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  • Writer's pictureBarbara J MacFarlane, MD

The Living Well Life.

A life of living well has always been defined to be both virtuous as well as monetarily comfortable. How to acheive that has always had different philosophies of approach.

Approach through happiness.

Many philosophers feel the avenue to living well is through happiness. Aristotle felt that happiness was the basis of a good life. He even wrote that "Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existance". Other philosophers did not focus as much on happiness but instead focused more on the depth of living. German Martin Heidegger felt that you needed to live authentically and be in charge of directing your own life to have a well lived life.

Good tips for any the day to bring you happiness if it seems to be missing, is to start by offering words of support to someone else or doing something kind for someone. These simple acts are often what brings us the most happiness and also changes us for being unhappy to happy. It combines being authentic and in charge of your own life with being happy - the essence of living well. Life coach Tom Casano said it well in his article:

Mindful approach.

Instead of just focusing on happiness, others thought that a component of freedom and the ability to be unencumbred by anything that had occurred during the day is the approach to take. The Frenchman Jean-Paul Sartre felt freedom is the highest goal to aspire to. His countryman Albert Camus however felt overthinking could make you miss the essence of the moment and therefore also the opportunity of living well. Overthinking is actually just lack of freedom from your thoughts. Overthinking and being encumbered by it is the norm often of today's living. Here are some tips to help you not overthink:

Friendship as basis.

We all know on some level that friendships are truely a basis of much happiness, an avenue for being authentic and can give you the freedom of not being tied to doldrums of your own day. Such a template for living well. Friends help you improve your sense of well being by giving you a sense of belonging and purpose. As always with the happiness you gain with friendships, you also have less stress. Having friends boost your self-confidence and your self-worth. They help you through life changes that we all have and can push you to attend to your own well- being by exercising and eating well. Friends come in all types but knowing what types that are important to have can help you to live well. Look at these types of important friends:

The living well life has many components. Focusing on the quality of living well is an approach to life we all need. What are your tips for that day you are feeling a little less excited or a bit down? For me it's putting on a favorite outfit, perhaps with a sense of extra style, being especially kind to someone you interact with early in the day and doing something extra special for someone. How about you?


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