As most of us can attest, life is not short on being busy. Finding the time needed to actually “enjoy life” has taken a back seat for many of us. The things that give us pleasure – loved ones, special interests, or even a stroll down the Riverwalk – have become scheduled parts of our lives. That overload of “important things” means that we must get back to the basics and rearrange what we deem to be truly important. Our health and mental welfare is at stake… We need to slow down and prioritize a little more to enjoy life while we still can.
1) Become One With Nature
Being one with nature is for everyone! Nature is a therapeutic energy that provides harmony and a balanced footing in life. We can learn how to refocus our attention toward our inner self and our heart with a bond to nature. Recognize the fundamental synergy between plants, animals and one’s self. Listen to the wind in the trees, the water rushing by in the river, the sea breaking on the shore… we are all one with nature in many ways. Its up to each of us to understand and appreciate it.
2) Be at Peace and Appreciate the Quiet
Living in the Heights, we are exposed to a daily volume of sounds. The hectic urban noise that permeates our lives along with traffic, phones, TV and more becomes our “normal”. Quiet times have become a rarity for most of us. But we really must change that and reintroduce quiet and silence back into our lives. It can become a positive influence on our thoughts and help us better relate to others and understand ourselves. Make an effort each day to nourish a peaceful quiet time for a better existence. Even if only for 10 minutes a day, it will be time well spent.
3) Focus Time on Specific Tasks
If keys are misplaced, always place them in the same spot in an effort to avoid this in the future. It is that type of focus that helps train our brain to stay on track at work, school, or personal time. As soon as something demands our attention, we lose sight of our immediate goal, sometimes finding that we’ve accomplished nothing at all. So simply make a list and segment business work, house work, and so on. This will help retain our focus and avoid distractions that keep us from completing immediate tasks at hand. The feeling of accomplishment replaces not being able to get things done. That’s a step in a very positive direction!
4) Feed Your Life’s Passion
Find an extension of your own creative side. Most of us have hobbies or special interests. Writing or blogging might be ideal for one. Water color painting, gardening, dance or even softball, golf or woodworking might fulfill another. Some go through life and never think strongly or urgently about pursuing their passions. The natural point is to take the steps to determine what makes each of us happy. Explore to discover your own personal passion. Adding something enjoyable to your life can provide great happiness.
5) Enjoy Public Outings
In an effort to fill voids in our lives, we may choose to attend concerts, lectures, movies, theater, and more. We must remember to remain focused. More is not always better. That over indulgence can reduce the significance of everything we attend. In an effort to enjoy more and more, we actually receive less reward for those efforts. Focus on one or two events that can provide much deeper appreciation. Once we begin to focus on what gives us greater feelings of enjoyment, we begin to achieve that deeper appreciation and the reward is happiness.
6) Better Communication with Loved Ones
Consider the limitations of Facebook or Twitter versus the stimulating connection made with people one-to-one. Having a one-to-one conversation can dwarf 100’s of online connections in value. The real heart to heart sharing between two people is always better! So begin by setting aside time for specific friends and family members to be face to face. Reduce the online interactions in favor of the real ones. The attention given to a loved one is returned and that is a reward of some consequence for you!
7) Savor Each Bite – Nourish the Soul
We oftentimes get caught in the fast food mentality. Its not just the fast food we typically think of. Its the way we go about consuming and even making our nourishment. Food can be an artistic extension of ourselves. Captured in conceiving a recipe, to shopping for the perfect ingredients, to preparing the meal, and lest we forget the art of dining. Taking our time to enjoy what we have created can provide great pleasure if we allow it. Setting time aside each week to accomplish these specific goals can be an adventure. Think of all of the steps needed to create your meal. Make it special, photograph the steps, write about them, make it memorable. And while you’re at it, invite someone special to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Every single step in this process can become a source of great satisfaction for you!
8) Make an Effort to Truly Relax
Working or going to school every day, while we hope that it’s thoroughly enjoyable, it cannot compete with a holiday or vacation get away. But here’s a thought, every time we have available days off, we should treasure them as we would a vacation day. Not to say taking a trip or spending your cash reserves on exploring exotic locales are in order, but throwing the mental switch to the off position might provide a much needed battery recharge! Enjoy a day off with friends or even make new friends. Pursue time spent fulfilling a bike ride down the Bayshore or just have a great morning coffee with a friend. Just enjoy!
9) Have a Spontaneous Day of Fun
After falling into the “plan every moment routine”, we can let go to be spontaneous. Pick a friend to enjoy the day with – no planning. Do whatever seems like fun. The odds are good that you’ll find yourselves in the middle of a carefree day loaded with fun! Take photos or videos or your time together. Do the things that are not necessarily expected. Have great day!
10) Exercise Your Inner Child
If the notion ever crossed your mind of how much easier it was when you were a child, you’re not alone! We all have an inner child, ready to emerge, filled with playfulness and innocence. If you’ve ever volunteered to be a story time reader at the local library, you’ve seen how children respond to different things. It’s nice to be able to see life through a child’s eyes. The world is a much different place. They are rarely in a hurry and always questioning everything. Try to view the world as a child. Laugh about it. Enjoy life as if there isn’t a care in the world. Maybe on that day, joy and happiness will be yours!