What Makes You Feel Alive?

“Many people are alive, but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Think back and reflect on all that you’ve done today, perhaps not just in the past day, but in the past week, or the past month even. What events or experiences that you’ve had stand out significantly over that period of time for you? It’s absolutely going to be different for every individual, and no matter what experiences we decide are valuable to us, we’re able to genuinely say there was a time where we enjoyed breathing air and basking in the extraordinary, yet subtle awe of simply being alive. Whether you’ve felt there was something you’ve experienced that you mildly appreciated, or another occurrence that had left you bewildered, there are times in our lives that we think back to which substantiate the idea that there was a significant event that enriched our own experiences of being alive.

Whether it’s that first sip of coffee in the morning, or the memory of overlooking the vastness of the sea on a quiet breezy afternoon, there’s small moments in life that somehow strike us in the most astounding and even somewhat startling ways. I sometimes have to mentally take a step back from living within certain moments just to conceptualize the overwhelming astonishment of either happiness or contentment any given situation may bring to me. It’s often unpredictable in nature for me, but I can honestly say there have been a substantial multitude of memorable experiences and occasions that continue to bewilder me even today as I reminisce.

Lately I’ve been working diligently on a new cognitive strategy to make sure that I am present in all that I do throughout my day-to-day activities. For example, when I’m at work, I keep my full focus on my work, or when I’m messaging or calling anyone, I give them my full attention and stay present in the conversation. Also when I’m traveling, I maintain complete interest and take the time to absorb and truly appreciate the moments and experiences I find myself in. It’s incredibly gratifying to be where you are and experience your life in depth as you go along, in contrast to constantly worrying about what events will be happening later, or ruminating too much about being somewhere else. Not to say daydreaming or longing to be at the beach or something isn’t refreshing and motivating, but personally I’ve found it to be quite beneficial for both my mental health and overall emotional contentment to “live in the moment”, and to live my life in search of those moments that make me feel alive.

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