It happens to the best of us – life comes to a standstill and it upsets us.
When our day-to-day routine starts feeling more like a never-ending chore, it can be all too easy to forget that our lives require our active participation in order to stay fresh and exciting.
We believe that if only we earned more money, were thinner/fatter, were married (or single), had more friends, then we would be happy.
What we fail to realize is that lasting happiness doesn’t come from anything outside of ourselves, nor does it just happen for some but not others. We are each responsible for creating our own happiness, regardless of outer circumstances.
We can start being happy by loving our lives exactly as they are right now. Here’s how:
We often think of happiness as something that happens to us rather than something we choose; however, only 10 per cent of our happiness depends on our life circumstances.
To start loving your life, make a conscious decision to start thinking more positively. It is important to remember that while you can’t always change what happens to you, you can change how you react to it.
Rather than going with your instinctive reaction, try to look for the silver lining in situations.
Try creating a “happiness diary” to help you – reflecting on all the things you have to be grateful for each day.
Live in the present moment
Many of us find it difficult to enjoy the present because we are so busy dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. When you are living in the present, you are living where life is happening right now, not ruminating over the past or stressing out about future events. You are in the here and now, which is really the only time that you have any control over your circumstances.
The past is over, and the future is yet to come. The only time you can truly love your life is when you are experiencing the present moment. Taking in this very moment as it is, can really heighten your appreciation and keep you from feeling that sense of emptiness that results from living somewhere other than the here and now.
Make room for surprises
Instead of trying to control every last aspect of your life, give your life the chance to surprise you from time to time. Say yes to the date you would usually reject or the party you’re not sure if you should go to.
Sometimes the things we’re most unsure of end up being the things we’re most grateful to have done – but you’ll never know unless you give it a shot.
Be your own best friend
In order to truly love your life, you need to start to love yourself. We often see ourselves in the worst light, particularly when life isn’t going how we want it to; however, it is important not to be hard on yourself and blame yourself just because you feel something in your life hasn’t worked out.
Rather than focusing on harsh comparisons with others and all your perceived faults, try regularly reminding yourself of all the good qualities you have to offer and all the successes and achievements you have accomplished so far, and learn to appreciate the unique person that you are.
Surround yourself with the right people
There’s nothing wrong with relating to people or venting every now and again, but it’s also important to surround yourself with people and conversations that leverage enthusiasm, excitement, and satisfaction.
Spend time with people who build you up, see and encourage your strengths, and who are, themselves, living authentically.
Energy is contagious, and if you’re around positive energy and speaking with others in terms of positivity, you’ll begin to restructure your thinking, and, ultimately, the way you see and experience the world around you.
Spend more time in nature
There’s no two ways about it – our minds need to interact with nature in order to function optimally.
Taking a half hour walk outdoors may just be the antidote you need for reducing anxiety levels, increasing your quality of sleep and boosting your mood.
Bring yourself back to the simplicity of life by walking through a non-commercialized zone. Soak in the greenery and fill your lungs with fresh air.
Appreciate the small things
We often spend our time looking forward to the next ‘big thing’ or exciting event in our lives and awaiting our next shot of happiness.
However, to truly love your life you need to start appreciating every day and those little things that make you happy.
Make a list of the day-to-day things that make you happy – such as having your favorite lunch, listening to your favorite song or having breakfast in bed – and make sure you schedule one of these treats into your every day.
Be a little more open every day
Life drags. It stagnates. It slumps. But more often than not, the reason it does all of that is because we have closed ourselves off to it. We don’t accept life wholeheartedly, and shut ourselves from what it has to offer.
When we commit to saying ‘Yes’ a little more often with every passing day, we commit to opening our lives back up to possibility. And we may just end up falling in love with wherever those possibilities take us.