not always be things happening. You will not always have the ability to experience the world and respond how you please. But – by the grace of whoever — you do right now. Whatever the metaphysics of it really is, the point is that the window is small, and if you’re in it right now, that should probably be regarded as a profoundly lucky thing, whether it’s your first time here or you’ve been sent back for another tour.

However, because the window is open continuously until it’s closed for good, it’s hard to feel the luckiness of being alive while life is still happening. This is one way to contact that sense of good fortune reliably — see the moment as an inexplicable return to the wild and spectacular condition of Being Alive, which was once so abundant you forgot to appreciate it. This experience you’re having right now, of being here in a body, experiencing the world and choosing how to respond — is gone, and by the Law of Joni Mitchell, you only now know what you had.

But by some unbelievable stroke of luck, here it is again.

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How to feel alive

These last few years have left so many of us feeling drained

stifled, without energy, excitement or well, happiness or joy. At least not consistently. And that’s understandable, it’s been a tough moment. But, what if access to feeling these things was more in your control, regardless of your immediate circumstance, than you thought? That feeling of being alive, of flourishing, of feeling positive and hopeful and connected, it’s so important to our ability to live a good life. And after all, that’s what GLP has been all about, for a decade now.

So, today, we’re going to dive

into a powerful, science-backed model that comes out of the world of positive psychology, that’ll help you understand how to reclaim those feelings of flourishing or aliveness that, for so many, seem to have gone missing over these last few years, no matter what life has delivered to your doorstep. And, along with each element, we’re including specific actions you can take to start feeling more like yourself, more alive and capable and connected than maybe you have in a long while. A quick reminder, I am not a mental health professional. While the ideas and the framework and specific exercises I’m about to share come from the world of research and clinical application, if appropriate for your unique needs and circumstances, please be sure to check in with friends, family, the many freely available mental health resources, and a qualified mental health professional. Okay, now, so excited to share today’s exploration of how to feel more alive in this new year.

The Good Life Project was founded by wife and husband team, Stephanie and Jonathan Fields.

Want to enjoy more positive vibes?

How to feel alive

Get Curious

“Curiosity killed the cat” is an idiom meant to keep you solidly in a box, to limit your imagination, to keep you from asking questions and shame you from exploring options others deem trouble. Did you grow up hearing this phrase? Although I am not exactly sure who said it to me, I know I heard it. Memories abound of watching my cats and pondering the issue. I mean, they have nine lives – right? So, does that mean the can be curious at least eight times? But now that I have rediscovered my sense of curiosity, I have yet to worry about dying because of my imagination. What are the benefits to reigniting your curiosity?

ABC

ABC is one of my favorite tenets for creating an adventurous outlook: Always Be Curious . Culturally speaking, when a child asks a lot of questions, adults tend to excuse them away as being “too much.” The child learns to stop asking questions about what makes them curious. In some cases, they begin to doubt themselves and begin to fear being inquisitive. It’s never too late to start paying attention to what interests us, follow our curiosity and ask questions.

Antidote to “Languishing”

In a recent article in the New York Times, There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing , the author names the feelings that result from the pandemic of blah, joylessness, aimlessness, emptiness, stagnation as “languishing.” He offers an antidote to this feeling indifferent to indifference by stating one should consider being in the state of “flow.”

Flow is that elusive state of absorption in a meaningful challenge or a momentary bond, where your sense of time, place and self melts away.”

Scientific research and I agree that naming your feelings (awareness of what exactly it is you are feeling) is the first step to changing those downer emotions. And being ‘in flow’ is the opposite of languishing. However, getting from one state to the other isn’t as easy as he makes it seem. Being in flow usually stems from following your passions. But what if you don’t know what your passion even is, or what if you have many passions? Or are in a midlife switch from a passion to whatever the new one will be?

Instead of being overwhelmed with forcing flow, or the maddening annoyance of the pursuit of passion – why not start with a baby step? Start with the spark of something, anything, that captures your attention. In that spark, identify what interests you. Follow that using your natural born talent of being curious.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic

How to feel alive

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and *may* earn some commissions from products listed in this blog.

There’s a part of the book, Big Magic , where Ms. Gilbert discusses the magic of curiosity. While listening to her talk about it, I realized how her perspective on curiosity mirrors my view of it as a part of an adventure mindset. Like me, she sees “follow your passion” as bad advice .

Ms. Gilbert writes the definition of passion is an interest you chase obsessively. It can lead to divorce, selling all your possessions, shaving your head and moving to Nepal. (Nepal! That connected to one of my big fears when I first was given advice to take myself on adventures!)

How do you find the inspiration to work when your passion has flagged? That’s where curiosity comes in.” To Ms. Gilbert, curiosity is the secret, the truth and the way of living. You start with that spark of that one thing that grabs your attention.

Allow your curiosity to look deeper at that spark. See it as a clue, and follow it to the next clue. And the next, and the one after that. Keep following this scavenger hunt of curiosity clues. It may even, eventually, lead you to discovering your passion (or it may not – and that’s part of the adventure!)

Adventure Wednesdays started when I committed to exploring my curiosity to answer the question “What do I find fun?” Each Wednesday I explored by allowing my inquisitiveness to find different things to do. I explored tarot card readings. Which led me to learning that the cacao bean is my spirit animal. Which led me to learning so much more about chocolate. Fast forward, chocolate – it’s history and the current state of the industry – has become a passion!

Ms. Gilbert’s example starts with the spark of wanting to have a small garden. Her scavenger hunt eventually led to her writing a historical fiction novel, The Signature of All Things , using her discovered passion for the origins of plants. Where will this kind of journey take you?

Einstein’s Combinatory Play

How to feel alive

Einstein played the violin to help his curious mind solve problems.

Here’s another way that being curious can help you get unstuck or guide you to discovering new solutions to your challenges. Do what Einstein did! When he was working too hard on a problem and couldn’t come up with the answer – he took a break. He played the violin or whatever else interested him beyond his work. He called this “Combinatory play.”

In other words, when you’re stuck on one thing (even a feeling such as “languish”) try something different. This allows space for a new perspective or idea to show up. Be too much and ask all those questions burning inside you. Challenge yourself to get creative in ways you haven’t before or haven’t since you were a child. Take yourself on that scavenger hunt, even if for the moment it’s following one clue.

Curiosity Didn’t Kill The Cat

How to feel alive

Ricky the cat defying death and following his curiosity of alternate paths up the stairs. Photo: Daffnet Salazar

Curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Fear did. Confronting fears and stepping out of the box using your natural born thirst for knowledge is a cornerstone for a life filled with fun and adventure. ABC – Always Be Curious. The benefits are many – learning new things, discovering what you find interesting, uncovering previously unknown passions and helping you from languishing in life.

