Life can be very overwhelming, especially as we grow older, acquire more obligations, and face more complex realities of the world. The weight of it all can even drive some of us to become physically and emotionally fatigued. However, despite how tiring and complex things can get, we must continue to seek beauty and joy in our finite existence, so here are some simple ways to enjoy and appreciate life more:
1. Look at your own cup, and appreciate what it contains.
We tend to look at our lives relative to others, which can lead to harsh self-assessments. We even think of ourselves as stupid because we barely passed an exam and not get a perfect score like our genius classmate, or think of ourselves as poor because we only live in a moderately-sized house and not a mansion like that of our millionaire neighbor. Never allow comparisons to torment yourselves and think that your lives are of less value. Rather, use it as a positive motivation to do better; Look at your own cup, and appreciate your passing test score and modest house. Doing this will make every sip less coarse and more satisfying.
2. Connect with people.
Talk to people, and what I mean by talk is to establish real connections; don’t just throw empty words. Of course, you need not be Mr./Ms. Congeniality. Having only a handful in your social circle is enough; just make sure you are not alone in that circle! Humans are social animals, and interacting with people whom you have made a trusting relationship with will give you a sense of belongingness and happiness.
3. Be more generous.
Helping ourselves is obviously necessary to live and be happy, but if you want to experience joy in life that is unique and more lasting, try helping other people out. This kind of joy cannot be fully described with just words; it’s one of those things that you have to experience first to truly understand its meaning. If you have, let’s say thirty bucks with you, spend the fifteen to buy yourself something you want, and spend the other fifteen to buy a homeless person food, or buy an orphan kid a toy. Now, both will make you feel happy, but you’ll likely feel a more fulfilling kind of happiness from the one you dedicated to others. Try it, and believe it!
4. Move your body.
In this digital age, everything is convenient. Need to pay the bills? Pay online! Hungry? Order online! Need a hotel? Book online! Technology may have saved us time and effort, but if you want to truly feel alive, you have to get up and move those muscles! Walk. Run. Hike. Dance. Engaging in locomotive activities refreshes the mind, tunes up the body, and creates a distinct sensation of happiness!
5. Venture into the world.
Another consequence of living in this digital world is that people find less reason to venture into the world beyond their local, and sometimes virtual, caves. Now, it’s okay to spend time within the comfort of our own personal and safe zones; however, spending all our time in these confines make our lives stagnant and less dynamic. Take a step out the front door. Breathe the air. Play in the park. Hit the beach. Go to a place you have never been to before! Exploring the outside world will make you realize how exciting and beautiful life can get! Start packing your bags, and bon voyage!
6. Stay healthy.
Health is wealth. This line has been used to death, but to live a truly happy life, you have to be wealthy in terms of health! You can have all the money, all the friends, and all the skills essential to live a joyful life, but if you don’t have good health, all the things you have will be put to waste. So, eat healthy, exercise, and take your vitamins! It may be easy to disregard these things especially when you’re still young and able, but staying healthy is the key to enjoying life.
7. Consistently improve yourself.
Life keeps on rolling, and if you want to be happy throughout the majority of your life, you have to take constant strides, even small ones, to ensure that you are able to keep up with time. So, invest in yourself, explore the beyond, acquire new skills, and accept and learn from your mistakes. The more you improve yourself, the more adaptive you will be, and the more adaptive you are, the easier it will be for you to grab opportunities that will help you live a happy life.
8. Hate less and love more.
Many people nowadays love to hate and hate to love; don’t be one of them. Rather, try to look past the bad, and focus on the good in every situation. Did the customer service representative put you on hold for a long time? Try to hold your temper, and think about how the representative is doing his/her best and using all available resources to assist you with your concern. Did your boss give you a ton of work to do? Try not to immediately assume that he/she is a slave driver; rather, treat him/her as a mentor giving you an opportunity to grow.
Of course, being understanding doesn’t mean turning a blind eye on everything and letting yourself be pushed around. Other circumstances still have to be taken into account, but what matters is your willingness to choose to love people more than hate them. Having this disposition will not only make you enjoy a peaceful life but also cultivate more positive and happy relationships with people.
People may have varying definitions of happiness, and what one may consider a simple way to attain it may be complicated to others. However, you should not be too hard on yourself. Remember that you only have one life and a very finite one at that. Hence, live life fully, and live it happily.
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