Do you always think to yourself that life would be happier ‘if only’ certain things were different? Does it always feel like everyone else is enjoying life more than you?
The truth is that our mind believes whatever we feed it. Feed it jealousy, negativity, and doubt, and it will thrive on that. Alternatively, feed it positivity, humor, and hope, and it will respond in kind.
Of course, reprogramming your thinking patterns isn’t exactly a one-step process. But there are a lot of ways to learn how to enjoy your life more.
How to Enjoy Your Life More: 12 Simple Tips
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1. Ask yourself this question
What is the one thing I can start doing or stop doing that would have the biggest impact on my life?
Pick the one thing that is bothering you the most. Come up with a tangible action you can take to start changing it. Now work on it for the next month.
Nothing in your life will change until you start doing something differently. Whatever it is you want to change, you should see some detectable progress if you work on it for a month. Even the act of working on it daily will make you feel better.
Progress, not perfection!
2. Get clear on what you want
Part of learning how to enjoy life more is knowing exactly what it is you actually want. Some serious soul-searching might be in order.
Try writing down your ‘ideal day.’ Be very specific. What time do you wake up? How do you spend your morning? What do you eat? Who do you see? Where do you go?
This exercise will give you an idea of the difference between what your life is like now, and what you wish it were. After all, happiness is often the difference between expectations and reality.
Really want to increase your happiness and enjoy your life more? Check out the accompanying Enjoy Your Life More Journal. It walks you through discovering what is and isn’t working in your life right now. And how to fix it!
3. Make time for yourself
Women especially have a hard time with this. We often spend so much of our lives taking care of others. And we have an underlying feeling of guilt for taking time for ourselves.
But if you’re not happy, the people you love will suffer. If you think you’ll feel guilty for taking some time for yourself, just think how you feel after you snap at your kids or your spouse.
I don’t really think there’s such a thing as a ‘balanced life,’ but you have to try to work on creating a little space for yourself. It’s crucial to your happiness.
Promise me that you’ll try!
4. Make time to relax
Somewhere along the way, being ‘busy’ became trendy. We go around bragging about how busy our lives are, as if chaos were a badge of honor.
We all have busy times of the year, or seasons of life. But beware of keeping busy just for the sake of saying you are.
Spreading yourself too thin in no way makes you enjoy life more. Please give yourself permission to relax. Frazzled isn’t a good look on you.
5. Avoid the news
Unless you’re a superhuman who isn’t affected by the dismal daily news, I would avoid watching it if you’re finding it difficult to enjoy life right now.
If there’s something really momentous happening, you’ll hear about it from someone you know. Otherwise, watching the news is kind of a colossal waste of time.
Watching it leads to fear and anger, and hinders your ability to think for yourself. Plus, 99% of the time, the stories don’t really affect your life.
6. Explore new places
Whether it be a new park, new restaurant, or new vacation destination, exploring someplace new will improve your quality of life for a variety of reasons.
Our brains don’t tend to remember the experience of doing the same things over and over. You’re far more likely to remember a new experience.
Even if you don’t love the new place you’ve explored, you have opened your mind and embraced possibility. And you might just learn something about yourself.
7. Adopt an attitude of gratitude
Being thankful isn’t just for Thanksgiving, ya’ll.
You will be rewarded tenfold every time you express gratitude. Be thankful for both the positive and annoying things that happen to you. We learn from all of it.
God, or the Universe, or whatever you believe in, can feel the attitude you put out there. If you’re constantly angry, negative, and feeling sorry for yourself, it’ll give it right back.
In short, gratitude makes you less self-centered, and more optimistic, relaxed, and resilient.
Remember that you reap what you sow.
8. Figure out what you enjoy
And do it as often as possible. I’m talking about constructive and legal things, of course.
If you like to ride your bike, or watch movies, or polish your nails, or read blog posts (hint, hint), work it into your life as much as you possibly can.
I don’t mean you should start watching movies and eating brownies all day long instead of going to work. Just make a conscious effort to incorporate things you enjoy into your daily life.
Plus, now that you have a new, grateful attitude, you’ll appreciate the time you have to spend on your hobbies all the more!
8. Be social
As an introvert of the highest order, I really struggle with this one. Social events leave me drained for sometimes days. (If any of you introverts have tips for being more social, please share them with me!)
But all human beings really are social creatures, and we absolutely need to engage socially. Try to choose people who lift you up. If you feel unhappy after hanging out with someone, that’s not who you want to spend your precious free time with.
9. Take care of your space
I hate to tell you, but a cluttered, messy home is not going to help you enjoy life more. I’m not saying you have to scrub the crown moldings with a toothbrush every Saturday. Just put things away when you’re done with them.
That one simple act works far better than you’d think.
- 12 Cleaning Motivation Tricks for People Who HATE to Clean
- 6 Things To Do Every Day to Keep Your House Tidy ALL the Time (with printable checklist!)
10. Move your body
In case you didn’t know, exercise releases endorphins, lessens anxiety, and has pain-relieving qualities. All the sitting we do is actually killing us.
While spending 30 monotonous minutes on an elliptical machine probably isn’t going to make you happier, finding an activity you do enjoy definitely will.
Personally, I love taking group fitness classes like spinning and boxing. It kind of takes care of the ‘be social’ and ‘move your body’ tasks in one fell swoop.
Zumba classes are lively, walking and running feel quite freeing, and we’ve all heard the benefits of yoga. Or turn up some music and dance around your house like a maniac. I can almost guarantee that you’ll feel better afterward.
11. Be curious
When you were a kid, you probably annoyed the heck out of your parents with questions. As we grow up, our sense of curious wonder evolves into feeling like we know it all.
If there’s something you want to learn or know how to do, start researching it. Ask someone who does it, research it online, take a class, or read books on the subject.
Bluprint, formerly Craftsy, is an awesome online resource if you want to learn something new or start a new hobby. They offer some amazing classes and videos for everything from photography to cake decorating to knitting and more.
If you’re interested in checking it out, Craftsy (now Bluprint) is currently offering a FREE 7 day Unlimited trial.
Click here to check it out and unleash your creativity!
Ask people questions about themselves. There’s probably more to them than you see on Facebook. Let’s hope so anyway.
The world is chock full of things you don’t already know. Being curious about them will keep your brain and spirit young.
12. Stop comparing yourself
This is one of the most important one! Comparison is the thief of joy.
You’re on a completely different journey, with different struggles and successes than everyone else. You are doing yourself a major disservice if you compare yourself to other people.
We all have different strengths and weaknesses. But we’re all important. We’re all here for a reason.
Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, and focus on being the best YOU you can be.
Related: 10 Benefits of a Social Media Detox
If you’re struggling to enjoy life right now, I hope you’ll give some of these tips a try. Some parts of life are more enjoyable than others, but making an effort to embrace what you can certainly won’t hurt.
If you look for ways to enjoy life, you’ll find them.
Sometimes it’s really difficult to know exactly what steps to take to start enjoying your life more. Don’t forget to download the Enjoy Your Life More Journal to walk you through discovering what actions you can take today!
P.S. Looking for some books on the subject of learning to enjoy and taking control of your life? Here are a few good books I’ve read on the subject: