Many of us have the misconception that life can only be enjoyed if you have a lot of money or a successful career.
However, life can be enjoyed anytime or anywhere by recognizing and appreciating what you already have.
If you take a different perspective, you will recognize that you already have everything you need to enjoy life. The key is to live in the moment and appreciate all the reasons you have to be happy and be content with your life.
You would benefit from not depending on anyone else to make you happy. Focus on finding pleasure in the small things in your daily life and living life to the fullest.
- Be grateful. If you look at the historical components of negativity, we come from a place where negativity was a survival mechanism to alert us of danger. We have evolved from those times, and negativity no longer serves a useful purpose. So if you aren’t grateful for the positive things in your life, you will always see things in a negative light. Make it a habit of writing down three things you feel grateful for each day. This will help you focus on the positive aspects of your life.
- Think positive. Adopt a more optimistic and positive attitude.
Optimistic people tend to feel more personal joy on a day-to-day basis.
- Slow down. Life has many little and simple things that are worth enjoying and taking pride in. But if you are rushing through the day, you will hardly have time to notice them. Focus on simple pleasures, as they will help restore a sense of balance in your life. Slow down and pay attention to the world around you.
Spend time with your kids, cook together as a family, play with your pet, enjoy the smell and taste of your food, pause and really enjoy the music you are listening to.
- Practice mindfulness. Dr. Marsha Linehan defines mindfulness as 'a key element of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which is an aid for suicidal individuals and also beneficial in treating a number of other disorders.' You have to live in the present to enjoy life. Get out of your head, detach from your past, and stop dwelling on your future. Take in the sights and sounds of the world around you.
- Invest in yourself. Take time to invest in yourself. Become aware of the time you waste on things you don’t enjoy. Think of better ways to spend your time. Make time to read self-help books and keep a journal where you can express yourself freely.
- Nurture positive relationships. Make time for your friends and family. Spend time with people who lift you and help you feel good about yourself. Positive people lift your spirits giving you great learning experiences.
Ask yourself if spending time with your family is more important than watching TV or spending hours browsing on your phone.
- Laugh hard. Laughter makes it difficult to stay stuck in negative emotions.
When you are engrossed in laughing, you are in the moment. It gives your mind and body a break from all the negativity in your life.
- Hug. Hugging is positive and gives you a sense of support. It raises your body’s level of the love hormone oxytocin and lowers the level of the stress hormone cortisol. (1)
A 20-second hug reduces the harmful effects of stress and boosts your mood.
- Disconnect from the outside world. Take an hour each day and go offline. Eliminate distractions by unplugging from the Internet, your phone and all other devices.
Enjoy a conversation over a meal with your family, enjoy an in-person chat with a friend or spend the hour fully engrossed in a hobby. It will help you slow down and make you happier.
- Take a walk to discover new things. Once a month, take a walk around your community and commit yourself to notice ten new things. Whether it’s new neighbors, unexplored temples, museums, hangout places, parks or a library, you may be surprised that there is always something new waiting to be discovered in your everyday environment.
- Explore new destinations. Traveling allows you to slow down and recharge yourself.
New places and new people offer a different perspective on the world and add a healthy dose of inspiration. It helps you better appreciate life’s small pleasures.
- Attend local events. Head to free local events in your city. There are always some events going on in the city. The best thing about such events is that you get to meet a lot of positive and happy people there.
- Meet new people. Make new friends. Communication is essential for your social wellbeing. Instead of spending hours staring at screens, get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Meeting new people will introduce you to new ideas and perspectives.
- Keep track of your time. Become conscious of how you spend your time. If you keep track of your hours in a day, you can efficiently make the most of your time.
- Plan your day. Choose the way you want to spend your day. Include all the things you want to happen in the day.
- Avoid multitasking. Focus on doing one thing at a time. Rather than being in a hurry to get many things done quickly, focus on the quality of a single project. (2)
When you find yourself in a hurry to get things done, pause for a moment and take a deep breath. Refocus your efforts and commit to completing one task to the best of your ability.
- Do something out of your comfort zone. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Do something that makes you feel completely out of place. Try new activities, take up a new hobby or go somewhere that you haven’t been before.
- Create a wish list. Whenever you come across something that you want to try, a new activity you want to learn or a new place you want to visit, write it down and keep a list. This will help motivate you to push forward in life and keep your dreams alive.
- Declutter. When you have so much happening in your life with so much stuff around, it’s tough to enjoy life. Simplify your life by decluttering and getting organized. Get to the basics. Keep only the things that you need or love. Reduce your to-do-list to tasks that are really important and really matter.
- Stop giving up. Restrain from quitting before achieving your goal. Life has hard moments, however, if you quit you will never know how far you could have gone. You may regret giving up later in life.
- Learn to speak up. When you hold back your thoughts, feelings, and opinions because you fear to antagonize others, you are not true to yourself. This can breed from feelings of anger and resentment. Speaking up will enable you to enjoy life in the long term.
- Live deliberately. Don’t go through your days on autopilot, which is basically – doing whatever tasks are in front of you rather than spending your time doing something you want. Make deliberate choices. Make your own decisions and act on them. Be aware of every moment in your life.
- Acknowledge your achievements. Celebrate the things that you have managed to get done – whether small or big. Keep track of your ‘wins’ and reward yourself. Whether it’s washing your car, watering the plants, cleaning the house or meeting a deadline at work, take a moment and applaud yourself for the achievement.
- Give back. Contribute your time and energy to uplifting others. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, retirement home or an orphanage. When you start giving back to society, your focus shifts from what you don’t have to what you do have. You will also feel good about adding value to others’ lives.
Note: The content has been edited and reviewed by Angela Webb, Licensed Psychologist.
- Cohen S, Janicki-Deverts D, Turner RB, Doyle WJ. Does hugging provide stress-buffering social support? Psychological Science. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4323947/. Published December 19, 2014.
- Uncapher MR, Thieu MK, Wagner AD. Media multitasking and memory: Differences in working memory and long-term memory. SpringerLink. https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/s13423-015-0907-3. Published July 30, 2015.