“You may spend your whole life following your curiosity, and have absolutely nothing to show for it at the end. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have passed your entire existence in the devotion to the human virtue of inquisitiveness.

And that should be more than enough to say you have lived a rich and splendid life.”

By Curt Rosengren Last updated on April 1, 2021

How to feel alive

How energized do you feel in your career? How energized do you want to feel? Is there a gap there?

Today I want to share a simple yet effective framework for closing that gap and improving your here-and-now, regardless of whether you love or loathe your job.

When clients come to me for career change coaching, typically they feel frustrated, stuck, and impatient. They’re ready for a change, and they want it yesterday!

Since very few people can simply jump ship immediately, we often spend some time early in the process exploring how to make their here-and-now better to free up emotional and energetic space so they have more room to move forward. The process outlined here emerged from that work.

Energy Management Mindset

The first step is to start developing an “energy management” mindset. Simply put, energy management is about making decisions and taking action that leaves you feeling more energized and alive and less drained and depleted.

The Gain-to-Drain Ratio

One way to approach your energy management efforts is “maximizing the Gain-to-Drain Ratio.” Visually, it’s a fraction, Gain over Drain. The idea is to bring as much as possible into your life that energizes you and reduce or even eliminate as much as possible of what drains you.

Pretty simple, right? Not exactly rocket science. And it’s precisely that simplicity that makes it so effective. (I have had many clients tell me years later that they still habitually use this idea because it’s so simple and impactful.)

How to feel alive

Do a Personal Energy Audit

The Gain-to-Drain Ratio provides a structure for what I call a “personal energy audit.” Pick one area of your life – in this case, work – and ask, “What energizes me here? What drains me?” Make a list of the answers to each of those questions.

The power of this approach is that it breaks down what is happening into specifics. One big way people get stuck in feeling drained at work (or anywhere else) is taking a broad brush view. There’s an overall feeling of, “This sucks.”

But nothing happens at the broad brush level. The broad brush is actually the sum total of a lot of smaller things, both positive and negative. The solution at a broad brush level can only be big and drastic – like a career change. At a more granular level there is much more that can be done to shape your experience in a positive way.

Variations on the energy audit questions might include:

  • What about this gives me energy?
  • What about this is fun?
  • What leaves me feeling engaged?
  • What feels rewarding about this?
  • What do I feel drawn to experiencing more of?
  • What do I look forward to?
  • What leaves me feeling confident?
  • What feels in the groove with my natural way of working?
  • What about this drains my energy?
  • What about this is a drag for me?
  • What about this do I dislike?
  • What do I wish I could avoid?
  • What leaves me feeling tired and flat?
  • What leaves me feeling insecure and uncertain?
  • What leaves me questioning my abilities?
  • What feels counter to my natural way of working?

While the focus of this blog post is your current job, keep in mind that the same idea is applicable in all areas of your life (relationships, health, finances, etc.). In fact, because your life is actually a holistic, interconnected system, not a collection of isolated silos, bringing an energy management approach to each area of your life can have a positive effect on how energized you feel at work.

Start Making Changes

The resulting list of Gains and Drains is the starting point for your active energy management efforts. The point of the energy audit is to provide you with specifics to work on.

Increase the Gain

First, build on what’s working. Take a look at what energizes you and ask, “Is there any way I can do more of this?”

For example, when one client did this process, one of the Gains he identified was coaching and mentoring people. He realized an easy way to add more of what energizes him was to start proactively reaching out to new hires to help them learn the ropes in the new-to-them company.

You can also ask the question, “How can I bring more of what gives me energy into my work day?” That might be work-related, or it might be a non-work addition to your day like going for a brisk walk at lunch.

Decrease the Drain

Next, it’s time to turn your attention to what drains you and explore ways to turn down the volume there. There are three basic ways you can reduce the impact of the Drains you have identified:

  1. Change what you do: Change the activity, task, or situation that is draining your energy. This might involve eliminating it altogether, or swapping a task or responsibility with a co-worker who is more suited for it.
  2. Change how you do it: If you can’t change what you do, explore if there is a way to do it that feels less draining. For example, one client who worked remotely realized they felt too isolated and alone in their work, so they started exploring options (like coffee shops and co-working spaces) where they could be around other people.
  3. Change how you perceive it: If neither of those is feasible, you can change your story about it. One example of this is the client who was feeling drained by taking on everyone else’s “emergencies” (fires that needed putting out, rushed deadlines, etc.). He decided he would help if he could and he had time, but that they weren’t his emergencies, so he didn’t need to take on the stress. He simply chose to tell a different story. It’s amazing how much potential for positive change there is right between your ears.

Do a Regular Energy Scan – and Act on It!

This is not a one-time thing. In fact, it’s something you can put to use every day. That could be as simple as habitually noticing what is energizing and draining and making adjustments as you go. It could also be something a little more structured, like doing an end-of-day review (What energized me today? What drained me?). If daily feels like too much, try it weekly.

Whatever your current situation, you can improve your here-and-now experience by consistently looking at it through an energy management lens and letting that guide your choices and actions.

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How to feel alive

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Have you ever thought that there was more to life than just sitting around on your computer or phone?

Have you ever felt like you were missing some key to life that is so simple and right there in front of you?

The key to doing that is disengaging the autopilot and engaging conscious living; that includes all aspects, from big to small.

Table of Contents

1. Be in the moment; be you.

Lots of people wear masks, because they want to pretend to be someone they’re not. Usually that’s because they’re afraid to be themselves. But it doesn’t need to be that way!

Be you, all day everyday, and notice how people respect you and you naturally attract the people you want to associate with. Don’t let fears run your life!

2. Optimism is your friend.

Let go of negative thoughts and embrace the positive. Not only will you feel better, but your entire outlook on life will shift. Negative thoughts destroy your happiness.

3. Disconnect…from everything.

Take time out of your schedule now and then to completely disconnect. That means computer, phone, and even people. Let yourself just be. Go on a hike or spend time in nature. Letting go in that way is very restorative.

4. Build a supportive environment.

Surround yourself with friends that help you build the kind of life you want to live. I’ve heard it said that you are the sum total of the 3 people you spend the most time with; I agree with that.

5. Meditate.

Meditation is one of the greatest ways to give yourself a mental “bath”. After you’ve been meditating for a while, you’ll notice that your entire perspective on life will change. In fact, you’ll be able to think clearer and make better decisions.

6. Travel.

See the world! This is one of the greatest ways of feeding your appetite for feeling alive. Discovering new places is deeply rewarding, and expands your understanding from the limited confines of your living area to the whole world.

