Living a truly authentic life means living a life that feels fulfilling at your very core.
But what does it really mean? What does daily life look like for someone who lives with authenticity at the forefront of everything?
Well, it’s all about what makes you happy and what activities in life bring you joy. And, naturally, what doesn’t!
Think you’re living an authentic life? Check out these 9 things that you’ll find happiness in if you live with true authenticity.
1) Chatting and laughing with friends about nothing in particular
There’s a great quote that goes something like:
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people”
Now I’m not saying that people who discuss people have a small mind, but the quote can certainly apply to your levels of authenticity.
When you live an authentic life, you generally opt against judging others for their life choices.
You’re true to yourself, but you’re also open-minded and carefree about what other people choose to do.
For you, your idea of a “good time” is hanging out with your friends, catching up on each other’s lives, supporting each other, and laughing about nothing in particular.
It’s not generally about gossiping, sharing the latest drama you’ve heard about people you know, or judging everyone else in the room around you.
2) Cuddling a loved one
According to experts, touch is the first sensation we learn – before we even learn to see. Therefore, it can incite one of the most powerful emotions within us: Love.
Studies have found that cuddling with a loved one releases oxytocin (also known as the love hormone) which makes us feel calm, happy, and bonded to the people around us.
If cuddling fills you with joy, you’re probably known as the “hugger” out of your friends. You’re always hugging people hello and squeezing them goodbye.
If you have a partner, nothing makes you feel safer and more in love than being in their arms.
Being so in touch (pardon the pun) with something as natural as physical intimacy is a clear sign that you’re living an authentic life.
3) Listening to the birds tweeting in the AM
When you live a truly authentic life, it’s the simple, most natural things about the world that make you happy.
For you, the birds tweeting outside your window in the morning is the perfect way to wake up. In fact, it can even send you back to sleep with a smile on your face the moment you hear it.
I remember an ex-boyfriend of mine was forever complaining about the birds tweeting outside his window before his alarm went off in the morning.
He said it was so constant and high-pitched and just downright annoying that it grated on him.
I remember saying I thought it was nice, like you’re waking up outdoors when the rest of nature wakes up.
He didn’t agree.
But he also preferred spending his spare time watching TV, rather than any time outdoors or under the sun (each to their own).
But if you instead find the sound of the birds tweeting relaxing, calming, and good for the soul, you’re living a truly authentic life.
4) Talking to elderly people
Older people have lived many, many years on Earth.
And it’s easy for some people to forget that they were young once – and have experienced many feelings we have and more.
It wasn’t until my Grandad was living his final years that I learned just how much he’d gone through in his life.
From serving in a war and losing his wife young to attending the many, many funerals of friends, brothers, sisters, and everyone else he’d known over the years.
The older I got, the more I wanted to hear him tell his (very fascinating and sometimes very heartbreaking) life stories.
My brother, on the other hand, couldn’t stand listening to his stories of days passed. He found it boring and always joked that Grandad was “living in yester-year”.
Granted he was younger back then, so I’ll cut him some slack.
But when you live an authentic life, you can see the value in talking to older people.
You know that for them, speaking to young people and sharing their life’s lessons gives meaning to their lives and experiences.
5) Feeling the sun on your skin
Feeling happy under the sun isn’t just a personal preference, it’s a pre-determined part of our lives.
However, despite what goes on in your body when the sun hits your skin, some people don’t feel the same joy when laying in the sun.
Some are not so connected to their bodies and find horror in being warm.
These same people are full of complaints in summer that it’s “too hot” or “too bright” – rather than appreciating the beauty of the warmth.
6) Letting your creative side out
As kids, most of us would have found joy and happiness in doing something creative.
Whether that was painting, dancing, writing, singing, listening to music, or playing an instrument – “playtime” was something fun and important to us.
But when we “grow up”, many people lose touch with their natural creativity. It (understandably) gets lost in the piles of adult responsibilities, emotions, and daily tasks.
And yet there are so many studies that prove getting creative as an adult is immensely beneficial for our physical and mental health. It can develop brain function, build social skills, reduce stress, and boost overall feelings of happiness.
When you live a truly authentic life, you always manage to hold on to your creative side.
Doing something artistic brings you so much joy, and you always make time for it in your life.
7) Self-reflection and self-development
When you live a truly authentic life, you have a great sense of self-awareness. To you, nothing feels better than spending time looking after yourself.
When you imagine a perfect life, you see a life that involves continuous improvement, growing, reflecting, and being kind to yourself as you navigate your way through life.
It’s a sad truth that some people despise the idea of engaging in self-reflection.
Being reflective requires self-insight, which can be uncomfortable for some people. So they prefer running from themselves rather than seeking to understand who they are.
But when you live an authentic life, you love the idea of engaging in self-reflection.
Reading a self-development book and taking time to journal your goals fills you with excitement and anticipation at what you might uncover about yourself.
8) Sitting in silence sometimes
There’s no need to live your life like a Monk sworn to silence to be considered authentic.
But there’s something about being comfortable with the quiet that promotes a more authentic life.
Sure, listening to music, reading a book, or playing an Audiobook has its benefits for your brain (and life). But it does fill your brain with noise, chatter, and activity.
And when the noise stops, that’s when your brain steps in and takes over. Some people can’t stand sitting in silence.
It makes them uncomfortable to sit with their own thoughts, so they’d rather fill every moment with something.
When you leave the dinner table, they’ll immediately sit on their phone until you return. After a TV show finishes, they’ll jump to scrolling on social media to fill the silence.
But when you live an authentic life, you don’t mind embracing silence.
For you, it feels peaceful and rejuvenating. It gives you time and space to connect with yourself, determine how you feel, and remember what’s important to you.
9) Being vulnerable with people you trust
Many people fear vulnerability – and for good reason. Being vulnerable feels, well vulnerable. And it’s not an emotion many people can sit in comfortably.
But there’s nothing more authentic and genuine than a person being truly vulnerable with people they meet.
Staying true to how you feel and speaking your truth, without worrying about what people may think of you, takes true strength and bravery.
Of course, there’s no need to be vulnerable with everyone you meet to be considered authentic.
As experts suggest, being vulnerable is something many of us instinctively fear. It makes us feel exposed and open to judgment.
But with people you trust, or people you want to trust and gain the trust of, being there’s no better way to show your authenticity than by showing them your vulnerable side.
Living a truly authentic life isn’t easy at first.
It takes time and self-reflection to understand what truly makes you feel happy and fulfilled.
It also takes a ton of practice to live in a way that ensures your needs are met, without compromising on your values.
But once you’ve cracked the code of how to live an authentic life, everything you do comes easy to you.
Life feels simpler and full of unwavering joy – and it’s truly something special!