When I was asked to write about living vibrantly, I had to stop and think. Do I live a vibrant life? Do I know how to live vibrantly? What is living vibrantly? Sure, I put on a great smile for most people and I seem to always be having fun, but do I live in the moment? Do I live a healthy and balanced life? Do I take time to focus on me?
Over the last few months, I have been working on those very things. I have been trying to create an environment that is working towards a happy and healthy lifestyle. I have been pushing myself to exercise more, I have made changes in my daily work life, and I have started/stopped/started eating healthier. But is this enough?
Living vibrantly comes through living in the now
How many people can truly say they live in the now? Throughout your day, do you find yourself daydreaming, imagining a better future, or maybe you’re planning that trip to the beach. To live in the now means to be conscious, aware and in the present with all of your senses. It means not dwelling on the past, nor being anxious or worrying about the future.
So many of us struggle with that. I know I relive that embarrassing moment over and over again. I dwell on something I should have done or how I could have done it better. I worry if I will ever “get it right”. And even worse, I focus so much attention on other people’s happiness, that I forget to worry about my own.
Since I was asked to write this blog, I have been working on those very things. I have been trying to stay in the moment, focusing on my happiness, and working towards a better me. I have found a few tips that have really worked well and want to share those with you.
1. Manage your stress and you’ll fix almost everything.
Stress is the cause of a staggering number of health problems and worsens any medical condition. Stress causes us to age faster, throws our hormones out-of-whack, and makes us feel anxious, fearful and irritable. Learn to recognize the signs of stress in your own body and mind, and counteract them actively.
2. Sleep is ground zero.
If you don’t get enough sleep, everything else will suffer. Sleep deprivation puts you in a pre-diabetic state, messes with your metabolism, makes you dramatically more likely to be overweight, increases your appetite, decreases your productivity, hampers your immune system, and makes you tired, moody, anxious and likely to be depressed.
3. Be childlike.
Who said you had to grow up and be so serious? Cultivate the very best of the child within you. Practice childlike awe for majestic things, childlike silliness, childlike faith, childlike hope, childlike play, and creativity. When it comes to certain things, children do them way better than we do. Recapture it – it’s still inside you.
4. Don’t wait.
Don’t put off something that you know you need to do, don’t wait until things are perfect. Figure out how you can start now, start small. Just start. You’ll be so glad you did.
5. When your body says stop, listen to it.
Learning to listen to your body is a key skill in life. Drink water when you’re thirsty. Eat good food when you’re hungry and stop when your body says it’s full. Sleep when your body wants to. Stop pushing when you feel tired. Take a vacation when every ounce of your body and mind is screaming for it. Take a break when your shoulders tense up or your neck starts aching. Take really good care of your body, and listen to it. In turn, it will take really good care of you.
What I have learned most over these last few months is that everyone has a different definition of living vibrantly. What is yours? What steps can you take to be happy and successful in your life?
Nikki Lewis is the Foundation Manager at the Mansfield-Richland Area Educational Foundation, more commonly called the Chamber Foundation. She coordinates the Foundations programs, Leadership Unlimited, Young Entrepreneurs Academy, and the Economic Club. Nikki moved to the Richland County area just over ten years ago after spending most of her life in Tucson, Arizona. She graduated from Mount Vernon Nazarene University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. After graduating, she began her journey with Richland Bank, where she was a branch manager and lender. During that time, she realized her passion for community service. Nikki has since been a part of many area organizations, like Richland Young Professionals and the Parent Aide Program, all while trying to help create a better community. Her drive to make Richland County a better place and her desire to see others succeed were some of the many reasons she felt compelled to make the move to become the Foundation Manager.