How is it that some people seem to have more Aliveness, Joy and Vitality than others? Can you create it, or develop it in your life? Does it equate to being happier or more fulfilled?
I had a conversation with some girlfriends recently about getting older and not wanting to lose that aliveness and vitality that we have all experienced to varying degrees in our lives (and remembered most vividly from our youth!) We were wondering how it is that some people can remain vital and joyful into their older age when others become bitter and depressed, or ‘old before their time’.
Want to feel more Alive?...
1. Use your body: Working with the body is the key to opening up to ‘aliveness’ and freeing your body from being ‘stuck’ and stagnant. Whether it’s yoga or tennis, walking or even gardening, the experience of being connected and alive comes from being and doing. Using your body invigorates the ‘aliveness’ and vitality you will feel.
2. Get up and Dance: By using our bodies in a rhythmic and synchronized way becoming connected with another when dancing, the benefits to aliveness are enormous. The effects from being and doing, and connecting with another or others through dance is more powerful and uplifting than just talking about it and approaching it from a thinking perspective. Try turning up that favourite playlist and jiggle around while you are cooking the dinner, check out your local area for fun dance groups or take dance classes if you prefer more structure and guidance. Whatever way you get your body rhythmically moving, you will generate more ‘aliveness’, more happy endorphins will flood your body and your joy and vitality will soar.
3. Contribute & Connect: Some people aren’t able to use their body as they would like but they are not necessarily excluded from retaining or reconnecting with their Aliveness and Vitality.
Dr Steven Hayes, Psychology Professor at the University of Nevada and founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) said recently,
“If you are actively contributing, pursuing, creating, connecting, if you are sharing your loving, your supporting and helping, depression is just not what’s in front of you.” Some people find volunteering a way to connect and contribute, creating happiness for others giving them a sense of joy and ‘aliveness’.
Check out the opportunities at volunteeringaustralia.org to give to your community or a cause that is close to your heart. The connection and contribution you make will increase your Vitality, Joy and Aliveness, help to ward off those low feelings and age with grace.
Dr Steven Hayes said “People who age with grace learn how to take what they have and pour their caring into that. And that flexibility is, I think, what we need to foster to keep people from losing contact with their birthright really, which is to be alive.”
Of course, it is not something confined to ageing, there are plenty of people of all ages who don’t appear to have an ‘aliveness’ going on. This state is often synonymous with low feelings, sometimes mild or chronic depression. It can be a ‘Catch-22” if you’re feeling low or depressed, to get yourself motivated and your body moving, but we can create and develop Aliveness, Joy and Vitality in our lives at any age. As Hayes says, “If you are waiting for yourself to feel good before you can live well, you might wait for the rest of your life.”
My mum used to say “You’ll never be this young again!” so to grow that Joy and Vitality in your life, it might be time to turn up the music and dance!
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Vanessa Steele: counsellor, mum, partner, blogger... listening and learning every day.