Not very many people enjoy their lives. Is it fair? Hell no! We forgot the art of joy and we should all re-learn it. Here are my 10 ideas on on how to enjoy life:
- Be present. Sure, you can feel good while imagining a glorious future or remembering good old days (let me tell you, these thoughts are more often worries and regrets), but real joy happens here and now. Don’t miss this moment.
- Turn on your senses. Take a look around you. Notice the color of your cup, feel the smell and taste of the coffee you’re drinking, the warmth under your fingers; feel the chair you are sitting on, hear the music. That’s how you can enjoy most ordinary things. Sensations will make them magical.
- Slow down and focus. Don’t check your Facebook and don’t make that selfie with your coffee to post on Instagram. Don’t leave the present.
- Kill your expectations. These are the ultimate things that prevent us from enjoying things. “I shouldn’t be here now. I should have a better office/car/house.” We pretend that we know how this moment should ideally look, and when we look around, we get pissed. Our expectations, based on movies, TV shows, and highlights from the social networks, help us create “perfectly realistic” visions of how life/the human body/work/joy should look. This moment is exactly what it is. Who told you that it should be different?
- Cut down the time you spend on social networks. (I mean spend it wisely.) No one posts the average day at work, typical lunch, flat tire, leaking oil, burned cookies, or the details from their boring night in front of the TV. People present highlights. It makes us believe in the world of unicorns and rainbows. Use social networks to connect, and don’t forget to live your life. And enjoy.
- Be grateful. Think about all the good things you have in your life. Your home, your family, people you love. If you’re reading this, you probably have a computer and Internet connection. You very likely have enough food, and probably eat 3 meals a day. If you understand this, then you know English as well, meaning you can learn tons of things online. So on and so forth. You are a lucky person. There are so many reasons to enjoy!
- Re-frame. We are wired to focus on the negative. As says, when faced with a lion and an apple tree, a human being notices…the lion! That’s how we survived. But then, we also focus on the less than 1% of airplanes that crashed, instead of on the 99% that landed safely. On 1 criminal from the news, rather than on millions of good people that are volunteering all over the world. On what we lack, while we forget what we do have (#6). Re-frame your world view. Choose to see things differently. Nothing is totally black or totally white. But the side you focus on will expand.
- Write an “I-did” list. Another idea. Instead of a to-do list, write an I-did list. List everything you’ve done and make yourself proud. Instant joy. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
- Don’t multitask. You can never enjoy life while multitasking. Your mind cannot focus on and process that much information. Plus, you are not as efficient.
- Intend to have more fun. (Last but not least). We kinda expect that we can just do what we’ve always done and an avalanche of joy will suddenly overwhelm us. Where the hell is all that joy? First, we have to change the mindset. We have to intend to find it. Start your day with an intention to enjoy more, to have more fun, to be more present. Remind yourself of that. Don’t let your automatism guide you. Choose joy.
- Most people relate joy to money. Here is my list of 50 joyful things that are absolutely free!
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