5 Easy Ways to Live Life More Fully

by Leslie, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

In today's hustle and bustle, sometimes it helps to take a step back and do a few simple things that make you feel relaxed, happy or just a little more fulfilled. Here's our list of five easy ways to accomplish this. Plus, you'll love how they can connect to your favorite hobby: jewelry-making!

#1 Get Outside More

Get outside to absorb some vitamin D and you might be surprised how it can elevate your mood--especially if you find yourself hunched over a problem project or in a dimly lit studio. Try going for a walk. According to the American Heart Association, walking can actually help reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and stroke. Now this sounds counterintuitive for a designer, since how can you create jewelry if you're outside and you can't take your studio with you--let alone trying to create wrapped loops while walking?! Hear us out.

Sometimes you need to unwind. Getting outside can pull you out of a rut and also re-inspire you. The color, the sounds, the smells, the season, the architecture--basically, everything around you is a source of inspiration. If you plan on spending time outdoors while sitting, try ''BIPping'' (otherwise known as ''beading in public''). It's easier than it sounds, especially if you're doing repetitive stitches or simple stringing. Bead boards with built-in recesses for supplies are perfect to plop on your lap or a picnic table and some even have lids for saving an in-progress piece. If you plan on walking around, try bringing home a leaf, flower petal or whatever you find to put in Nature Walk designs. You might be surprised by what you can come up with!

Bead Boards
Design Idea E76F Bracelet

#2 Do Something for Someone Else (Without Expecting Anything in Return)

Doing something for someone else can be planned or spontaneous, as simple as waving someone down to return something they dropped. You might be surprised to learn the power of sharing has been proven to not only benefit the receiver, but also the giver (you) and can cause a cascading effect of goodwill in others--the concept of paying it forward. You might also be surprised to find out a LOT of our customers fundraise with jewelry or donate some of their creations to charities, organizations or passersby (we've even heard of adding a pair of angel earrings to a tip for your waitress).

Design Idea CB5L Earrings

We have a whole section of Charity Stories dedicated to how people like you are making a difference in the lives of others, no matter how seemingly small the contribution. As Mother Teresa said, ''Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.'' We're not saying to forgo your bottom line as a designer, since we all have to make ends meet, but remember Anne Frank's famous quote, ''No one has ever become poor from giving.''

Looking for ways to give back using your jewelry-making talents?
Design Idea C32K Bracelet

#3 Focus Less on What Others Think

You do you. There comes a point in life when everyone has to accept they can't make everybody happy, especially at the expense of personal sanity. This concept includes learning how to say no. It can be tough, but we promise if you feel you don't have to justify everything you do--or don't do--you'll be happier. As Leo Buscaglia, PhD (author, professor and motivational speaker) said, ''The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be.''

The same kind of principle goes for creating jewelry. Don't let yourself be boxed in by the ideas of others or expired fashion rules; however, this isn't to say you should ignore constructive criticism. Design what you feel like. You may end up being surprised at how many people will love your novel ideas. After all, no trend starts without someone leading the way. We do a lot of fashion forecasting here at Fire Mountain Gems to help you stay ahead of the curve, but if you aren't loving a trend, don't feel obliged to change everything you're doing to match it. If you do see a new trend and you dig it, jump in head first. The whole idea is for you to value your own input and trust your own judgements.

#4 Try Something New on a Regular Basis

Speaking of seeing a new idea and going for it, it's actually surprising how healthy it is for us to venture outside of comfort zones. The end result can be boosted self-esteem and personal growth or you may even discover a hidden talent or newfound favorite thing. It's a rewarding experience to challenge yourself and it's been proven to help keep our brains sharper as we age. This ''something new'' doesn't have to be big. Go on a new route for your morning walk, sample a new food, join an exercise class or expand your jewelry-making horizons to play with a new technique.

Don't be afraid of failing. Don't be afraid of failing spectacularly, even. Take it from someone who failed spectacularly when trying chainmaille the first time. ;) As author Stephen McCranie once said, ''The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.'' The challenge is part of growth and can ground or humble us at times, as well. You don't have to become a master of everything new you try, since it's the actual action of doing something different that expands our abilities and possibilities. Find a new technique by watching a how-to video or walking through some tutorials. Who knows, maybe you'll fall in love with something new!

#5 Laugh More

Remember when I said I failed spectacularly at chainmaille? It was in a jewelry-making class here at Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, and I can't tell you how much fun it was. Why? Because we were all laughing and having a good time at our own chainmaille difficulties, plus Stephanie G. from Customer Service can really get everyone going with the giggles. Laughter can change your entire perspective in many situations. Instead of becoming overly frustrated with my lack of jumpring manipulation, I laughed along with everyone and took it in stride. I even eventually finished those earrings! Now when I wear them, I feel proud for completing them and I remember the good time I had.

Design Idea C348 Earrings

Laughing is said to help lower blood pressure, probably because you're busy having a good laugh rather than stressing. Laughter decreases stress hormones while in turn increasing immune cells or infection-fighting antibodies--hence the old adage of laughter being the best medicine. On top of that, laughing also releases endorphins, which are those natural feel-good chemicals that leave you feeling happy. It all boils down to not sweating the small stuff and trying to not take life too seriously all the time. Let us help and see if you get a chuckle from our fun list of top 10 ways you know you're a beader. My favorite is #2 lol.

Design Idea C64Y Necklace, Bracelet and Earring Set

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