To Do: Live Your Life

From time to time it is important to look at the places in our lives that are dead or dying and bring new life to them. Do you feel fully alive most of the time? Or do you sometimes feel sluggish and paralyzed, unable to move towards your goals, unable to really connect with other people, unwilling to take risks or face your fears?

It’s time to live your life, to be more lively. There are many ways to live your life more fully, including:

  • Be more physically alive. Use your body with energy and treat it with kindness and respect. Get up off the couch and move. Dance, run, breathe.
  • Be more intellectually alive. Be more curious about the world. Learn things that you didn’t know before. Find good books to read. Pay attention to the complexity of social problems facing our world.
  • Be more emotionally alive. Laugh. Cry. Express your feelings when you have them. Help the emotions to move through you instead of staying stuck.
  • Be more politically alive. Take action to change the world. Vote. Try to understand your political opponents and work with them towards common goals. Speak out against injustice.
  • Be more spiritually alive. Engage with the holy and elevate the mundane. Pray or meditate. Set aside time to focus on rest, on family, on community, on the meaning of life. Connect with your religious or spiritual community.
  • Be more alive in your relationships. Set aside any unimportant conflicts you have with loved ones over and over. Get whatever help you need to deal with the important conflicts (couples therapy, support from a domestic violence agency, etc.). Look for new things to appreciate about your partner, your parents, your family, your friends, your children. Express your appreciation for others. Be assertive with others.

One more thought about liveliness and how it relates to psychotherapy: Therapy should not be boring. It should not make you feel sluggish. Psychotherapy should be lively and interesting. It should spark your curiosity and help you express your feelings. Therapy should even be fun sometimes. If you are looking for a therapist, find one who makes you feel more alive.

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