How To Use Contemplation To Live A Better Life

How To Use Contemplation To Live A Better Life

Contemplation, often overlooked in our fast-paced society, holds the power to transform our lives and enhance our well-being. In this article, we will explore what contemplation truly means, the benefits it offers, and how you can incorporate contemplative practices into your daily routine for a more fulfilling existence. Discover the profound impact contemplation can have on your mental, emotional, and spiritual growth, and embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal transformation.


Living a better life is a universal desire. We all seek happiness, peace, and fulfillment. Contemplation provides a pathway to achieving these aspirations by allowing us to dive deeper into our thoughts, emotions, and experiences. By regularly engaging in contemplative practices, we can cultivate self-awareness, find clarity, and make intentional choices that align with our values. Let’s delve into the practice of contemplation and explore its power to enhance our lives.

What is Contemplation?


Contemplation can be understood as the practice or act of deep thinking, reflection, or serious consideration. It goes beyond the surface level of thoughts and engages with the deeper aspects of our being. Contemplation involves quieting the mind, observing our thoughts and emotions with non-judgmental awareness, and gaining insight into our inner selves.

Historical Context

Contemplation has deep roots in various traditions and cultures throughout history. Ancient philosophers, such as Socrates and Aristotle, emphasized the importance of self-reflection and introspection. Spiritual practices like meditation, prayer, and mindfulness have long been embraced by cultures worldwide as methods to access inner wisdom and connect with the greater universe.

Benefits of Contemplation

Contemplation offers a multitude of benefits for our overall well-being. By embracing this practice, we can experience significant positive changes in our mental, emotional, and spiritual lives.

Mental well-being

Contemplation provides an opportunity to quiet the constant noise of our minds and find a place of stillness within. Regularly engaging in contemplative practices can reduce anxiety, stress, and mental fatigue while promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. It allows us to observe our thoughts without attachment or judgment, enabling a healthier and more balanced mental state.

Emotional regulation

By turning inward and examining our emotions, contemplation empowers us to better understand and manage our emotional experiences. Through contemplative practices, we develop emotional intelligence and cultivate the ability to respond consciously rather than react impulsively. Contemplation allows us to create space for emotional healing, fostering emotional resilience and well-being.

Increased self-awareness

Contemplation deepens our understanding of ourselves, shining a light on our patterns, motivations, and desires. When we take time to reflect on our thoughts and behaviors, we gain insight into our values, strengths, and areas for growth. This heightened self-awareness helps us make more conscious choices aligned with our authentic selves.

How to Practice Contemplation

To fully harness the benefits of contemplation, it is essential to develop a regular practice. Here are some techniques to incorporate into your contemplative routine:

Creating a peaceful environment

Create a space that promotes calmness and tranquility. Find a quiet corner in your home and declutter it, adding elements such as candles, cushions, or calming artwork. This dedicated space will serve as your sanctuary for contemplation.

Focusing on the present moment

Bring your attention to the present moment by practicing mindfulness. Engage your senses fully in whatever you are doing, whether it’s sipping tea, taking a walk, or simply observing your breath. Cultivating present moment awareness allows you to shift away from ruminating on the past or worrying about the future.

Deep breathing techniques

Deep breathing exercises are excellent tools for grounding yourself in the present and calming the mind. Take slow, deep breaths, focusing on the sensations of each inhalation and exhalation. This practice can help alleviate stress and promote a sense of inner peace.

Guided meditation

Consider incorporating guided meditation into your contemplative practice. Numerous apps and online resources offer guided meditations specifically designed to cultivate self-reflection and awareness. Find a meditation that resonates with you and commit to its regular practice.

Contemplative Practices in Everyday Life

Contemplation is not limited to formal seated meditation. It can be seamlessly integrated into daily activities, enhancing your overall experience and quality of life. Here are some ways to infuse contemplative practices into your everyday routine:

Mindful eating

Become more mindful during meals by savoring each bite, paying attention to the flavors, textures, and the nourishment they provide. Slow down your eating pace, chew each mouthful intentionally, and cultivate gratitude for the food on your plate.


Engage in reflective writing by keeping a journal. Set aside a few minutes each day to write down your thoughts, emotions, and observations about your experiences. Journaling allows for self-expression, self-discovery, and the opportunity to gain new insights.

Walking in nature

Take a contemplative walk in nature, allowing yourself to fully engage with the environment. Observe the beauty around you, listen to the sounds, and notice the sensations in your body as you move. Such walks offer an excellent opportunity for introspection and connecting with the natural world.

