Tips to a Better Life: “How To Love Your Life!”
Do you love your life? What really makes you happy? Do you want a better life? When working with children in my practice I ask them what they wish for. A child of a dentist wished for a room full of candy. Another child wished for 100 puppies. Someone else wished for a million dollars. Kids understand that we increase our happiness when there is an ample supply of the things that bring us pleasure.
As new tasks and responsibilities come into your life each year, it can be easy to lose track of what makes you happy. Whether it’s the little things in life that make you smile, or the joy of working toward a life goal, focusing on your happiness (keeping it in ample supply) will not only protect your emotional well-being, but also your physical health.
Research tells us that there are five things we can do that are proven to increase our quality of life. Follow these steps to rediscover your passion for life and be healthier in the process:
- Schedule in Pleasure: When you’re adding items to your “To Do” list, don’t forget the fun stuff. Do you look forward to reading in bed, going out to breakfast, taking long walks, seeing friends, or playing an instrument? Make sure some of your favorite diversions happen every day
- Take Time to Stay Strong: We all have low-energy days, but if you can resist the urge to skip your daily workout, you’ll be rewarded both now and later. Try telling yourself that you only need to do 20 minutes of exercise. Once you’re up and moving, chances are you’ll want to finish your workout. Even if you can’t push past the 20-minute mark, you can feel good about at least doing a little something. Note every workout in your calendar so that you can track your commitment to yourself. Consider rewarding yourself for meeting specific goals.
- Practice Stress Reduction: Don’t let stress sap you of joy. Diffuse daily hassles by practicing stress-reduction strategies. Try breathing deeply throughout the day. Taking a brisk 10-minute walk will do far more to dissipate your stress and lift your spirits than eating the sugary snacks you might crave when feeling stressed.
- Laugh: Schedule time each week to share a few laughs with family or friends. The openness and trust you share with these important people can help give you the perspective you need to cope with everyday challenges. These connections also will have a positive impact on your health, especially when you share a good laugh.
- Create Meaning: What means a lot to you? Is there a cause that you believe in? Many people today find themselves lacking a sense of meaning in their lives. Take the time to deepen your spiritual life, connect with a bigger cause, or to volunteer your time or talents. Being involved in something meaningful allows us to hold a larger perspective beyond the immediate stresses of day to day life.
We tend to invest in what is important to us. Feeling satisfied and fulfilled with your life is an essential part of your emotional and physical well-being. As you invest in loving your life, you will be amazed at just how good you feel, both in body and spirit.