All too often we try to do the bare minimum just to get by in life. And if you struggle with anxiety, you know this feeling well.
You just want to make it through the day. Living in survival mode is not the best way to live the rest of your life.
Sometimes it’s necessary, but it shouldn’t be the only way you decide to live.
When you’re dealing with anxiety, you don’t have to give up everything you enjoy to manage it.
I get that it’s easier to just succumb to the strong feelings and thoughts inside of you. The ones that make you believe you don’t deserve anything good, and that you’re destined to suffer the rest of your life.
A lot of people believe they have to conquer anxiety and depression, making it disappear forever, before they can finally enjoy their life.
This way of thinking can lead to a lot of disappointment because if you are prone to feeling anxiety, you will feel it again.
It just means you’re more aware of what’s going on in your life.
Life will knock you down more times than you can count. Sometimes it will leave you feeling very tired and unwilling to move forward.
But, you can choose how your life turns out.
You deserve to have the life you’re always thinking about. The one you want but are too afraid to go after.
Too many people ignore how they really feel in order to do what they have to do to survive.
They aren’t living a life they particularly like, but they take the safe route because it makes the most sense. And they don’t want to let other people down either.
This causes a lot of distress and unhappiness when you choose to ignore what it is that you truly want.
When you always live in survival mode just trying to get by. There is soo much more to life than that.
As you think of your own things that make your life fulfilling, here are 30 other ways to start living a very fulfilling life.
Think about these things when you’re feeling anxious as a reminder that there is purpose to your life. And when you start filling it with meaningful things, you’ll start to thrive.
1. Understand your why
Knowing your why means digging deeper into who you are. What makes you you? What are your core beliefs? What drives you in life?
You can even write these things down and reconnect to the person you are.
We often lose sight of why we do things in life. Check in with yourself now and then to realign with your values and make sure you’re on the right path.
2. Embrace change in your life
Change is never easy, which is why a lot of people hate to accept it. They hold on with all their might to the past and nostalgia.
When you learn to embrace change you learn to ebb and flow with life. You don’t always have to love it, but you can practice accepting change when it occurs and adapting.
3. Work on communicating better with the people you care about
A strong support system leads to a fulfilling life. The people around you can build you up to the person you want to be.
We can’t always do things alone, and that’s why it’s important to keep the relationships around you strong. Work on communicating better with the people you love.
Stop texting and pick up the phone. Make it a point to hang out with people a few times a month. Stay connected and keep it a priority in your life.
Disconnection causes anxiety and isolation. But, the more you connect the less you feel like nobody cares about what you’re going through. Reach out to the ones you know care!
4. Live day by day, enjoying as many moments as you can
There’s nothing wrong about looking forward to things in your future, but don’t get lost in the destination.
Learning to enjoy today for what it is will allow you to be present and life a fuller life. We can easily get caught up in “in 3 years I’ll have a house, then I’ll be happy.” Or “Once I lose weight I can start living my life.”
Do it today! Enjoy the day for what it is. When you wake up in the morning, just pay attention to what needs to happen within the next 12 hours.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with things 3 weeks from now. Take it moment by moment. Enjoy the morning, then the afternoon, then the evening. Learn to flow with each day so you can truly begin to live your life.
5. Stop letting things limit you
You can do whatever you want in life. It really doesn’t matter what it is.
What is holding you back is your mindset. And the beliefs you’ve had growing up that you’re supposed to be a certain way to succeed in life.
You determine where your life goes, and that means letting go of any restrictions you hold on yourself.
Think about what you really enjoy from life and do those things. Life is honestly way too short to limit yourself to things that only seem “acceptable” to society.
Follow your heart and listen to what is yearning inside of you, then go for it. Work at it and focus on getting to where you want to be.
6. Work on letting go of expectations
Stop holding yourself to such high expectations, as well as the people around you.
As humans we will naturally mess things up epically at times. You will fall on your ass.
Things won’t always work out as planned. People will let you down. There’s a fine balance between not expecting things and letting people walk all over you.
Just practice being an understanding person who knows things won’t always go perfectly and there are certain things out of your control. Letting go of expectations will take a lot of stress and disappointment out of your life. You will also know how to forgive a little easier.
7. Give up perfection
You know perfection doesn’t exist, even if you secretly love to chase it knowing this. Perfectionism causes anxiety, which leads to a strong feeling of loss of control.
I know it’s not always easy, but work on giving up absolute perfection. Once you learn to let go of things that don’t truly matter in the grand scheme of things, you learn to enjoy life a little more.
It also just gives you a new perspective on things when you realize it doesn’t matter if you’re perfect at anything and it’s not the end all be all to life.
8. Stop complaining
I’m guilty of this, but complaining all the time doesn’t really get you anywhere. If you need to vent about something, fine.
But, work on holding back before complaining about every little thing. Complaining means you find comfort in other people feeling sorry for you.
You also like to be negative and pessimistic towards life. Maybe as a way to protect yourself.
Instead, when you get really annoyed by a stupid customer at work or your best friend bailing on you, take a deep breath. Close your eyes and relax.
