10 Ways to Start Consciously Living

In this Article


To begin consciously living is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

It brings so many positives to your life: you become more self-aware and able to connect deeper with others. You’ll start making better decisions both for you and the planet, and you’ll be less stressed or overwhelmed and have more space for joy. 

If you’re wondering what it means to live consciously, the gist is that you live with a heightened sense of intention and awareness of the impact of every action– not only environmentally but also impact on yourself and the people around you.

You can read all about conscious living and the benefits that it brings here.  

Consciously living doesn’t have to be complicated, actually, it should be far from it. Living life consciously is very intuitive– once you rewrite the unconscious habits that you have developed, they will come naturally.

You’ll start applying the characteristics of conscious living to other aspects of your life, like travel and style, without even thinking about it. 

Here are 10 tips for conscious living that will help you get started: 

Strengthen Your Mind-Body Connection

The first thing to shift into living consciously is to bring consciousness to our mind and body. We often think of these two things as separate entities. However, we’re starting to understand that they are very much connected. This is something that ancient cultures understood, but we lost sight of in recent times. 

If this is the first time you’re hearing about the mind-body connection, it might seem a little weird but it’s actually pretty straightforward.

Think about how your mind feels after a great workout. It’s normally clear and alert, this isn’t coincidental it’s the mind-body connection.  

By strengthening our mind-body connection we become more aware of how our actions affect both the way that our mind and bodies feel.

Having this deeper understanding of our mind and body, we can make conscious decisions to ensure we’re making them feel good. 

In my personal experience, when I started living life more consciously, I got into yoga and I was surprised by my mind-body connection in regard to the food I ate.

Before bringing awareness to how what I ate affected my mind, I ate whatever I wanted to based purely on enjoyment. While I was happy eating the food, I was often tired after eating, even lethargic after. I was living most of my days with major brain fog. 

When I became aware that this could be happening because of the food I was eating, I switched to a plant-based, whole foods diet.

I tried to cut out as much as possible and sort of processed foods. After the first couple of days of my body adjusting to my new diet, I had so much energy. Even after eating, my mind was clear. I stopped needing naps, and my skin started glowing. I was shocked

How to Strengthen your Mind-Body Connection:

There are many ways to strengthen the connection between your mind and body but a few of my favorites are: 

  • Practice Yoga

  • Meditation

  • Dance

  • Tai chi

  • Hypnosis

Take Yourself on Dates

If the thought of going out to dinner, or to a movie by yourself makes you feel uncomfortable, ask yourself why that is. 

Is it because you’re afraid to be alone with your thoughts or you’re afraid of being judged? Whatever the deeper reason behind it, try to work through that by getting out there and doing things alone. 

This not only makes you more independent– it gives you a deeper understanding of who you are and what you value. When there’s no one else coming you don’t have to compromise on where you go or what you do. Every decision is up to you. 

Maybe you’ll find that you love going to museums alone because without having to talk with someone, you’re able to deeper connect with the art, or that you enjoy sitting in the park reading alone. 

I was pushed to do this when reading the Artist’s Way– and have been doing one “artist’s date almost every week since.

At first, it was uncomfortable to go to the movies alone or to sign up for a workshop by myself, but now I love this time I get to spend with myself exploring my interests and passions. I have a better understanding of who I am and what I truly enjoy. 

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Create Mindful To-do’s/Monotask

We’ve all been guilty of over-stuffing our to-do list at one point or another. It feels great when you’re writing it that good feeling often turns to anxiety or disappointment. 

When we are mindful about what we put on our to-do lists we can feel good about what we’ve accomplished in the day, rather than focusing on what we didn’t do. 

There’s a lot of different advice about how to create better to-do lists, some people say to pick 3 things, others say to rank them in order of importance. What I’ve found to work is not limiting it to a number of tasks, but rather being conscious of how much time I have to spend on something.

For example, for writing this article I’ve set aside 2 hours today. That means if I have six hours of total work time, ⅓ of it’s going to be used by writing this. The other 4 hours will get split for other tasks. 

By bringing some attention to how long things normally take, you won’t ever overstuff your to-do list again.

Try this by writing your to-do list like usual, then go back and guess realistically how long something will take you to complete. Add up all the time, and see if that aligns with how much time you actually have today. 

When I first started doing this, I was putting so many tasks on my list that I would have been working for over 12 hours on them. 

When you’re making sure that everything on your to-do list has an allocated amount of time, you don’t feel pressured to try to multitask to squeeze more things in. 

This invites another element of conscious living into your day, mono-tasking. This means that you focus only on one thing at a time.

When you monotask you are fully emersed and present in the moment, which is a key aspect of conscious living. Your work will be better and you’ll get into the flow state more often, so in the long run, you’ll actually be more productive. 

Embrace Silence

Raise your hand if you feel pressure to fill the silence.

