Can we learn to enjoy life more?
Some days the world feels like an especially challenging place and we find ourselves getting bogged down with worry, uncertainty and concern.
In order to enjoy everyday life more and put aside some of the concern and uncertainty here are 15 ways that can help put it in perspective.
1. Savor each moment. We typically do not know when a particular moment will be our last. In order to make the most of each one, we can learn to savor and be mindful of every aspect it offers.
2. Be whimsical; think like a child. Remind yourself of the things that made you happy when you were young, such as running through the rain, smelling fresh flowers, playing fun games, and being carefree. Children revel in and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. We should endeavor to do the same.
3. Engage in a physical activity. As is well documented, there is great benefit to exercise of any type, whether for fun, or for sport. Exercise releases not only happy chemicals known as endorphins; it releases natural pain-relieving and stress-relieving chemicals as well.
4. Laugh more. To paraphrase Harry Ward Beecher "Laughter is the best medicine." As with exercise, laughter releases the happy, feel good chemicals know as endorphins. There is nothing like a talented comic, funny movie, or some good jokes to stir up those chemicals and assist you in enjoying every day life more!
5. Experience a new activity such as trying a new food (ethnic cuisine would be fun), destination or sport. Enrichment in experience contributes to the enjoyment of life and there is nothing like trying something totally new. Go for it!
6. Start a gratitude journal. Journaling is fun, proven to be therapeutic, and can only enhance your enjoyment of life and life's experiences. Writing about and recording those experiences which make you happy and grateful serves as a continuous reminder of those special moments.
7. De-clutter. You would be surprised how liberating and satisfying de-cluttering can be. You will feel lighter, fresher and ultimately more joyful. Not only that, you will be more organized and efficient. (See: 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life)
8. Keep learning new things. Learning new things not only gives you a new lease on life, it keeps your brain/body connection young and active. When you look and feel younger you automatically get more enjoyment from life.
9. Give back. There are many ways you can give back to your family, community and workplace. It doesn't have to be something colossal. It can be a small kindness in the form of opening a door for someone, helping someone with a heavy parcel, or helping a new team member at work. The great feeling that giving back engenders brings added enjoyment to your life.
10. Plan for the future, but live in the present. Quite often we get so caught up in planning and preparing for the future that we neglect to live in and enjoy the present. In a study conducted at Harvard, psychologists found that subjects were less happy when their minds wandered and when they were thinking ahead or daydreaming. In fact, it made them more miserable even when the thoughts were pleasant. Staying in the present made them happier and more content.
11. Celebrate your successes. Succeeding is a great way to further boost morale and well being! In this goal oriented society we often jump from one success to the next without taking the time to enjoy any of them fully. So, no matter how seemingly small, be sure to enjoy the successes in your life.
12. Take time to appreciate nature. Whether you enjoy a peaceful walk on the beach, an invigorating swim in the ocean, or a hike in the woods, nature is the soul's rejuvenator. Life can be a joy when you make the most of all that nature has to offer.
13. Appreciate what you have. Quite often we don't remind ourselves of the freedom and privileges we benefit from. If we stop to reflect upon all we have, we would indeed enjoy life that much more.
14. Appreciate your friends and family. It's easy to take our loved ones for granted, however, when times are tough and life deals us some unexpected challenges, it is our dear friends and family to whom we turn for support and encouragement.
15. Know that you deserve to enjoy life more! Remember that life is short and that we deserve to enjoy and reap all the rewards it offers. While we all have our share of challenges and adversity, we also have a big beautiful world full of potential adventure, discovery and richness. It is up to each of us to take the time to appreciate and enjoy life more.