The only one who makes it into a bigger deal than it needs to be is you. And once you stop feeling the need to complain, you won’t feel so negative towards life.
Don’t get me wrong, shit happens. There will definitely be times when you need to have a BF with your BF. Sometimes you gotta let it out.
But, if you feel like you have to complain about every little thing that goes wrong in your day, practice holding back until it’s really something to complain about. Pick your battles.
9. Always keep an open mind
Even if you are dealing with a very irrational person, keep an open mind. You never know what people are dealing with or what they have gone through.
Stay optimistic, even when it could possibly burn you. The reason for this is you stop allowing outside things to effect you when you learn to keep an open mind.
People will definitely end up disappointing you, but giving them the benefit of the doubt means you are hopeful. And staying hopeful in life means that it doesn’t break you.
It’s so easy to become bitter and put up a wall when you get hurt. Or to think you know everything in life and that everyone will hurt you.
Practice staying open-minded and stop trying to predict the future. Let life play out as it is and learn to ride the waves.
10. Learn how to forgive as best you can
Forgiving is a bitch. Especially when it’s towards someone who doesn’t really deserve it.
The thing is, you can be the type of person you want to be. And learning to forgive allows you to let go of the pain people and life has caused you.
That doesn’t mean you have to talk to this person ever again. But, for your own wellbeing you can forgive them so that you can move on.
There is no changing other people, but you give yourself the chance for a great life when you stop living in resentment and learn to move forward.
11. Be authentic in everything you do
Being authentic means you are living your life to the absolute fullest. And that means you are living life your way. You are following your heart and going after the things you want.
That could mean giving up a job that isn’t serving you anymore. Or letting go of people in your life who suck you dry.
Learn to follow your inner compass and to listen to yourself. Because once you reach that point of being authentic, that’s where the magic happens.
That’s when you become content and happy in your life. That’s when you learn to take anything life throws at you and you throw it right back. You become at peace with things, because you’re living your life the way you need to. Instead of going down a path that sucks your soul dry.
12. Love who you are
You can’t possibly live a fulfilling life if you don’t love who you are, right now.
That means no matter what you look like or what you weigh. Or what anyone has ever said about you before.
You have to love who you are to enjoy the life you’re living. Because you can go around and do amazing in things in life, but if you’re not happy with yourself then none of that stuff matters.
Take care of yourself and practice self-care often. Do things your body loves, and eat foods that are good for you as well as the ones that make you feel good.
Treat yourself like you do your best friend, where you’re protective of others hurting her. And where you talk her up and are there for her when she needs it. Because you need it, too. And no one can be there better for you, than you.
13. Don’t hold onto beliefs so strongly that they leave you isolated and lonely
I believe in having strong beliefs in something. I’m a vegetarian, so I believe in saving animals. I have my own beliefs that I won’t budge on.
But, I don’t push those beliefs on anyone. And I don’t judge other people for eating meat. This is just a silly example. Believe in what you want, but don’t fight friends on it if it means losing them.
Unless your friend is doing something unethical, don’t let your strong beliefs isolate you from others. Work on finding even ground and challenge yourself to see things from other points of view.
14. Be open to learning new things
There is never too much to learn in life! If you can enjoy each moment you learn a new thing, life gets a whole lot more exciting.
You can even work on searching out new things to learn. Read new books or do a Google search often. Anytime you hear a word you don’t understand, Google it.
Technology is great in that way that learning can literally be at your fingertips. Open up your world a little more and always be curious to new things.
This will fill up your life in many ways and make you a very interesting person.
15. Put effort into the things that matter, and let go of the things don’t.
It’s time to start letting go of the things that don’t matter a whole lot to you, when you really think about it. We often put too much effort into things that we should actually be letting go of.
Like trying to be someone you’re not. Maybe you think you want to be someone who wakes up early and works out every day. And who eats really clean food.
Or maybe you work hard at being a perfectionist, even when it really doesn’t matter.
Think about the things that just don’t do much for your life and that you secretly don’t enjoy doing. Instead, think about the things you really want to be doing more of in your life.
Write those things down and start putting more energy into those things, and let go of all the other things that are pretty pointless.
16. Stop thinking your dreams are too big
You get one shot at this life. That means you should start following the path you want to go down.
If you have dreams that seem too far out of reach, then focus instead on changing your mindset about it.
You deserve anything you want out of life! And the only thing holding you back is you. What your mind tells you is what creates your reality. So practice changing those thoughts into your head from “that will never happen” to “I will make it happen”.
17. Stop being so hard on yourself
If you’re waking up every day and deciding to get out of bed and face another morning, you are doing enough.
It’s not always easy to get back up again. Stop thinking you need to be doing more, especially if you’re already doing plenty.
Instead of tallying up all the things you’re doing wrong, think about everything you’re working so hard at every day.
18. Always question other people’s advice
I’m not saying to never take anyone’s advice. But, always be aware of where other people are coming from.
When people give advice, they get it from their own life experiences and the mistakes they’ve made. They might not want you to make the same mistakes.