This could mean in conversations feeling the need to respond right away, or when you’re alone filling the silence by keeping music or TV on in the background to drown out your thoughts. 

Silence is powerful.

It gives us a moment to notice our thoughts. I say notice them rather than listen to them because we don’t have to always agree with our thoughts. We simply need to notice them and then consciously decide if we agree or if it serves us.

The only time we can do this is if we are silent long enough to notice what comes to mind, and then adjust accordingly. 

This is why people who feel the need to respond immediately often put their foot in their mouth.

When we take a moment to bring consciousness to the situation, we can align our thoughts and feelings to communicate in a more authentic way.  

Embrace Stillness

When was the last time you sat in the park and did nothing? Not read, not listen to music, just sat there and observed? 

If it’s been a while since you’ve done that, or you’ve never, I challenge you to try it out. You’ll be amazed at what you start to notice. The shape of the leaves on the tree, the different bird calls, how people interact with one another and so much more. 

In Italian, this is called Il Dolce Far Niente, which means the sweetness of doing nothing. When we do nothing we are able to be aware not only of our surroundings but also of ourselves.

Stillness brings the ultimate form of simplicity to life, which reminds us that we don’t need to do anything or be anything to be worthy of living, it reminds us that we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves. 

Take note of the waste you create

For one whole day, pay attention to everything that you throw away. We often just mindlessly toss things into the trash. We’re so disconnected from it that we don’t even realize that we’re creating waste. 

By listing down everything you’ve thrown away you’ll be fully aware of your daily impact. Which is key to minimizing it in the future. 

This exercise is really enlightening. I used to think, “oh I don’t create that much waste, I am a pretty eco-conscious person.” Then I wrote down everything that creates waste in my life for a day and I was pretty blown away. 

From food wrapped in plastic that we don’t think twice about to the little plastic piece that attaches a price tag to an item at the store.

When we start to become conscious of how much waste we are creating in our daily lives, it’s easy to start cutting back or finding alternative solutions that cause less waste.

Bring Awareness to How You spend your time

Similar to our waste, we tend to be pretty unaware of how much time we are spending on different things throughout the day.

We might not think that we spend too much time on social media, but when we check the screen time tracker we could be surprised to find that we’re spending 2–3 hours a day on our phones.

It’s the same with every area of our life. How much time do we spend doing things for ourselves vs. for others? How much time do we spend taking care of ourselves vs. binge-watching Netflix? 

When we bring awareness to how we spend our time we can be more intentional with our time. We give ourselves the opportunity to consciously decide what we want to do, rather than mindlessly scrolling on Instagram or falling down the rabbit hole of youtube videos. 

Spend one day tracking your time– and ask yourself if you spent your time like this every day for the next year and if you would be happy with your life. If the answer is no, adjust accordingly. 

Intentionally consume

Are you making conscious decisions about what you consume (I’m talking about both media and food)

Why do you eat what you eat? Why do you follow the people you follow on social media? 

Often times we’re not really thinking past surface level about what we consume, maybe you eat something because it’s there or you’re bored, but are you going to feel good after the 10 minutes of pleasure? 

It’s the same with the media we consume. Do the people you follow on Instagram inspire you or lift you up? Or do they make you feel inadequate?

There’s nothing wrong with eating something for pleasure or watching a movie that isn’t going to inspire you artistically– as long as you’re conscious about why you’re consuming. 

For one day notice every decision that you make in regards to consumption. Ask yourself why you’re doing each of these things. Why do you eat what you eat for breakfast? Why are you scrolling Instagram in bed in the morning?

This will bring awareness to all the unconscious behaviors that we have around consuming, so you can practice being more mindful of what you consume.

Practice Letting Go

What are you holding onto that you don’t need to be? Is there something in your past that you keep replaying in your head? If you have something that came to mind, it’s time to consciously let it go. 

Living consciously means that we live in the present moment, so holding onto things would be holding us back from fully being in the here and now. 

To let go all you need to do is decide that you are going to let go. That you are no longer going to let whatever it is festering in your mind take you away from the current moment. Then whenever it comes back to mind (because it will) you just acknowledge it and let it go again. 

After a couple of times of doing this you’ll be surprised that something that used to weigh on you often, you barely think about now. It’s a very freeing feeling that grounds you in the present moment. 

End Each Day with Gratitude

The last tip for living consciously is to end each day with gratitude. This builds off of the previous tip of letting things go.

When you give yourself the space to reflect on your day and find what you’re grateful for, you’re also giving yourself closure from the day. 

Both the good and the bad, you’re bringing your awareness to them and thanking them for what they taught you, and then letting them go. 

Practicing gratitude is also a great way to bring conscious awareness to all the good that happens in your life.

Since we are hardwired as humans to notice threats or dangers first we are often noticing the not-so-great things, but when we mindfully stop and take a minute to think we can find the good. 

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