How do I live well?

It may not be up there with “What’s the meaning of life?” or “Is the sky really blue?,” but “How do I live well?” is definitely in the box marked ‘LIFE’S BIG QUESTIONS.’

So how do you live well? If we wanted we could give some quick one-line answers :

win the lottery

never eat brussel sprouts after Christmas

own an island

always carry an umbrella

win the lottery…again

However, if we wanted a more considered answer we might say that one way to live well is to aim for good physical health. And while it is not all about exercising, some form of regular physical activity is incredibly important for our well-being. You might want to take a look at our earlier blog post Is today an exercise day ? for some thoughts on the benefits of exercising whatever stage you are at in life.

So, exercising ticks the ‘living well’ box, but what else?

Well, eating the right foods is important and gets another tick. As does getting enough sleep. Again, have a look at our blog How can I get a good night’s sleep ? for some useful tips on that one.

And being happy? Does that have anything to do with managing to live well because there are many who would say that happiness is simply an illusion, an unobtainable goal which, when followed, leads only to failure, despair and sadness – and is that not the exact reverse of living well?

Well, that kind of attitude scores  a whopping great 10 out of 10 for negativity, and a bit extra on top for depressing defeatism.

” If you want to be happy, be” Leo Tolstoy

For what is happiness? Is it simply a blend of emotions jumbled with a set of random conditions to produce a big wide smile and an all consuming sense of joy and contentment?

Perhaps but it is also a state of mind. We know that exercise, healthy eating, and a full night’s sleep can contribute to mental well-being and our happiness. But what about learning to value yourself and making the time for the things you enjoy? What about focusing each day on something you are grateful for and that makes you smile? And what about surrounding yourself with people who boost, inspire and excite? These are among the things that will bring us mental well-being and emotional contentment. These are what can bring happiness and help us to live well now.

“Happiness, not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour.” Walt Whitman