These days, feeling good goes hand in hand with a clean lifestyle, i.e. one that’s balanced, altruistic and principled. Beyond living healthily, clean living is about working on yourself – physically and spiritually as well as emotionally. Here are five practices to embrace for total fulfilment.
What is clean life?
After healthy living which focussed mainly on the body, clean living encompasses the body and mind. Clean living is about living in line with your convictions, applied to your behaviour as a consumer and also to your lifestyle: simpler, slower, more respectful, more eco-friendly. A mixture of slow life and Lagöm (the lifestyle based on the concept of “neither too much, nor too little” and the right balance). This includes what you eat, and also where you buy it and how you eat it, for example. Clean living is about having less of an impact on the planet while optimising your wellbeing and personal development by gravitating towards values of solidarity, gratefulness and altruism while putting optimism and zen in your daily life.
Put the miracle morning approach into practice
This technique born out of the eponymous book consists of getting up earlier in the morning to carve out some time for yourself – really for yourself. Not for tidying the house or getting some ironing done, but for engaging in a fulfilling activity like meditation, writing, reading or sport. Despite the hour of “lost” sleep, it leaves you less tired and happier. A concept viewed with scepticism by the sleep-deprived, but one which has quickly won over hundreds of devotees! Because this morning habit calls for a general overhaul of your daily checks and balances. It also implies going to bed earlier, and cutting down on screen time or time spent on social media in favour of more satisfying activities.
Feel gratitude and appreciate good luck
Gratitude is about showing that you’re thankful to life for all that you have, and cultivating contentment. By extension, this epiphany as to how lucky you are expels feelings of envy and jealousy as well as rumination. To get there, you need do nothing more than take stock, every morning, of your own blessings and the positive aspects of your life or your day. That way, you leave the house full of optimism and change your perspective on the world. This is a way of seeing “the glass half full”. Rather than trying to optimise a situation which is not perfect, you gather everything in your life which is completely positive. You realise that life is full of small mercies if you take the time to look more closely. From things as simple as “I’m in good health” to “what a beautiful sunset I saw tonight” to ” how lucky I am to know this person”. How lucky you are!
Put the eco-friendly approach into practice
Clean living presupposes being consistent with the eco-friendly meaning of the word clean, i.e. having as little impact on the planet as possible and taking action to help it. There’s no point in aiming for perfection, but start off by listing everything you do and everything you refrain from doing. Then add challenges, action taken and efforts made to make yourself feel good – better and better. Eat carefully-chosen products, ban harmful products and destructive brands from your home and campaign around you with simple initiatives. All of these acts are generators of… Happiness! When you feel aligned with your own values, and put the clean approach into practice, you naturally feel happier.
Live by The Four Agreements
This hit book published in 1997 by Mexican shaman Miguel Ruiz puts forth a new approach to personal development: entering into agreements with yourself. This code of conduct diffuses personal projections and your relationship with the world and other people. It lays out four agreements to cast off conditioning (cultural conditioning and that stemming from upbringing), both of which are constraining. 1 -Be impeccable with your word: don’t lie, and use your word in a virtuous way: neither against yourself nor against others.
2 -Don’t ever take anything personally: consider that what’s happening is not directed at you, but just a reflection of what the people interacting with you have going on in their own lives.
3 -Don’t make assumptions: be grounded, ask about what you don’t know so as to learn, and express your opinions so as not to deceive others.
4 -Always do your best: this is a compass to be used in every aspect of your life. Keeping that as an aim, under any circumstance, allows you to avoid feelings of guilt and adapt to your environment free of pressure.
Engage in solidarity
Lastly, a final pointer for feeling clean in your life: helping others and combatting injustice. You can do it on your own by talking to people in difficulty when your paths cross, by smiling at them, by giving them a coin. You can also always have a kit in your bag comprising some socks, a toothbrush, a packet of biscuits and some change. You can rely on places of worship and city halls, which are often places where donations can be left. You can also organise a jumble collection for charity: ask some friends to sort their things beforehand, get them together in your home, then take the items to the chosen charity.
Ultimately, clean living is about living while feeling happy in your own skin, all the while telling yourself that you do more good than bad, you do what you can, and you do so to the best of your ability. Favouring humanity over material things, action over possession and Being over Having.
Clean living in this society is also about trying to protect yourself and tip the scales in the right direction. You can do so by lending your support to worthwhile initiatives, by supporting (small or large) companies that stand for eco-friendly values and by opting for the products that are the least harmful to the planet.