7. Get healthy.

The way you feel mentally has a direct correlation to the way you feel physically. It’s just a fact. Therefore, the better you take care of yourself, the more lively you’ll feel. Eat right and exercise!

8. Smile more.

There isn’t a single person out there that doesn’t want to be happy! And there isn’t a single person out there that doesn’t like to be uplifted. Smiling, even when you feel down, makes you and those around you feel happier.

9. Challenge yourself.

Self development is something that everyone needs. This helps us to be fulfilled on the deepest levels, because we’re constantly reaching for more as we progress throughout our lives. This opens up new discoveries of our innermost passions and life choices.

10. Simplify.

In western culture, we’re often led to believe that when we add on “things” to our lives, we are happier. But the opposite is really true. By stripping away the unnecessary necessities, we feel lighter and our minds freer.

Here is a block quote – The sounds they emit work as a type of energy medicine that has been known to heal pain and stress disorders.

How to feel alive

By Ethan Maurice | January 18, 2017

Life is full of paradoxes. One of them is that only when we don’t have something do we fully appreciate its value.

When we’re sick, just being healthy is a cause for joy.

Only when we lose someone do we fully understand how much they meant to us.

If we sleep on the ground for a week, returning to bed is like floating on a cloud.

The absence of something reveals its value. And the opposite is also true: having something causes us to lose sight of its value. Following this train of thought, if we have everything all the time, then we can appreciate nothing. And contrarily, if we have nothing, then we can appreciate everything.

The further we look back in time, the less humans had—less stuff, less comfort, less safety, less of everything we have in abundance today. Because our ancient ancestors had little, they would have had the awareness to appreciate lots. Like the drip of a faucet in a silent room, that awareness would have been greater with less background noise.

With greater awareness and greater exposure to their environment, a graph of our ancient ancestors’ lives might have looked something like this:

Today, however, in a constant state of convenience, comfort, and security, our graphs might look something like this:

What I’m suggesting is that humanity is not progressing towards greater levels of happiness or enjoyment, but rather greater numbing of the human experience. In insulating ourselves from feeling bad and immersing ourselves in feeling good we’ve become desensitized. We’ve dulled our ability to feel. What I mean to illustrate with the charts above is that we’re experiencing lower highs and higher lows that ever before.

Understanding this, it’s easy to see why people deprive themselves of things. Why monks renounce modern comforts. Why Christopher McCandless, whose life was made famous by the book Into The Wild, abandoned his car and burned his money. Why Henry David Thoreau’s simple life at Walden Pond provided such insight.

It’s because having less increases awareness. And greater exposure to the world produces a better sense of it.

I’m not saying we should burn our money or forgo all modern conveniences. However, I am saying that if food doesn’t taste as good anymore, driving eighty miles per hour down the freeway is boring, and we can’t find anything good to watch on Netflix, there are ways to fix this.

With this in mind, here are five ways to be less numb:

1. Live with less. The creed of “more!” caused this numbness, so the most obvious antidote is less—to cut down on the constant saturation of our lives. Less stuff leads to a clearer mind. Less busyness leads to greater focus and a more deliberate life. Embrace minimalism—a movement for less, directly resulting from our modern overabundance.

2. Deprive yourself of something you want to appreciate more. Coffee. Phone. Driving. Bed. Toilets. You can reinvigorate your appreciation of anything by temporarily renouncing it.

3. Have the time and financial freedom to change your situation. A weekend camping trip will renew your appreciation of a hot shower and a bed. The freedom to move between two places can continually renew your appreciation of both. Travel can lend fresh eyes to an old situation.

4. Go on a long, arduous journey. With such modern comfort and convenience, one bold move is to strip away everything at once. Backpack one of the longest trails on earth. Bicycle across a continent. Paddle the Atlantic. Nothing brings awareness and clarity like going without for months at a time. Such journeys often alter your perspective and offer profound insight.

5. Meditate. Meditation is the ultimate less. To forget your surroundings. To let go of thought. To focus only on a single phrase or the rise and fall of each breath. Never meditated before? Try it for a couple minutes. You’d be amazed at how awareness floods in and numbness falls away.

Essentially, there are two major factors that contribute to numbness: saturation and exposure. Each of the five points above decreases our saturation and/or increases our exposure to the world. Our pursuit of more has done the reverse, resulting in greater numbing of our lives. We’re not as happy, as sad, or as anything as we could be.

Want to feel more alive? Want a full experience of the bad and the good? Decrease the saturation of your life, and increase your exposure to the world around you.

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        Flora Farms – a popular farm-to-table dining concept for American tourists to visit while in Cabo. Like I don’t think a single patron is from Mexico. It’s located up in the hills near San Jose del Cabo – close for those staying in that area but is a good 45 mins from San Lucas. In […]

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          • Travel

          Hard Rock – Los Cabos’ Newest Crowd Pleaser

          There’s something for everyone at Hard Rock Los Cabos. As a brand new build in the Diamante development of Los Cabos, opened June 2019, the hoteliers had the opportunity to consider how to redefine upscale all-inclusive to better accommodate a larger array of clientele. Who I would recommend it for – to reel it back […]

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            • Lifestyle
            • Travel

            Nobu Hotel Los Cabos – Japanese Hollywood Chic in Mexico

            Not sure if Japanese/Hollywood/Mexico is a thing but it is now with the entrance of Nobu to the Los Cabos hotel scene. Examples of what I mean by that: The design of the 200 rooms and suites is Japanese minimalist with wood elements and a coastal feel, which really doesn’t make sense but it works. […]

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              • Lifestyle
              • Travel

              Nobu Hotel Los Cabos – Dining Options Overview

              Malibu Farms My Oregonian mom’s favorite restaurant after a week in Cabo. It’s very California-esque, light and bright. Prices are extremely reasonable for an upscale resort establishment (drinks are not). I can certainly see the appeal but for us from SoCal, the farm-to-tables are a dime a dozen (but in a good way still – […]

              Tham Lod Cave – Wonderment in Northern Thailand

              There’s something about the darkness and the unknown of caves that just does it for me – Tham Lod did it and some. People think it’s bizarre how much I love caves and I’m not sure I can properly explain it either. I don’t like scary movies or Knott’s Scary Farm and caves are a […]

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                Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach – Cancun

                I always try to travel with an open mind, but the truth is that I have high expectations and sometimes reality just doesn’t live up to it. The Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach turned out to be another pleasant surprise. That may possibly have to do with the mindset I went into it with, though. […]

                Guest Writer for Wake Up World

                You feel it when you’re skiing down that mountain at lightning speed while listening to your favorite song on your iPod.

                You feel it when you’re walking through the park with the object of your affection and every flower and tree is splashed with Technicolor, imprinting every detail of every moment with millions of pixels of data you’ll replay for weeks.

