What does vitality mean to you? Is it wisdom? Physical strength? An easy-going personality? Energy? Most likely, it’s all of the above.
What Does It Mean to Be Vital?
To be vital literally means to be full of life. It’s the process of empowerment, productivity, creativity, health, and well-being.
To be vital is to feel alive and energetic, but in a mindful sense. To live with vitality means to live each day with confidence that we can handle anything, no matter how unpredictable or difficult, and to enjoy each day with energy and ease that we draw from our inner self.
If this sounds too abstract, let’s imagine the prototype of a vital person. When was the last time you encountered someone and thought about how vital they are?
Now try to list some of their traits. Usually, they include:
Focus on what truly matters;
Efficiency and productivity;
Having good, uplifting energy;
Respect and kindness towards other human beings;
Joy that comes from within;
Feeling alive and full of life;
Strong physical health.
When we’re talking about vitality, we’re referring to the process of awakening through gaining additional energy.
Let’s imagine it this way: you’re stuck in a job you don’t like, and you have no excess energy (time, money, physical energy). Although it’s not very good for you to stay there, you still can’t leave the job that easily, as the job drains your time and energy. However, if you had additional time or money, you would be able to start searching for additional sources of income and this would help make your decision to leave the job easier.
Awakening works by the same principle. Without spending additional energy, it won’t be easy for you to focus on it. You need the energy to learn and practice mindfulness, introspection, compassion, empathy, intuition, and insight.
Once you start cultivating your vitality, you will be able to save some energy for the spiritual path that awaits.
How to Cultivate Vitality?
As humans, we are naturally predisposed to deal with major life stressors and challenges. However, as modern life is getting more and more stressful, noisy, and overloaded with information, it’s becoming progressively more difficult for us to manage our daily stress.
It’s easier to focus on the bigger picture, even if it’s unpleasant, than to pay attention to every daily micro stressor. Cultivating our vitality begins there. It is a journey and a never-ending process.
Here are some tips on how to start and stay present on your journey to greater vitality.
Do Something Positive Each Day
Build healthy positive routines and habits, like the morning and evening routines, that you can design in accordance with what you love doing and what makes you feel happy and fulfilled.
For example, you can fit gratitude journaling into your morning and evening routines and make sure that you start and end each day thinking about the positive things you’ve experienced that you are grateful for.
Pick one thing that makes you feel like you and commit to it each day for at least half an hour. Whether it’s journaling, working on a passion project, taking a walk in the park, or maybe dancing, make sure to allocate some time for “you time” and for the activities that put a smile on your face.
Connect With People You Love
Healthy habits are the basis of our well-being. A healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising – all that is very important for how we go through our days. But social relationships are equally important, and we sometimes forget about that.
Feeling connected to other people is what gives us energy and makes us feel alive, because social relationships are the pillars of mental health. We mentioned the small stressors before, and how we can get lost in the bigger picture. Connecting to other people is something that can help precisely with that, and give us the boost in motivation we need to overcome this kind of stress.
Whether it’s a meaningful conversation about what’s bothering us or simply time well-spent with people who make us feel understood and loved, the feeling that we belong somewhere, with someone is what keeps our heads above the surface even in our darkest moments.
Because we are often survival-oriented, we prioritize work above everything else, so our social connections begin to fade and we start to feel empty. It usually takes a while before we realize that we need to appreciate and nurture our closest relationships.
Yet, it’s not always about our most intimate and closest relationships. Being kind to a taxi driver or the local grocery store salesperson that you encounter every day can feel lovely for both of you. You may not become best friends, but you can uplift each other through this discreet connection that you establish during each encounter.
Do Something Challenging in a Positive Way
Another way of nurturing a positive mindset and vitality is focusing on your growth. If there are no problems to be solved and obstacles to be overcome, we are stagnating. There are so many ways to challenge yourself.
For example, if you’re a non-techie, try learning how to code in one of the simpler programming languages. This is a major challenge for anyone who’s not math and IT-oriented, yet it’s fun, fulfilling, and brings a whole new perspective on the world.
You can challenge yourself in other spheres of life as well. You can set a goal about a change you’d like to see in your social life or in your partnership. Sometimes, following through on your dinner plans or being fully present during your romantic getaway can be much more challenging than committing to any work or skill challenge you have set for yourself.
Contribute to Something Bigger Than Yourself
Contributing to goals that are bigger than ourselves gives us a sense of meaning and purpose in life. Use your free time to contribute to a greater cause. For example, you can engage in volunteer work in your local community, team up with others and take your part in taking care of the environment, or create something that will make a difference in other people’s lives.
Sometimes it’s enough to just make someone smile –– give an honest compliment, a small gift, or just hear out and be compassionate to another person.
Engage in Self Care
Self-care takes many shapes and forms –– from healthy habits and diet to social media detox, extra hour of sleep, or mental health awareness.
This means you should plan a healthy diet and mind the level of protein, vitamins, fiber, and carbohydrates you consume each day, along with your water intake. Regular exercise, walking, and movement are all equally important for good physical health. Yoga is especially good because it nurtures the mind and the body alike. Our mind requires hygiene, just like our body does. Take care of your mind through activities such as journaling, meditation, reading, or listening to music.
Be Mindful and Present in the Moment
There’s an opportunity to be mindful at every step that we take. By slowing down and choosing our food wisely, we are being mindful when we eat. When we engage in active listening, we are practicing mindfulness in our relationships.
Presence in the moment is very important for our vitality. Vital people live every moment to the fullest and they are aware and focused on the now.
You can also practice mindfulness at work, by trying to be more mindful at your work desk. You can implement some very simple habits when you work, such working in Focus Time technique, taking regular breaks, meditating, setting the right intentions, and nurturing good relationships with your colleagues.
Focus on Going Forward
While it’s sometimes nice to take a look back and reminisce on the nice moments in our past or be proud of the challenges we’ve overcome, we should leave the past to the past and enjoy the present. Dwelling on the past only keeps us stuck there when we should treat our past failures or mistakes simply as valuable lessons for the future.
Think Ahead: The Best Years Are Always Ahead of You
As we grow older, we often think that we’re leaving our best years behind. Society is full of narratives about youth being the most important and valuable period in a person’s life, so many people become frustrated and depressed about their age. This is how we often lose our vitality and stop expecting good things to happen after a certain age.
The reality is that how exciting or fulfilling our life will be depends solely on us. We decide how to achieve our happiness and what happiness looks like for us.
Can you imagine what your best life would look like 5 to 10 years from now? Regardless of how old you are now, it is you who decides on whether that will happen or not.
By sticking to your ideals and values, you also preserve the life energy necessary for vitality. There is so much beauty in growing older and becoming more experienced and knowledgeable.
If you want to create a better world and preserve your vitality and happiness, you need to be the change you want to see and appreciate yourself in every stage of this journey.
Describing and defining vitality is difficult. We can’t measure it, touch it, or clearly define it. But we all know it when we see it and feel it. We truly believe that there is a vital part in every human being that stays with us while we are alive. It’s just a matter of will whether we want to nurture it and prioritize it over other things in life.
It’s impossible to step into the same river twice. Thus, with the constant flow of life, the perfect moment to reinvent ourselves is whenever we want it to be. And the new you can be born in a matter of minutes.
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