But, you’re life is unique just like theirs and the way your life turns out will be completely different from theirs. Which means taking their advice might not always be the best option.
Sometimes we all need someone else’s perspective on things, and that’s why listening to others advice is a good option. Just make sure to filter out the things that don’t necessarily apply to your life.
19. Try something new
You can quiet the anxiety inside of you by always trying new things. But, if you have anxiety then that sounds terrifying.
It’s sort of a catch-22, in that you have to get out of your comfort zone to manage your anxiety.
Work on doing something different daily, even if it’s small. Like going for a walk for 5 minutes. Or going to the grocery store alone.
Or look for a new job that forces you out of your comfort zone. Doing this often helps keep your life full and interesting.
20. Rewire your thinking
You decide what is good from bad. Your thoughts create your actions. So, if you are stuck in a cycle of negative thinking that’s preventing you from doing anything, work on rewiring your brain.
Changing the way, you look at things opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Remember, you hold your own self back. Once you stop doing that, your life will start to fill up with infinite possibilities.
21. Come to accept your past
Most people’s past isn’t pretty. We’ve lied, cheated, stole, and have been tragically hurt before.
When you decide to play along with this game called life, you are bound to get burned every once in a while.
Instead of cursing your past for not allowing you to enjoy the present, spend time leaving it behind.
Your past has made you into the person you are, no matter what you have gone through. You can work on being grateful for everything it’s taught you and make a promise to yourself to move forward from now on.
Moving on from the past isn’t always easy, especially when your brain keeps popping up with memories. It will take time, but you can definitely get there with a little practice.
22. Silence your inner critic
Have a heart to with that inner critic of yours. That one that’s been there ever since you began to have a conscience.
Tell him or her to just shut up for once. There’s no reason why you two have to be enemies. You can learn to live with your inner critic, but you don’t always have to listen to what it says.
Your inner critic can keep you aware of the reality of things. But, anytime it talks you down and tells you you’re not enough, ignore it. Talk to your inner critic as if it was a cynical best friend.
Nurture it as best you can, then work on ignoring the things that are very pointless for you to hear.
23. Learn how to build your emotional intelligence
Being more in tune with your emotions allows you to have more control over how you to react to things.
24. Find your purpose
Listen to what your intuition is telling you. If you’re ignoring how you truly feel, your anxiety can get worse over time.
Spend time figuring out what your purpose in life is. This can take time, and it’s important to pay attention to the signals and opportunities life is giving you.
Stop going along with what you think you should be doing, and start going after the things you want to be doing.
25. Don’t let bad news stop you from living your life (or stop watching the news daily)
If you’re easily frightened by watching the daily news, try to start limiting how much you watch.
Living in fear prevents you from trying new things and keeps you in a bubble. And the news you see is on the news for reason… because it’s pretty rare.
The news stations are also always looking for the craziest stories they can find, to gain attention from people. When you limit your access to the news, you won’t feel so afraid about living your life to the fullest.
26. Treat your inner child like your best friend
There is a child inside of you who needs attention from time to time. As we grow out of childhood, we begin to ignore the inner child inside of us and work on becoming responsible adults.
And for some reason as adults we think we don’t deserve much fun until all of the serious stuff is taken care of.
Ignoring your inner child is actually proven to increase anxiety levels. The fear and worry you feel can be a direct result of not filling the needs of your inner child. Focus on doing more fun things that you remember enjoying as a kid.
27. Slow down
Be intentional about slowing down during the day. We are always in a rush to get to the destination, but the journey is the best part!
Try to be more in tune with the present. If you find that you like to drive quickly and multi-task a lot, work on slowing it all down.
Pay attention to just one thing at a time instead, that way you can start to really appreciate the moment. Multi-tasking will always make you feel like you’re not doing enough.
28. Let go of looking “busy” and embrace not doing anything
Appearing busy has always been an interesting trait for people to have.
But, being busy doesn’t always mean you get more done. Some people just like to act busy so they can seem more interesting.
Instead, try to take some time during each week to do absolutely nothing. Even if it’s for 5 minutes.
Go sit outside in the sun, spend time with your family or lay down on the floor and just relax for a second.
You don’t always have to be looking “busy” to have a very fulfilling life.
29. Spend time with animals
If you like animals, that is.
I love animals, it’s why I have 3 dogs and 2 cats. They just bring a lot of fulfillment to my life.
There is nothing better than surrounding yourself with things who show you unconditional love without fail.
To feel more fulfilled in your life, spend more time around animals. Some people enjoy the calm presence of horses, while others love the energy of dogs.
30. Laugh Often. Daily… and honestly
Last, but not least, don’t forget to laugh.
Whenever you have the chance, laugh at things. Even if it’s a frustrating situation. Try not to take everything so seriously.
You’ll always have days where you don’t feel your best and laughing might not always feel possible.
But, even if you laugh only once a day then it’s been a day well spent. Laugh with your friends, family, and significant other.
Laughing means you’re enjoying the moment and your life. It allows you to release all the tension built up.
Did you enjoy this article or have questions? Leave them in the comments below!