                You feel it when you travel to exotic locales, far outside of your safe comfort zone and far into the realm of the sublime and surreal.

                You feel it when you’re brave enough to open your heart, even in the face of serial heartbreak.

                You feel it when you risk everything and don’t die.

                When You Don’t Feel It

                You may not feel it when you’re schlepping off to that cubicle… again.

                You may miss it when you’re home on your comfortable sofa with your comfortable people living your comfortable, safe life.

                You may crave it when you’re doing it missionary style for your regular Friday night date with the person you’ve been with for twenty years.

                You may wish for it when you’re at the pool with the children you love who keep you from skiing down the mountain, strolling in the park with your crush, and traveling to exotic destinations.

                What Is IT?

                So what is this feeling, this addictive, seductive, thrilling experience?

                It’s a sense of being radically present and momentously alive.

                It’s that feeling of being so connected to All That Is that you forget, for just a moment, the illusion of separateness that typically plagues you.

                There’s nothing like it. Once you’ve felt it, you want to feel that way all the time.

                This is why people jump out of airplanes. It’s why they get hooked on extreme sports. It’s why they have affairs. It’s why they travel the world.

                So they can feel that way all the time.

                You Can Go Overboard

                If you’re not careful, you can take it too far. You can be constantly seeking the next rush. You can fail to appreciate the quiet moments. You can fall into depression when you’re not risking everything.

                This quest for feeling alive can drive you to ski down a mountain too steep for your skill level, to betray someone you love in search of the next hit, to try Ecstasy.

                In trying to feel alive, you could die.

                So Where’s The Balance?

                If too much radical aliveness can harm you and too little can leave you feeling blah, what’s the solution?

                Here’s the kicker.

                Radical presence is a choice you can choose any time.

                To feel alive in the moment is easy when you’re risking life, limb, the state of your heart, or your comfort zone. If you haven’t practiced being in the everyday moment or radically noticing the mundane, getting out of your groove helps you remember what it feels like to be present.

                But here’s a little secret to happiness I’ll clue you into.

                When you cultivate the ability to feel radically alive, present, and connected anywhere, anytime, you triple your happiness. And that quadruples your health.

                Radical Presence

                Right now, for example, I am lying on my perfectly firm but still squishy Tempur-pedic mattress, and my Bichon Frisé pup Grendel is lying next to me. Grendel needs a haircut, so she’s bushy and fuzzy. My fingers get lost in her when I pet her, and she purrs like a kitten when I stroke the downy fuzz on her underbelly. (To read about how I lost my beloved Grendel not long after writing this post, click here.)

                The window is open, and outside of it, it’s so unusually quiet today that I can hear the ocean waves. I can feel the breeze wafting in, kissing my ankles, which are a little chilly with no socks on.

                I lit sage incense earlier and I can still smell it, mixed with the lavender oil I put on as perfume this morning. My milk oolong tea scent joins the party as I sip.

                My heart feels full of the knowing that I am deeply loved and never separate.

                It is an ordinary day and doesn’t leave me with that same rush I feel when I’m flying down the mountain on skis or falling in love. But all the same, it is extraordinary because I choose to let it be.

                And then I forget… and I get lost in the past or start planning for the future, remembering or fantasizing, missing out on what is right here.

                You Can Feel It Now

                While it’s easier to tap into that feeling of radically alive presence when you’re out of your comfort zone, the reality is that you have the power to feel the same thing on your meditation pillow, on a hike through the woods, while tucking your children into bed at night, or while making love with the same person you’ve held in your arms for half your life.

                You don’t have to seek that feeling of presence and connection anywhere outside yourself because it’s always yours to be had.

                But go ahead. Ski. Stroll. Jump. Risk your heart. Fall in love. Leap.

                It’ll wake you up and remind you of what you can choose to have every day, in every moment.

                The Power Of Now

                If you haven’t read Eckhardt Tolle’s masterpiece The Power Of Now, get thee to a bookstore. Or listen to this song my friend Dave Carroll (of United Breaks Guitars fame) wrote after being inspired by Tolle’s book.

                Do You Feel Radically Alive?

                Tell us what triggers these feelings in you?

                Trying to be here now,

                Previous articles by Lissa Rankin MD:

                About the author:

                How to feel aliveLissa Rankin MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and healthcare providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself. She is on a grass roots mission to heal healthcare, while empowering you to heal yourself.

                Most people follow a same pattern throughout their life. They born- get into school –they go to college –go to university –they graduate – get a job – get married- have kids- their kids repeat the same process- they retire -they get to play with their grand children and so on until they die. In short people get stuck in routine that is mercilessly cruel and it is not easy to break free. Most people yearn for things that “will make them feel alive”. But people start filling their gaps in life with stuff like ‘computer games’ , ‘online chating’ , ‘watching movies, dramas, anime, seasons’, but there is still a limit to these things. Doing these things again and again gets boring. But ofcourse ,it is very different type of boredom as you are doing things you like and enjoy but

                “Happiness loses its charm unless there is pain and sadness”

                Of course there are challenges in computer games ,excitement in movies , and thrill of their own but with passage of time a person gets “this special type of bored”.That’s the limit.

                For example I love anime. I have watched a lots of them.But with time and amount I have watched I always ask “Now I have watched this whats next?” As there is no end to anime so I usually search for another series and watch .Then I ask again this same question. I am totally addicted so I won’t stop watching but at the same time I am sick of it………why?

                Because deep down I know that I have not achieved anything. Like a skill that is part of my body and personality , that is simply a chunk of you.It is because I know deep down that I am not a better person today than I was yesterday.

                Simply in all of the most bragged hobbies of now-a-days boys and girls, there is“ no thrill of growth ”.Its like forcing yourself to live under a false and vague ideology that one will be happy and content and will have fun as long as it goes, but still gets up and sleep with no motivation to continue living.

                But sports can help a lot there.You might have noticed sometimes that you get to play a game (not computer game) and you are not good at it ,and you are not trying to win, you are just playing but during the game you suddenly notice that you are laughing wholeheartedly and your inside feels so light and great. That’s how sports make you feel alive.

                Even though you have never played a game or you never did sports ,how can you start when you know very well that you will surely make a fool out of yourself? –see it next time.

                #1. What you found enjoyable

                The essay is a rephrased what you are most passionate about essay. To brainstorm and find the most relevant example:

                1. List all your current responsibilities and the activities that are part of the responsibilities
                2. Grade them on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how you enjoy the activity
                3. Shortlist the activity where you scored the highest

                Now map the activity to a role or responsibility (current) and list your achievements where the activity had a direct influence on the outcome. Trace the thread of your skill to your childhood. Where did it all begin? Start with the origins. Transition into what makes you feel alive and end with what you have been doing professionally to apply this skill at its optimum.

