Stress is killing us, slowly or otherwise. It’s not that we have too little of something or so much of it that we have forgotten its value, it’s the strain of wanting more, of feeling burdened, and sensing that life is forever incomplete. As a species, we seem to be more inclined to get bored with life than we are to find joy in it. It all boils down to one thing, and it’s not lack of control, but rather a lack of true awareness. Enter conscious living, a means by which we learn to be in the present, much like a curious observer instead of a compulsive slave.

The only other time we were free with our consciousness was when we were children before realizations and half-truths took over our minds, and made us indebted to the system. As infants, we found everything fresh and tangible, exciting even, except for the occasional hurt or hunger that made us bawl until our parents crawled out of bed in the wee hours to placate us.

This is life, get over it.

No, really, let’s get over this thing called life. Growing up, we learn that we are in a society where work equals reward – and even then, you will need to fight to keep hold of your earnings. There’s nothing wrong with that, except for a coarse thread of corruption prevalent in society. At today’s pace, not to forget cost of living, we are hard-pressed to stop even for a few minutes to think, quietly, alone.

A distraction comes along before we can blink thrice.

What are some of the things that we can actually do in order to gradually train ourselves to think, feel, and eventually Live Consciously? Let’s dive right into some of the most actionable methods. Inspiration for the following points came from TheConsciousLife website.

1. Face your fears

This is one of the most crucial deeds you can commit to. Fear, not hate, is the enemy; to paraphrase Gandhi. However, Wayne Dyer (motivational speaker and American philosopher) said it best, “Practice observing your fears as a witness, and you'll see them dissolve.” Think on these words, because the key to conquering your fear rests in an almost childlike habit to look at what scares you as if it has little or nothing to do with you.

Results might be varied and far apart, but so far, truly understanding Dyer’s take on tackling fear seems to have every chance of providing advantages and boons – as opposed to you sitting there, doing nothing about it. Observation leads to understanding, which leads to recognition. This will prepare you to face your fears better the next time they show up.

Quote for the point: “Be patient and loving with every fearful thought. Practice observing your fears as a witness, and you'll see them dissolve” – Wayne Dyer.

2: Be spontaneous

There is a distinct difference between spontaneity and impulsiveness. Making calm, informed decisions on the spot is one way to go with life’s flow. Contrarily, making rash decisions in an emotional state of mind can lead to all sorts of inerasable trouble.

Spontaneity is a trick you play on yourself. By doing something that you feel is useful without giving your brain too long to think things through, you often end up performing the right actions for various circumstances. You are essentially not over-thinking things and exaggerating facts in your mind, but are instead, responding to the situation in the blink of an eye.

Quote for the point: “Humour is a spontaneous, wonderful bit of an outburst that just comes. It's unbridled, its unplanned, it's full of surprises” – Erma Bombeck.

3: You are not a robot

An organic robot, maybe. An evolved natural machine, perhaps. But a mindless emotionless robot, that’s so not you. If you believe that shutting down your emotions to appear strong and leonine is a power statement, you are doing it wrong.

Some people can laugh out loud and prove their dominance without the need to behave robotically. A robot-human is a fearful human, who responds to worrisome scenarios with blind rote and aimless anxiety. This means they go about life trying to resolve the problem before even trying to understand it. Feel the situation, think clearly and calmly about it, let it stew in your head and heart for a while without agitating you – be an observer. Robots are often so busy trying to get from point A to point B that they leave themselves only a narrow opening to adapt to the problem at hand; they can't even fathom the meaning of meditation.

Quote for the point: “Old robots are becoming more human and young humans are becoming more like robots” – Lorin Morgan-Richards, “The Goodbye Family Unveiled (2017).”

4: Don’t be judgy

While your own mood is elevated and you are feeling all kinds of energetic and confident, you might assume that judging the lifestyles of others is your God-given duty.

However, you yourself will hate to have people kick you when you’re down. Labels and stereotypes have their uses, honestly they do, but they also have severe limits. There’s more to a person than meets the eye. People are highly complex, almost like tiny universes drifting about in a vulnerable organic shell, and bumping into each other along the way. Judging someone using strictly finite ideas wastes your own time, attracts harsh judgement to you in turn, and does nothing to help the person whom you are judging. The futility of this move is self-evident.

Quote for the point: “Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I'm not perfect, and I don't live to be, but before you start pointing fingers make sure you hands are clean” – Bob Marley.

5: Look within

Admittedly, outside circumstances can and will affect or influence you. For example, a train roaring in your direction, a knife flying through the air with you at the receiving end, or a sinister hissing sound in your flowerbed. These instances evoke a visceral response in you, proving beyond a doubt that you need to pay attention to what’s happening around you if you are to survive at all. While this is not being denied, there is one other path to life – a parallel mode of living that you also need to nurture. The manner in which, say, three people respond to the same stimuli will be decisively different. This behavioural variation proves that each of those three people is probably thinking very different thoughts on how to address the same circumstance.

This "looking within" is what you need to focus on. It’s a way of thinking that can be reprogrammed without limit.

Quote for the point: “There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself” – Miyamoto Musashi, “The Book of Five Rings (circa 1645 A.D.).”

6: Choose your energy

Everything is energy, in one form or another. You do not need to be a New-Ager or someone vested in occultism or esoterica to understand what energy actually means. You can smile, shake a person’s hand, make a rude gesture, frown, or even grit your teeth and you will have spent a type of energy doing each.

By choosing to invest your thoughts and sentiments on all the right actions, people, decisions, and desires, you can iron out the wrinkles on your blanket and make your time in this life warmer and definitely more comfortable.

Quote for the point: “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration” – Nikola Tesla.