Thriving: How To Live An Authentic Life Where You Flourish

Terri Kozlowski
Are you living a flourishing life? You're supposed to be. If you're not, here are 6 activities you can add to your life to help you thrive.~ Terri Kozlowski

What does your ideal life look like? Imagine it in your mind’s eye. Of course, you would have authentic relationships with those you love. Your mind, body, and spirit would be healthy. You would believe in yourself and your abilities. Adhering to your values is important to you. What you are imagining is your life flourishing.

Living the so-called good life, which reflects your holistic perspective, is what I mean by flourishing. To make you feel content and whole encompasses many things, including your emotions, your soulful thoughts, and the activities that inspire you.

When looking at plants, some easily flourish with just sunlight, like a succulent. While other plants that get the same sunlight do well but don’t thrive. Feeling content or being healthy does not imply that you are happy. This illustration shows that everyone can thrive given enough time and effort.

So what aspects of your life help you live a flourishing life? Having more positive emotions than negative ones. Being mentally and physically healthy is important. Feeling you have a purpose that comes from being fulfilled. Having a trusted tribe of authentic relationships is vital. And, of course, being authentic while bettering yourself is important to flourish.

Our souls cannot be forced to grow, but like flowers, our spiritual selves can be nurtured until they blossom and flourish. ~ James Van Praagh

Conduits To Flourishing

There are many dimensions to living a life that flourishes. Your family is one aspect. Higher life satisfaction, greater physical and mental health, and a reduction in loneliness are linked to marriage. On the other hand, divorce (living through a divorce) is linked to worsened mental and physical health, lower levels of fun and more stress, and deteriorated ties between children and parents. Therefore, flourishing can result from being in a fulfilling, committed romantic relationship

Greater happiness, stronger marriage, familial ties, and better mental and physical health are all characteristics of people who enjoy their work. Even though there has been little scientific study on the relationship between work and finding meaning and purpose in life, I believe that engaging work is one area that might promote this component of thriving.

Having a growth mindset predicts higher levels of life satisfaction. Why? Because the more you learn, the higher income you can generate and the more fulfilled you feel. Learning also helps you build your character and gives you a better perspective on life circumstances.

So, did you notice that two of the three conduits for flourishing involve others? Many studies have shown how important relationships are to your happiness and well-being. By fostering more authentic connections and removing the relationships that are detrimental to your emotional health, you practice cultivating positive relationships at work and home.

Flourishing is not a solo endeavor. ~ Barbara Fredrickson

Six Activities To Help You Flourish

To help you have a flourishing life, you can add the following activities to your routine.

1. Be grateful.

It's tough to stay away from negative feelings because your brain is wired to see the potential dangers in life. However, balancing things out with uplifting interactions can have a significant impact. According to John Gottman, Ph.D., there should be five happy feelings for every unpleasant experience. This might involve engaging in acts of appreciation or self-compassion, doing something you enjoy, or even simply attempting to pay attention to the good feelings you're experiencing. You can do this by incorporating a gratitude journal practice.

2. Learn to savor life.

One may savor great experiences by reflecting on pleasant incidents, sharing or celebrating something wonderful with others, and paying closer attention to positive emotional experiences, besides how one loves the flavor of a meal. They have shown that these exercises increase your contentment with life. Another way to flourish is to be absorbed in an activity for its own purpose. Or in other words, to be in flow. Find activities you excel at and love, and indulge in them frequently.

Creative ideas flourish best in a shop that preserves some spirit of fun. ~ Leo Burnett

3. Imagine your best life.

Happiness, life satisfaction, and optimism are key components of flourishing and increase when you envision your ideal existence or the greatest potential version of yourself in the future. Find out what flourishing means to you. Think about your inner strengths and attributes and then think about what you can do to enhance them and show off your best self. Work out what's essential to you and how you might add more of it to your life. According to research, thriving individuals often have a clear sense of who they are, what they want to accomplish, and where they want to go. They also establish goals and create plans.

4. Have a positive mindset.

Flourishing is most influenced by optimistic thinking, which is curiously much more apparent than you may realize. People who have upbeat, realistic views smile more and feel more pleasant feelings. And people who feel more positive emotions are more loved by other people. Optimism adds to attractiveness since your ideas affect your behaviors and emotions, including how you look. The good news is that if you're not naturally optimistic, you can learn to be. So, remain optimistic and maintain your focus on doing what you need to do to thrive. This thought process also means that striving for success rather than waiting for a reward is a crucial component of flourishing. Work toward a goal where the only reward is the achievement itself, and watch how much it improves your mood.

Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible… ~ Virginia Satir

5. Be kind.

Meaning ties you to your larger purpose and offers you a sense of belonging. Taking part in a spiritual practice that speaks to you, giving your time to a cause or charity you support, and making positive changes, no matter how tiny, in your small corner of the globe are all easy ways to find greater meaning in your life. Being nice and helpful to others has a favorable impact on a variety of components of thriving, including happiness. Similar to random acts of kindness, volunteering may make you happier, more fulfilled, and more connected to others.

6. Align with Spirit.

Do everything you can to build and then promote a feeling of purpose and meaning in your life. This may take many forms. Everyone experiences emotional benefits from discovering some type of spirituality or greater purpose in their lives, even though not everyone opts to lead a strictly religious life. Finding a means to think that life is more than just yourself and that there is more to it than just a list of daily responsibilities might be all that is required of you. It could entail engaging in mindfulness activities like meditation, appreciation, and thankfulness exercises. Or perhaps you just need to spend some time outside admiring nature's wonders. Whatever method you use, your quest for spirituality will almost surely result in feelings of serenity and other satisfying sensations. And through these, joy and beauty shall emanate.

Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep anything flourishing and growing. ~ Jim Rohn

Moving Forward Flourishing

Although each person's definition of what defines flourishing may be different, the fundamental principles are the same. It's essential to create a life filled with more feelings of abundance, involvement, authentic connections, significance, and accomplishments. Keep in mind that thriving might take some time. However, you may start blooming a bit more by making little daily changes.

To flourish, we must engage with the people in our lives. Together is better. Together is how we win. ― Laurie Buchanan, PhD

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Native American Terri Kozlowski has a BS in social science, certified life coach, blogger, author of "Raven Transcending Fear," & host of the Soul Solutions podcast. She specializes in empowering people to overcome their fears and limiting beliefs.

Woodstock, GA

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