                #2. What you found meaningful

                What a professional working in the non-profit industry finds meaningful would not register for a Finance professional. Their values are different, and so would the answer to ‘what you found meaningful.’ There are no black and white answers on meaning.

                A weekend engagement educating the underprivileged communities on Finance and weekday focus on maximizing shareholder value through strategic M&A recommendations could go hand-in-hand, depending on how you reconcile the two narratives.

                Recently when he partnered with a friend in starting a venture in the gaming industry, the feedback from the gamers, no matter how acerbic, helped his company improve the storyline, the levels, and the esoteric feel, just enough to hook the gamers to persist.

                The strategy to use a passion and how it feeds into the profession is the most effective tool in writing the ‘what makes you feel alive’ essay.

                How to feel alive
                If you write your essay focused only on your achievements, post-MBA goals, and your pre-MBA experience, you will be among the rejected applicants.

                As a songwriter, Harry Styles is used to looking inward — but getting reflective with the help of a therapist was a different story.

                The “As It Was” singer opened up about tending to his mental health in an extended digital version of his Better Homes & Gardens June cover story, explaining that he started therapy about five years ago after some coaxing.

                “I thought it meant that you were broken,” he explained. “I wanted to be the one who could say I didn’t need it.”

                Alas, Styles, 28, said that meeting with a therapist has allowed him to “open up rooms” in himself he was unaware existed, and can now feel things more honestly after “emotionally coast[ing]” through life before.

                “I think that accepting living, being happy, hurting in the extremes, that is the most alive you can be,” he said. “Losing it crying, losing it laughing—there’s no way, I don’t think, to feel more alive than that.”

                As part of the extended story, the Grammy winner also weighed in on the parallels between his teenage rise to fame with One Direction and that of pop star Billie Eilish, who was just 15 when she released her debut single “Ocean Eyes.”

                While Styles said he was proud of Eilish, now 20, and happy for her, her success also stirred complicated feelings in him that forced him to grapple with his place in the industry as he grew older.

                “She was so much younger than I am, and, when I was in the band, we were always the young guys. When I did my first solo thing, I was still like the young guy,” he said. “I’m not like an old man now, but she’s just a different generation.”

                “You can’t win music. It’s not like Formula One,” he continued. “I was like, in my lifetime, there will be 10 more people who burst onto the scene in that way, and I’m only going to get further away from being the young thing. So, get comfortable with finding something else that makes you happy. I just found that so liberating.”

                Elsewhere in the interview, which is on newsstands May 13, the “Watermelon Sugar” singer addressed his feelings on leaving One Direction in 2015, and said it had been ingrained in him that in order to be successful, he had to be likable and well-behaved.

                “In lockdown, I started processing a lot of stuff that happened when I was in the band,” he said, noting that he was encouraged to give much of himself away in order “to get people to engage with you, to like you.”

                Styles explained that cleanliness clauses included in his One Direction contracts spooked him into being on his best behavior at all times – and when he finally went solo and signed a new contract that did not include such terms, he burst into tears.

                “I felt free,” he said.

                RELATED VIDEO: Harry Styles Helps a Fan Come Out to Mom

                With his fears of not being taken seriously as a musician no longer clouding his decision-making, Styles said he’s eagerly awaiting the release of his upcoming third album Harry’s House on May 20, as it’s the first time he doesn’t feel as though “my life is over if this album isn’t a commercial success.”

                The star announced a new leg of his Love on Tour arena tour last week, which will bring him to five different cities to play 30 shows total this fall.

                He also recently announced two One Night Only shows, in New York and London, in which he’ll play Harry’s House in its entirety, before he begins additional worldwide Love on Tour dates in June.

                How to feel alive

                In my day-to-day life I’m often very busy chasing certain objectives ‘till the point that I forget to actually enjoy my time on this planet. I get stuck in these boring routines until my life just feels straight-up empty! Therefore I’ve made a decision to focus more on the things that actually make me feel more alive!

                The key to being happy is growth (IMO). Someone once told me that what isn’t growing, dies. And I actually thought quite a bit about that statement and found it to be a universal truth. This applies to everything! Trees, animals, people, you name it!

                Therefore the pursuit of growth (a.k.a. “excitement”) should be the main focus of our lives! Growth always happens outside our comfort zones. Whenever we embark upon something new, challenging or daunting, we feel a sense of excitement in our body caused by the anticipation of the unknown.

                Whenever you feel you aren’t challenged anymore, when life becomes dull and meaningless. Then it’s absolutely time to switch things up and explode beyond your limitations!

                It’s nothing new since everyone has probably heard of them in one way or another. Basically, comfort challenges involve growing in any particular way that you’re interested in. Focus on the challenges that are outside your comfort zone. The ones that can provoke a feeling of failure or rejection. These are the only two fears we have!

                Here’s a master of fear that might be able to inspire you; Remi Gaillard

                So what exactly are comfort zone challenges? The mastery of fears! Pick something you really feel fearful towards, something you’re afraid to do. And just do them!

                Some great examples I’ve tried in the past are;

                • Shouting in public
                • Jumping in a river in the middle of the night
                • Going out to nightclubs and approaching random women
                • Dancing on the countertop of a club (not even drunk :D)
                • Growing out my hair
                • Making eye contact on the street (until the other person looks away)
                • Recording myself on video and uploading it to youtube
                • Jumping out of a 350m high, helium-balloon
                • Asking less money from my parents to support me
                • Contacting people for guest posts
                • Lying down in the middle of a crowded square
                • Lying down in the middle of the entrance of a train station
                • Sleeping on a beach (attempt à to cold haha J)
                • Jumping in the Ocean at 8 AM (also pretty cold)
                • Doing push-ups in the middle of a club
                • Going out during the daytime and approaching women

                Anything that breaks your social conditioning (within reason) will transform this fearful energy into confidence and a unexplainable feeling of “invincibility”. Who has the courage to do x? Life favors the bold!

                Imagine that you actually achieved the things you are afraid off. How would you feel? How would you behave?

                For example; You set out to talk to a pretty girl on the street and she actually liked you! And after that you dared to ask for her number. How alive wouldn’t you feel?

                Destroying limiting beliefs is the best feeling you can have in the world. It makes you wonder about all the other things that are holding you back in life.

                “Fear is not the enemy. It is a compass pointing you to the areas where you need to grow”. – Steve Pavlina

                Firstly, write down what a certain fear has cost (negative experiences) you in the past and what it will cost you in the future if you don’t let go of it. Are you willing to sacrifice your dream for the fear of being ridiculed? Are you willing to settle for less when all it takes is just a little bit (or sometimes a big amount) of courage?