Pause and reflect

In the midst of a busy day, take brief moments to pause and reflect. Simply close your eyes, take a deep breath, and ask yourself reflective questions. This practice encourages stillness and supports the integration of contemplation into your daily life.

Contemplation and Personal Growth

Contemplation is a voyage of self-discovery, allowing us to explore our inner landscapes and cultivate personal growth. Let’s delve into some key areas where contemplation can enhance our lives:


Contemplation helps us develop a deeper understanding of ourselves. Through mindful observation, we can unveil our authentic desires and values, uncovering what truly brings us joy and fulfillment. By gaining insight into our unique strengths and weaknesses, we can make conscious, informed decisions that align with our authentic selves.

Cultivating gratitude

Contemplation enables us to appreciate the present moment and find beauty in the little things. Regularly reflecting on and expressing gratitude for the blessings in our lives fosters a positive mindset and cultivates contentment. This practice promotes emotional well-being and helps us find joy in the simple pleasures life offers.

Developing empathy and compassion

Deep self-reflection through contemplation not only enhances our self-awareness but also promotes empathy and compassion towards others. By understanding our own experiences, we gain insights into the human condition and become more understanding and accepting of those around us. Contemplation nurtures our capacity to connect with others on a deeper level.

Overcoming Challenges in Contemplation

Contemplation, like any practice, can present challenges along the way. Here are a few common obstacles you may encounter and some strategies to overcome them:

Restless thoughts

Restless thoughts and mental chatter can make it challenging to engage in contemplation. Acknowledge the thoughts without judgment and gently guide your attention back to your breath, a focal point, or the present moment. With practice, you will develop the ability to observe your thoughts without getting entangled in them.

Dealing with distractions

External distractions, such as noise or interruptions, can disrupt your contemplative practice. Find a quiet space, inform those around you about your intentions, and consider using earplugs or soothing background music. Calmly acknowledge the distractions and bring your focus back to your practice.

Finding consistency

Maintaining a consistent contemplative practice may seem daunting, especially when life gets busy. Start with small, achievable goals, gradually increasing the duration and frequency of your practice over time. Incorporate contemplation into your daily routine, making it a non-negotiable part of your day.

Contemplation and a Meaningful Life

Contemplation helps us orient ourselves towards a more meaningful and purposeful existence. By engaging in contemplative practices regularly, we can deepen our understanding of ourselves, our values, and our aspirations. Here’s how contemplation can contribute to a more fulfilling life:

Clarifying values and priorities

Contemplation allows us to tap into our core values and gain clarity about what truly matters to us. By exploring our values and aligning our actions with them, we can make choices that foster a sense of fulfillment and personal worth.

Setting intentions and goals

Through contemplation, we can set clear intentions and goals for our lives. By reflecting on our vision for the future, we bring it into focus, allowing us to craft a plan of action to bring our aspirations to life.

Cultivating a sense of purpose

Contemplation helps us connect with our life’s purpose. By engaging in practices that align with our values and passions, we can live a more purposeful existence. Contemplation allows us to tap into our inner wisdom and empowers us to make choices that contribute to our sense of purpose.


Contemplation holds the potential to transform our lives, offering a path towards greater self-awareness, emotional well-being, and personal growth. By embracing contemplative practices, we can navigate life’s complexities with clarity and intentionality. Make the commitment to incorporate contemplation into your daily routine, and witness the profound impact it can have on your journey towards a better life.

The Centre For Action And Contemplation


1. How long do I need to practice contemplation each day? While even a few minutes of contemplation can be beneficial, aim for at least 10-15 minutes each day to fully experience the benefits of the practice. Find a duration that works for you and create a sustainable routine.

2. Can I practice contemplation even if I have a busy schedule? Certainly! Contemplation can be adapted to suit your schedule. Dedicate small pockets of time throughout the day, such as during breaks or before bed, to engage in contemplative practices. Remember, consistency is more important than duration.

3. Is contemplation a form of meditation? Contemplation and meditation share similarities but differ in their approaches. While meditation often involves directing attention to a specific object or focusing on the breath, contemplation encourages deep thinking, reflection, and self-inquiry.

4. Can contemplation help with decision-making? Yes, contemplation can assist in decision-making by helping you gain clarity about your values, aspirations, and priorities. By engaging in contemplative practices, you can make better-informed choices aligned with your authentic self.

5. Can I combine contemplation with other spiritual or religious practices? Absolutely! Contemplation can complement and enhance various spiritual or religious practices. Whether you practice mindfulness, prayer, or other rituals, contemplation can deepen your connection and provide a space for inner reflection and insight.

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