The world of today is characteristically busy and moves at a fast pace. We spend our working lives moving from task to task whilst juggling emails and attending multiple meetings. Our home life is a maze of organizing family activities and balancing social activities against the need to rest and relax after our busy working weeks. Today, more people want to achieve a work/life balance that allows true scope for enjoyment, cultivating new interests, and visiting new places. We are all searching for the key to having an enjoyable and satisfying life. This article attempts to explain some key strategies and lifestyle choices you can make to ensure that your life is productive, enjoyable, and satisfying.
Prioritize Your Ongoing Education
One key factor in achieving a satisfying life is to gain a strong education and subscribe to the principle of lifelong learning. Firstly, it is important to gain an advanced level of education to ensure that you qualify for a range of well-paid jobs and vocations. Many rewarding careers today require a degree as a minimum to gain entry to the industry or sector. Whilst it makes sense to get a university degree whilst you are young, it is never too late to get the qualifications needed for a satisfying career in a specific industry. As an example, you may find that you are looking to work in the healthcare sector as a nurse as you feel that treating patients in their hours of need would make for a satisfying career. If you don’t have a nursing degree, but did graduate from university in another subject, you could undertake a distance accelerated BSN program to get the required knowledge and skills. This could unlock the door to a rewarding career where no two days are the same and your skills directly improve lives. In short, ongoing education is an integral part of a rewarding career that leads to job satisfaction.
The phrase “a healthy mind in a healthy body” is a very old one with its origin stretching back to ancient Greece. It is attributed to the philosopher Thales. Today, the phrase still rings true and encompasses several key points. By eating a balanced diet that has fresh fruit and vegetables and is sufficient for our daily calorie requirements, we can manage our weight effectively and ensure that we have the vitamins and nutrients that our bodies require to perform at their best. Conversely, a poor diet that is high in saturated fat will make us feel less well and, over time, can lead to health problems developing such as obesity and diabetes that can have a direct impact on our enjoyment of life. Eating a good diet is also good for our general mood. If we ate a diet that was full of simple sugars found in sweets and soft drinks, we would soon find that our energy levels spiked and crashed concerning our blood sugar levels and that we would feel irritable. Our diet plays an integral role in our overall health and wellbeing and as such, it should be a priority to eat healthily.
Regular exercise has been proven to have numerous health benefits. Regular exercise at a suitable intensity helps our body release endorphins which are hormones that create feelings of happiness and relaxation. In fact, regular exercise is recognised as a key way to keep our mood stable and is effective in providing a degree of protection against common mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Regular exercise is of great benefit in later life too as it helps us retain muscle mass and bone density which can mean that we are more mobile as we get older and less likely to suffer falls and broken bones. In addition, regular exercise can promote better quality sleep which our bodies need for recovery and rest. Making exercise part of your daily routine will therefore keep you feeling good and looking in decent shape and can be seen as a vital component of a long and satisfying life.
Develop a Meaningful Hobby
When we have hectic working lives, it is even more important to cultivate enjoyable activities in our spare time that provide enjoyment and relaxation. Having a meaningful hobby that we look forward to doing gives us a sense of joy just knowing that we will be dedicating time to that pursuit. A popular hobby is playing a musical instrument such as the guitar. Learning the fundamentals of chords and scales before moving on to master your favourite band’s music (or even compose your own songs) can be an immensely satisfying process. Playing musical instruments such as the guitar has also been shown to improve memory and coordination. Musicians often describe how they enter a state of total relaxation and focus when playing a song by heart and it can help to combat the stresses and strains of the modern world. Obviously, if you are not musically inclined there are hundreds of other hobbies to consider cultivating, such as watercolour painting, playing sports, or taking time out in nature. For more inspiration in finding your meaningful hobby to give you more satisfaction in life, see here.
Make Time for Friends and Family
At times, it can seem hard to balance an enjoyable social life with the pressures of work and organizing our home lives. It should be remembered that we are all social creatures, even if some of us may be seen as introverts, which is also perfectly normal. No matter how outgoing or sociable we are, it makes sense to find the time to spend with friends, loved ones, and family. Having meaningful conversations, connecting, and catchup up over a cup of coffee can add a boost to your day and is beneficial for all parties. It is also a wonderful opportunity to talk over some of life’s problems with friends. As the saying goes “a problem shared is a problem halved” and simply talking about the things in life that have caused stress or worry can be a great way of getting them out of your head and being reassured.
Choose a Meaningful Career
For the average person, their working career spans several decades, and influential research has suggested that careers could last for over forty years soon with a career starting at 22 and ending at 70. With this said, it makes it even more important to find a career that gives a high level of job satisfaction and allows you to truly feel like you are making a difference. Every person has different values and different goals for their career but the key similarity that most people share is wanting to feel that their work has meaning and value. Therefore, many people choose careers that give back to society, such as working in healthcare, education, or as a civil servant where their job can play an active role in improving the well-being of others. By having a career that inspires and motivates you, you will likely enjoy rather than endure the working week and gain deeper satisfaction from your working life.
Try Mindfulness and Meditation
The pace of modern living can be rapid and unceasing at times and can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed with tasks and responsibilities. When stress starts to take hold, whether it be at home or in the place of work, it is worth taking five minutes to step away from the source of stress and worry. Mindfulness and meditation techniques can be learned quickly and are simple to do. There is a range of free and paid meditation and mindfulness apps that you can get on your smartphone or tablet. By taking the time to step back and clear your mind, you are allowing it to refocus away from any problem. This can be an effective way to de-stress throughout the week and ensure that your work rate does not dip when you feel overwhelmed.
Undertake Acts of Kindness
It is easy to forget that acts of kindness, no matter how small, go a long way to making the world a better place. Simple acts like helping a neighbor with some DIY task or buying a homeless person a hot cup of coffee can make both you and the person you assist feel happier. In addition, regular acts of kindness tend to have the knock-on effect of the recipient of your goodwill then being in a better frame of mind and more likely to do something positive for the next person they meet. In this way, you really can make the world a better place and feel more satisfied with how you are as a person.
To Sum Up
Having a long and satisfying life is one of humanity’s key goals. It can be achieved by ensuring you have a meaningful and enjoyable career, doing kind acts and gestures for others, and subscribing to lifelong learning. In addition, it is important to make time for friends and family, use meditation and mindfulness to ease stress, eat well, and take regular exercise. Finally, a meaningful hobby that you enjoy can also help you to find satisfaction in life.