                Secondly, write down all the positive outcomes you’ll get for destroying this fear. What will you gain from it?

                Then just go out and do whatever is necessary!

                Take note that you don’t have to be confident to do something! This is a mistake a lot of people make. Confidence is simply a sense of value. Value is subjective! As long as you don’t let anyone feel more valuable than you, you cannot possibly fail.

                Another great website to help you find ideas for overcoming your fears of rejection is randomthingsto

                Sometimes I’m to much in my own head to talk to women in nightclubs and that’s a guaranteed promise for a bad night out. Therefore I just literally talk to myself to shut the fuck up and do the things I’m afraid of. Visualizing the pain I’m going to get for not talking to women.

                Once this was so real for me. Recently, I went out with some of my closest friends and we were having a great deal of fun together; Talking to women, flirting, dancing, doing a load of crazy stuff 😀

                At the end of the night, me and my friend were both flirting with the same girl. I’d say she was one of the cutest girls I’ve met over the last couple of months. But because I lacked the courage to actually seal the deal and kiss her, my friend was able to swoop in and claim the “prize”.

                This made it painfully clear to me that when I don’t go after what I want in life, I won’t get it and someone else will run away with it. I literally had to force myself to smile the remainder of that night. But inside I was broken. I’ll never forget that night and nowadays I use it as fuel to destroy these fears in nightclubs.

                This way I’m driven to actually take what I want. Nothing is more motivating than emotional pain.

                “You are confined only by the walls you build for yourself” – Anonymous

                What should you take away from this article? Challenge yourself! Find new ways that excite you! Break out of that comfort zone and reach new heights! I’ve included many examples of things you could do to break trough your fear of failure and rejection. Simply GROW!

                If you have any other comfort challenges you want to share with me, please do! Excitement (read: growth) is what gives meaning to our lives.

                Anyways, If you’re having any random thoughts or questions on this topic, feel free to share those with me in the comment section below!
                Take care!

                “Courage is rightly considered the foremost of virtues, for upon it, all others depend.” – Winston Churchil

                Guidelines

                • 1) No spam, no link-pasting, excessive swearing or destructive feedback.
                • 2) Use new lines to separate long comments
                • 3) Comment with your first name
                • 4) Don’t argue with strangers when it doesn’t affect your life quality.

                In those moments when I feel like a puppet tied up in strings, I draw on my Muslim faith to stay hopeful.

                When I was a boy growing up in Lahore, Pakistan, I vividly remember a local puppeteer who would bring his show to the big bazaar near my house during the Kites Festival. Children ignored the lure of video games and became mesmerized by the timeworn art of the puppet show and the simple tale of a young boy and his kite.

                In the story, the young puppet boy flies a kite, then loses it. A puppet girl emerges and finds the missing kite. She returns it to the crying boy, and he is happy again. It is an innocent tale of loss and love.

                While everyone else in the audience cheered and clapped at the end, I could never get past the sad look on the puppet boy’s wooden face. He had two vertical black strips for eyes, a round dot for a nose and a tight line for a mouth. The puppeteer’s strings seemed to cover his whole body. With every tug of his controller, the boy’s body shook. I desperately wished for him to be free of his strings, so that he could chase his own kite and run away with his little girlfriend.

                Now, as a man in my 40s sentenced to life in prison, I think back to that puppet boy and I see myself. Sitting here in my cell at the New Jersey State Prison, where I’ve spent the last 15 years, it can be hard to find hope and humanity in a structure designed to take that away from you. I am the wooden boy in this prison, controlled by all sorts of strings. And with COVID-19, despair is all around. I haven’t seen my family since March 2020. Instead, I’ve seen men around me get sick and die from this virus. I worry that some of my own loved ones won’t be around when this pandemic is over.

                All I have is the hope that one day I will be free. That hope is what gives me the strength to go through the degradation and futility of prison life. President Obama called it “the audacity of hope.” I know it simply as faith.

                In prison, we live in an alternate reality filled with arbitrary rules and shifting restrictions. Prisoners have to grasp for some semblance of structure to reaffirm our humanity and place in the world. As a Muslim, it is my faith that provides it for me.

                I have always been spiritual, but it wasn’t until I was incarcerated that I began to study the tenets of my faith in earnest. My belief in God provides me with the redemption that the criminal justice system denies me, even if that second chance comes on the Day of Judgment. So now I turn to Mecca five times a day and pray for the day when I don’t have to conform to the arbitrary whims of my puppet masters. I pray to be back in the real world.

                In some ways, though, I feel like I’ve been living in a nightmare that I can’t wake up from for the last 18 years. I was arrested for murder in 2002. I was held in solitary confinement for over two years before I was even convicted. When I lost my trial in 2005, it was a shock to my system. The case against me relied heavily on the testimony of one man who had been a person of interest earlier in the investigation. There was no DNA or forensic evidence, and it never occurred to me that I would be convicted. Yet, even then, I placed hope into the vessel of prayer and focused my eyes toward the horizon of possibilities.

                While planning for my case to go before the appellate and then state Supreme Court, I repeatedly told myself, “There is the direct appeal.” After losing that appeal two years later, I found myself standing before the 6-inch plastic mirror taped on the wall of my 8-by-6 foot cell reciting the same words about my post-conviction relief appeal. That process took six years to wind through the trial court, the appellate court and the state supreme court. My faith in God never wavered even as I lost one appeal after another.

                Last year on Nov. 11, I received the final letter about my federal appeals case—denied by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was a moment that should have made me want to give up. Instead, I stood in front of my mirror looking at a photograph of my family.

                The picture is from my nephew’s fifth birthday. My mom and dad are smiling at the camera and my brother and his wife are next to them with my nephew. My 3-year-old niece appears to be handing a piece of cake to the camera. She later told me that the cake was for me so that I could be a part of the family celebration. That scene helped me to hang on to that ever-elusive goal of hope. I am still loved, so I still have hope.

                In Urdu, we have a saying that I often heard from my elders: Umeed per dunyaa qaa-em hai. Loosely translated it means, “Hope is the foundation of the world.”

                My faith is the ultimate litmus test of hope. So I say the words of prayer and, feeling rather audacious, I hope for a better day to come. One when I can finally be without any strings.

                Tariq MaQbool is a contributing writer at the Prison Journalism Project and maintains Captive Voices, a blog where he shares his poetry and essays as well as the writings of other incarcerated people. He was convicted of double homicide in 2005 and is serving 150 years at the New Jersey State Prison.

                This is not a paywall.

                We’ll never put our work behind a paywall, and we’ll never put a limit on the number of articles you can read. No matter what, you can always turn to The Marshall Project as a source of trustworthy journalism about the criminal justice system.

