You only get so many days on earth, and everyone wants to make those days count. You want to spend your life feeling happy and believe your time on earth really means something. You want your life to be both joyful and meaningful. You want to believe that the world will miss you when you are gone, and you want to enjoy each day that you are here. So, how do you go about creating a life that keeps you, and those around you, smiling? Here are a few ways to make the most out of life.
The first thing to do is to think about how you measure a meaningful life. One of the most common measures of success is money, but people with all the financial luck in the world do not necessarily find more meaning in their lives than those who are struggling. Money, then, is not an accurate measure of a meaningful life. Truthfully, there is no handy scale that will tell you when you have reached a certain level of happiness. You have to decide that for yourself. If most days you feel hollow, drained of energy and apathetic, you probably are not feeling like your life is meaningful. If you feel warm, joyful and peaceful at the end of each day, you are probably leading a meaningful life. Regardless of how close or far you think you are from a life of joy, here are ways to get the most out of your life.
Stress eats away at your days. It leaves you irritable and anxious, rung out and exhausted. You cannot make the most of each day if you spend it stressed. Removing stressors from your life will help lower your stress to a point, but it is very easy for the mind to keep finding and focusing on new stressors. The cure for constant stress is a grateful mindset. This is because it is actually impossible to feel both truly grateful and stressed at the same time.
As well as reducing your stress levels, a grateful mindset requires you to appreciate the little things in life. This appreciation allows you to make the most of each day, not necessarily by doing more but by taking advantage of what you already possess. Some of the greatest joys in life are simple moments that can get lost in the hustle and stress of the day. Taking a few minutes to be grateful for a warm cup of coffee in the winter or enjoying the sound of birdsong in the summer can help keep you calm and thankful all day.
“A sense of humor” is one of the most commonly listed “requirements” for a significant other, and a person’s smile is often seen as one of their best features. This is in part because human beings like to be happy, and we like to see other people being happy. Smiles and laughter are the most universal forms of communication on the planet and perhaps the easiest way of disarming a tense situation.
Laughter itself tends to make us happy. If you fake a laugh for 30 seconds to a minute, you will find yourself feeling happier. A funny comic strip or amusing anecdote can turn a bad day around by making you laugh. Laughing together can bring you closer to someone, and laughing at yourself can help keep frustration and anxiety away. To get the most out of each day, make sure you have a good laugh at least once daily. Read a comic strip on your lunch break, or make it a point to share the funniest stories of the day with your spouse at dinner. Find something that makes you laugh, and enjoy it.
Change Instead of Complain
The internet has made it almost painfully easy to talk trash about anything and everything or anyone and everyone. Facebook regularly erupts into arguments over everything from corruption to whether a celebrity’s dress was navy blue or black, and no one goes looking for sanity in the YouTube comments. The odds are good you have added your two cents to an internet debate or jumped on a hashtag bandwagon. However, how much is your cyber-rage really doing to help the poor or stop corruption?
To get the most out of life, stop joining the complaint train online or in your real life. Sometimes you need to vent and let off some steam, but complaining about something that is bothering you can actually make you more irritated which then makes you complain even more. Life is too short to be trapped in such a negative feedback loop. Instead, take a bit of advice from the famous serenity prayer: “Give me…the courage to change the things I can” If something truly bothers you, change it. Join a rally or protest against a policy change you disagree with instead of ranting about it on social media. Seize the day and work to enact the changes you wish to see rather than waiting for someone else to change things for you.
How else are you getting the most out of life this year? Let us know in the comments section.
Adopted from Beliefnet