10 ways to live a better life

A black man and woman, cooking

When we think of changing our lives for the better, we may think of a new job, a new home, a new relationship, or material wealth – more “things” that we think will improve our lives.

Recently I saw a bumper sticker that read “the best things in life are not things” – it made me smile and I started thinking about ways to live a better life without looking for or wanting more stuff.

Here is my list:

1. Simplify – rather than desiring more, find ways to live with less. Bring clothing to Good Will or a charity. Clear away clutter from countertops and tables. If you have not used something or worn something for a year – give it away.

2. Enjoy nature – nature soothes the psyche and lessens stress. If you are fortunate enough to live near nature, do not take it for granted. Rather than rushing to work in the morning, take a moment or two to enjoy the trees, ponds, streams, rivers and the sky. If you do not live near natural beauty, take a drive to a nearby lake or take a walk in the woods.

3. Enjoy the arts – whether you enjoy visual art, performance art or historical art – make it part of your life. Take time to visit museums, see a play, or go to a local gallery.

4. Cook at home – it can become a habit to eat fast food in transit to work or school and at restaurants for business lunches and dinners. Cooking at home is less expensive and often more healthy than food from restaurants.

5. Cook for friends – invite friends and family members to your home and prepare a meal together – it is such a lovely way to spend time with people you care for.

6. Bring mindfulness to work – in this culture of multi-tasking, we rush through our work without really enjoying what we do. Being mindful at work helps us to concentrate on one task at a time, and enjoy the sheer pleasure of being present to what we are doing.

7. Spend time with children. I was washing dishes with a four year old recently. It was fun to watch her enjoy running her hand under the water from the faucet and delighting in the bubbles from the dish washing liquid. Her laugh made me laugh, and we both had fun.

8. Focus on others rather than yourself. It is so easy to get caught up in our own needs. Find ways to help others – shovel snow from an elderly person’s walkway, bring a meal to a neighbor who is not feeling well or volunteer at the local SPCA.

9. Spend time with friends – make a conscious effort to remember this. Write notes in your calendar to call a friend and make time to do something together. Friendship is such a precious thing, so we should not take it for granted.

10. Do something creative – whether it is writing a poem or a short story, painting a picture or a room in your house, or taking a photograph.  Doing something creative is energizing and makes life better.

So there you have it, ten ways to live a better life – non of which are expensive – but which will make you happier and your life better.

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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Love your ideas. Just saw the Krishna Das concert last night. Fantastic He said we grow by helping others and getting outside of ourselves. So true.

  • Thanks so much you beautiful lightworker.

  • […] Wildmind’s Buddhist meditation blog is another regular in the MWB round-up’s because they have such a diverse staff of contributing writers. This means they provide a lovely depth of perspective about the impact of Buddhist thought and meditation on many aspects of daily living. This post from Saddhamala is a thoughtful list of ten ways to slow down and live a better life. […]

  • Thanks so much, just connecting to like mind thinking gives a boost back to where we are.

  • Thank you Kay, I agree – I’m always happy to have a reminder of what is important ;)

  • Douglas cormier
    April 4, 2015 2:27 am

    At age 59 I feel I lost my direction . I had a plan to meet some one an get married and I did at age 20.i had a plan for children and we had a girl and a boy . We raised them put them threw college .i being a carpenter build both children there first home .taught both children to have bussiness . So things should be great but . The house is empty just my wife and I . I am still happily married its one of the smartest things I ever done . I shut my bussiness down two years ago and I am struggling with getting older . I never had a plan for this part of my life . So instead of woundering around not sure of where I am going I stopped . I am slowly trying to get back into what I was doing 40years ago . I can’t do the sex the same as 20 years old put we love trying .inthink it’s better at 59 . The drugs of seventies is not a option . But the rock and roll still brings me great pleasure .so I set my drum set after 25 years . I have been playing almost every day for the last 5 weeks . I live near all the R.I . And Mass beaches down near Newport RI .and Cape cod mass so last week out of the clear blue my wife and I went horse neck beach in Westport and south shore beach and saconnit point .i am slowly trying to find a path to happy ness. Peasfullness . I also have prostate cancer and its hard to no what to est and not eat . We are slowly exersing more . But the the bottom line getting older body wise sucks . Not having family dinners and holidays with my children sucks . The word Inlaws made me lose my tight family that I controlled for 25 to 30 years . But 4 grand kids is great . So there is my bitching lossing control . Slowly lossing young age .but I do love having a great wife and she is going to slowly get more and more of my time .it seams like her and I are in our own boat alone I just need no where to row to ha ha thanks for advice . I don’t sleep much it’s two thirty in the morning I am writhing g this and listening to the fog horn . Have a nice Easter Sunday in saying have a nice easter I just thought of Jesus being crussieffied as we speak I should not bich at all my life is great . Good night


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