                Donations from readers like you are essential to sustaining this work. Knowing that you’re behind us means so much. Can we count on your support today?

                The Marshall Project’s journalism has real impact on the criminal justice system. Will you help sustain our work?

                • Hours after we published our investigation into the use of police dogs as weapons in Baton Rouge, Mayor Sharon Broome directed the police chief to revise their policy on the pursuit of juveniles with dogs.
                • Texas state representative James White is asking the Texas Board of Criminal Justice to rename the Darrington, Goree and Eastham prisons in response to Keri Blakinger’s story about the racist roots of some prison names.
                • New Mexico is likely going to pass a law to prevent the practice of kids being unnecessarily removed from their homes by police in response to our story about the problem of “short-stays” in foster care. The legislation would take child removals out of the hands of police altogether.

                Our journalism establishes facts, exposes failures and examines solutions for a criminal justice system in crisis. If you believe in what we do, become a member today.

                How to feel alive

                “No person, no place, and no thing has any power over us, for ‘we’ are the only thinkers in our mind. When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives.”

                Seven years ago I felt a tangible sense of despondency about where my life was heading.

                Having ended a six-year relationship, I found myself alone, feeling isolated, often with only a bottle of wine (or two) for company on a weekend. For the first time ever I wondered if I had depression.

                After weeks of feeling helpless and sitting on my sofa crying, I decided enough was enough and started taking action to turn my life around.

                In doing so I discovered the “Human Givens Basic Needs.” Suddenly, everything made sense to me.

                I realized I didn’t have depression; I just hadn’t been meeting my basic needs in a healthy and balanced way.

                Working through the basic needs, I scored myself a number between one and ten for each, with ten being fully met.

                After taking action and pursuing a new diploma, I reflected on how much better I was meeting my basic needs for control, creativity, and stimulation, and how much happier and alive I felt as a result.

                I also recognized that I was meeting my need for status in a new way, as people were amazed when I told them what I was studying.

                Seven years on, I have never forgotten the basic needs. Every six months I take a few hours to do a stock check of my life to see how well I am meeting each of the needs, and where I need to take action or do something different.

                At the moment I am training for my third marathon, which is meeting so many of my basic needs in one hit!

                People tell me how awesome it is that I am running a marathon (attention and status), I look after my body better (mind/body connection), I have a goal (purpose), and I’m doing something positive with my time (creativity, stimulation, and sense of control).

                As we head into the New Year, I’d invite you to take an evening, curl up warm, put on some music you enjoy, and take a stock check of your life.

                Look at each of the different needs and mark out of ten (ten being fully met) how well you are meeting each one, and how.

                Where you are not meeting a need fully, don’t worry. Instead, think about what actions you can take to improve this area, and write down some steps to achieving that.

                Rather than trying to improve every area of your life all at once, I suggest focusing first on meeting one need that would make a considerable difference in your life, and then moving on to another.

                Like me with my marathon, you may find that while meeting one need, you end up meeting others naturally as a result.

                Finally, put your stock check or action plan somewhere you can see it daily.

                Take a Stock Check of Your Basic Human Needs

                1. The need for attention

                We need quality attention from the people in our lives. More and more people in the world live alone. Unless your needs are being met elsewhere, a lack of attention can lead to low self-esteem, feelings of loneliness, and a lack of connection.

                Join a meet up group, do an evening course, join a fitness group—anything that gets you out there and talking to like-minded people.

                2. Mind-body connection

                The way we look after ourselves physically directly impacts our psychological well-being. Feed your body good food and you’ll feel good. (That doesn’t mean pizza and wine!) Get out in the fresh air and get moving to get your serotonin and endorphins levels pumping, making you feel more alive.

                3. Purpose and goals

                Having a purpose or goal adds meaning to your life. Sign up for a 5K charity run, take up a night class, or volunteer for a local charity. Use your time to do the things you enjoy.

                4. Connection to something greater than ourselves

                A sense of connection to like-minded people or others who share your perceptions and work for a common goal is important. I chose to run one of my marathons for a homeless charity, for example.

                It may be being part of a group raising awareness about a shared cause, or working for an organization that shares your values.

                5. Creativity and stimulation

                Boredom and a lack of achievement can leave you feeling unsatisfied and depressed. Spending time reading about a subject that interests you, learning a new skill or craft, or doing anything that stimulates the creative part of your brain will see you feeling happier and more stimulated.

                6. Sense of security and safety

                Without a sense of security and safety you can feel anxious. You don’t have to own your home to feel secure. Security can come from having a supportive partner and family or even changing your beliefs about what security and safety mean to you.

                7. Intimacy and connection

                It’s important to feel that at least one person really knows you for who you are. Intimacy and connection don’t require a romantic partner; it can just be a close relationship with someone, even your pet!

                8. Sense of control

                Feeling that you have no control in a given situation or in life can lead to feelings of hopelessness. In some cases people will over-control to compensate for feeling helpless. Trying to control people and situations you have no influence over will only suck your energy. Control the one thing you can—you.

                9. The need for status

                Being recognized for your talents helps meet your need for status. Take action to do something you have always wanted to do, such as a jewelry-making course, signing up to a sporting group, taking up dressmaking, or volunteering your talents where they would be well received.

                Small changes in your life can create a big ripple effect, and, like me, you may be surprised by how much happier, healthier, and alive you will feel as a result.

                29 Dec The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again

                Why are we all so serious?

                Or is it just me!

                So often, fun and play are discounted as frivolous and unimportant whereas the reality, as we know from the research, is that these activities / emotions are integral to our happiness and wellbeing.

                Check out this article by Catherine Price via the Next Big Idea Club for some fun thoughts on this very important topic …

                Catherine Price is a health and science journalist, the founder of a platform called ScreenLifeBalance.com, and the author of books including Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food and How to Break Up with Your Phone. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Best American Science Writing, and Mother Jones, to name a few.

                Below, Catherine shares 5 key insights from her new book, The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again. Listen to the audio version—read by Catherine herself—in the Next Big Idea App.

                1. Feeling dead inside? Fun can bring you back to life.

                When’s the last time you felt exhilarated, lighthearted, and free? Or the last time you were fully present? When’s the last time you felt alive? As we approach our second anniversary of pandemic living, those might seem like mean questions. Many of us are languishing, which is a nice way of saying that we feel dead inside. There’s no need to rub it in, but I’m not asking these questions to be cruel; I’m asking them because I have a solution. If you want to come back to life—if you want to flourish—you need to have more fun.

                Yes, fun. It might sound ridiculous, or frivolous, or even irresponsible, but hear me out. I’m not talking about “fun” in the cheapened sense of the word. I’m not suggesting that the solution to existential angst is to treat yourself to a pedicure or drink wine while scrolling through memes. I’m talking about fun in its purest, most transcendent form—the type of fun that leaves you feeling joyfully alive. I refer to this as True Fun, and it occurs when we experience the confluence of three psychological states: playfulness, connection, and flow.

                By “playfulness,” I mean a spirit of lightheartedness and freedom—of doing something just for the pleasure of it, and not caring too much about the outcome. By “connection,” I’m referring to the feeling of having a special, shared experience with someone (or something) else. And “flow” is a term used in psychology to describe the state of being fully engaged and focused, often to the point that you lose track of time—not to be confused with “junk” flow: the hypnotized state we fall into when we binge-watch Netflix and look up to find that five hours have passed.

                Playfulness, connection, and flow are all energizing, happiness-boosting states when they occur on their own. But when we experience these three states at once—in other words, when we experience True Fun—the effects can feel magical. Chances are that your memories of True Fun are some of the peak memories of your life.

                I have collected thousands of anecdotes of True Fun from people around the world, and while the details of their stories are different, the energy running through them is the same. When we have True Fun, we are not lonely. We are not stressed. We are not consumed by self-doubt or malaise. Instead, we are focused and present, free from anxiety and self-criticism. We laugh and feel connected, both to other people and to our authentic selves. When people talk about past experiences in which they truly had fun, their faces light up because True Fun makes us feel alive. Prioritize fun, and you will feel yourself coming back to life.

                “When we have True Fun, we are not lonely. We are not stressed. We are not consumed by self-doubt or malaise. Instead, we are focused and present, free from anxiety and self-criticism.”

                … keep reading the full & original article HERE

                How to feel alive

                When you feel emotionally numb, what can you do? Is there anything that can make you feel better?

                There are many feelings that can make us human beings uncomfortable. Anger, sadness, hurt, anxiety, fear, loss or grief, for example. Most of us would not choose to feel any of these. In fact, we will often go to great lengths to escape and avoid feeling them.

                But there is one feeling that can be more intolerable than any of those. It’s in its own category because it is not like the others.

                I have seen this feeling drive people to do extreme things to escape it, like take risks, harm themselves, put themselves in dangerous situations, or even consider suicide. Many people feel this feeling, but few have words to describe it.

                I call this feeling the “unfeeling feeling.” The best way to describe it is a deep sense of emptiness or emotional numbness.

                Here are some important facts to know about emotional numbness.

                5 Important Facts About Emotional Numbness

                1. You have the unfeeling feeling for a reason, and you are not alone. Other people feel this way too. But everyone does not feel this way.
                2. The emotional numbness you feel is a message from your body. Your body is trying to tell you something, and it is vital that you listen.
                3. This message from your body is one of the most valuable and important ones you will ever receive.
                4. The message is this: Your feelings are blocked off.
                5. The likely cause of your blocked-off feelings, and hence your emotional numbness, is Childhood Emotional Neglect.

                Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN) happens when your parents fail to notice, respond to, and validate your emotions enough as they raise you.

                When you grow up with your feelings ignored or unwelcome, your young brain builds a wall to block them off. It’s an effective coping mechanism that helps you avoid being a “problem” in your childhood home.

                But this effective coping mechanism backfires when you grow up. As you move into adulthood, you need your emotions. If you were a boat, your emotions would be your engine, anchor, and rudder. They should be not only grounding and rooting you but also motivating, directing and guiding you.

                When your emotions are blocked off, your body feels it. Something vital is missing. You sense this deeply, and it does not feel good. Just as your body knows when you are hungry or thirsty, it also knows when your feelings are blocked. You are emotionally numb.

                When You Feel Emotionally Numb, Do This To Feel More Alive

                And now for the good news. If you feel emotionally numb, there is plenty of hope for you. I am going to give you answers.

                There are two ways to address your emotional numbness. One is short-term coping, and the other is long-term solving. To truly address the problem it makes sense to do both. But in this article, we are going to talk about short-term coping. How do you manage the unfeeling feeling when you get it?

                Trying to avoid or escape the unfeeling feeling will not work. It’s natural, when you feel numb, to try to escape it by using external or physical stimulation. That’s why so many people might go shopping, sky-dive, drink, use drugs, gamble or even harm themselves. When you’re feeling this, it seems like something extreme will solve it by making you feel something…anything seems better than nothing at that moment.

                But when you take any action like this to escape numbness, you are only setting yourself up for more numbness in the future. Plus the numbness can drive you too far, so you are at risk for overspending, over-drinking, or excessive risk that might harm you.

                There are, however, a few far healthier and more effective things you can do. First, it’s very important to take note that you are feeling emotionally numb or empty. Second, you must do the opposite of escape or avoidance. The key to dealing with numbness in the moment is to go straight at it.

                In other words, the best way to cope with numbness is to try to reach your blocked-off emotions. To do this, you must focus inward, not outward. You must reach out to your emotions.

                4 Healthy Ways To Cope With Emotional Numbness

                1. Remember and reimagine a time when you felt a strong emotion: To do this, close your eyes. Think about a time in your life when you felt strong hurt, happiness, sadness, pain, loss or joy. Put yourself back there and try to relive it in your mind. As soon as you contact a feeling, allow yourself to feel it. Think about what you are feeling, and about why this was such an intense experience for you. Once you do this, you will find that your numbness has left you.
                2. Do The Identifying & Naming Exercise: I specially created this exercise to help you get in touch with your blocked-off feelings. To do it close your eyes, clear your mind, and focus your attention. Then ask yourself, “What am I feeling right now?” Try as hard as you can to identify a feeling in your body. Any feeling at all. If you feel nothing, keep trying. If you become frustrated, congratulations. You are having a feeling. As soon as you have a feeling, your numbness will be replaced. (To learn more about how to do the Identifying & Naming Exercise, including additional helpful steps, see the book Running On Empty.
                3. Meditate: This is a way to not only focus inward but also to take control of your own mind. Meditation is the surest way to go straight at your numbness instead of escaping it. It may seem impossible, but just trying to do it is a way of proactively challenging your numbness.
                4. Reach out to someone you like or love: The feeling of numbness thrives on disconnection. You cannot feel numb when you are feeling connected to another person. Connecting, talking or laughing with someone is an excellent way to extinguish your emotional numbness.

                When you feel emotionally numb, choose an option above and do it to feel more alive.

                But overall, the best way to not only manage but extinguish, emotional numbness from your life is to heal the Childhood Emotional Neglect you’ve been living with all these years.

                To find out how to remove Emotional Neglect from your relationships, and banish numbness from your life by replacing it with connections to others, see the book Running On Empty No More: Transform Your Relationships.