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How To Love Your Life
I'm a part of a generation that has become obsessed with this idea of happiness. It's an infatuation with the want to be happy, and a constant battle with how to get there. We have this yearning for greater things, and we always want to be better, which is great, and at the same time it's not. The thing is, we're also a generation that isn't satisfied easily; always looking for the next adventure, next job, next love. We're obsessed with finding happiness when in fact happiness isn't something to be found but something to be made. As adults we have more resources, and more things but were spoiled, easily made uncomfortable, and always unsatisfied.
I keep hearing from people that "it's just not that simple". If you hate something you can't just not hate it, but it is that simple. Change doesn't happen overnight but slowly changing the way you approach things and view things can make a huge difference. How can you find a way to love your life today?
Appreciate What You Have
This one is HUGE! I do it too. I work incredibly hard on putting together a romantic evening for my husband and it ends up raining that day. Now I'm upset because we can't go to the park, and I have to change my outfit, and the suns not out, and so on. Realistically, I could be thinking about how I have the money to go out and how I still get to go to my favourite restaurant and have an amazing meal. Maybe I can be thankful for how I'm going to spend the entire evening with someone I love, but I don't always think this way. It's almost as if we're hardwired to make the worst out of every situation. I once learned that it's easier to remember a bad situation than a good one, so why even give ourselves the chance? Create good memories out of situations that could have been bad. One thing to remember is that there are always people who are having a worse day than you and you are actually very lucky to have what you have. It's very important that we appreciate what we have. Instead of focusing so much on what you don't have, maybe spend more time focusing on what you do have. It seems like ridiculously brainless advice, but sometimes we need a reminder that life is beautiful and maybe we just need to open our eyes and look around.
We live in a very fast paced, stressful generation. Everywhere you go you're rushed and our lives have become extremely hectic. We have jobs, kids, bills, deadlines, and appointments to worry about. Our minds are oozing information and everyone feels overwhelmed. Even the things that once used to be fun now feel unpleasant. There's a simple and quick fix to this and it involves taking time to slow down. Every morning I wake up and I start a new day and I would usually get down on myself for everything I didn't do yesterday and everything I have to do today but instead I always begin my day with something relaxing. For me this is either yoga, meditation, or both. Everyone has that one thing that relaxes them and we should be taking full advantage of it. I think it's important for everyone to have some down time, alone. A few ideas would be watching TV, reading a book, maybe going for a walk, or listening to some of your favourite tunes. Either way, it is important. We are expected to be on all the time and I am a firm believer in turning it off every chance you get. The longer we expose ourselves to stress the longer we feel exhausted, unappreciated, and unfulfilled. To top it all of, stress is really bad for your health, and if you're stressing then you might have medical problems which is just one more thing to worry about. So why allow it to take over your life? It doesn't matter what your situation is, we could all use some relaxation time. So, for crying out loud, RELAX! Make yourself a tea, grab that book that you bought 6 months ago and never read, dust it off, curl up on the couch and enjoy. You deserve it.
Take Up a Hobby
I love this one because I've had this conversation with my husband so many times. So many people are afraid that they're not good at anything but the fact is that a lot of people have never even attempted to pursue a hobby. You can't really ever get good at something without starting somewhere. My hobby has always been painting and drawing. I started as a little girl, maybe 4 or 5, and I have been doing it since. I don't do it often, but when I feel like I need do separate myself from my usual routine I pull out the brushes and I start something. I usually don't finish it, but that's okay because I enjoy it, and it takes me away from thinking about my chores, and work. If you pursue something that you enjoy, you'll get good at it eventually, and it'll give you something to smile about at the end the day knowing that you have something you're great at. Plus, like I mentioned above, it provides you with an escape. The great thing is that it can be anything; hiking, drawing, playing an instrument, playing a sport, even cooking. Just make sure it's something you LOVE to do and not something you feel like you HAVE to do. Find something you love and stick to it! Also, you never know when a hobby may turn into a passion, and a passion may turn into a career. They always say 'do what you love' because no one ever became a famous so and so by ignoring their passions.
Be Nice to Others
This is kind of jumping back to earlier when I was talking about being more appreciative. This is a simple change that will make you feel better about yourself as an individual. It's easy, just be nice. That's it! Sometimes I'm walking up to a door and the person ahead stays to hold it for me, and so I say thank you, and I smile. For that split second we share something because they smile back, and say you're welcome. It's sort of nice to share a moment like that with someone, even if it's brief. You don't know who that person is, and they don't know you but they stopped to do something nice for you without any reason. Where I live we have a movement where people will pay for the order of the person behind them, along with their own. I've never had it done for me but I must imagine it's a nice feeling if you're short on cash. Usually, if you're doing okay you will pass it on and pay for the person behind you, and so on, until someone who really needs it receives it. It's sort of a pay it forward idea. The expectation is that if you accept it that you will remember that someone had done that for you and as soon as you get a chance you'll pass on the good deed. It's a great idea that doesn't have to cost you a cent. You can help an older person across the street, or offer to share your umbrella with a stranger on a rainy day. Doing something nice for someone is the greedy way of cleansing your conscience. The great thing about it is even if you do it to make yourself feel better you don't have to feel bad because at the same time you're helping someone out. It's really a win win because everyone comes out feeling better. Maybe next time you're feeling down about your life go down to the local shelter and hand out food to those who need it, or buy a sandwich for a homeless person. It will humble you and remind you that maybe you don't have it so bad. As a bonus, it will make someone's day! So go on, be greedy! Go out and be a nice person to everyone you see, and while you're at it, soak up all the warm fuzzy feelings that come along with it.
Be a Kid
Remember how happy we were when we were kids? Not a care in the world, and for good reason. We had mom and dad worrying about everything, including the bills, and meals! Life was easy. We didn't have a job, and the world was our playground! So, I always tell people that just because you're an adult it doesn't mean that you always have to act like one. Kids are funny in the way that they're so innocent. They say the weirdest things because they don't waste time thinking deeply about every word that leaves their mouth. They're free spirits and for some reason, as adults, we lose that. I think it's time that everyone try to channel their inner child, and set that crazy kid free! Maybe one weekend you should do something that you used to do when you were a kid, like play dodge ball with your friends, or jump on a trampoline. You can ride your bike to the park and buy an ice cream cone, ANYTHING! Whatever sets you free, do it! For me it's playing board games, and video games. Sometimes it's just allowing yourself to get a little goofy and freely laughing! That's important because laughing is so good for you. Everyone says 'laughter is medicine' so laugh away! Sometimes I get nervous when I laugh and no one else laughs, but why? Ive noticed a lot of adults have all of these different anxieties. I know for a fact I feel a lot more anxious about a lot of things now as an adult. It's time to challenge those anxieties and let go of all your made up rules and restraints. Maybe, build a fort, and sit around with your friend all night telling stories. I built a fort last month, so no need to feel judged. It's good to be silly, and it's good to let loose. Forget your responsibilities for a few hours and go back to a place in time before we all became so up tight.
Lastly, make changes. If you can't accept your life for what it is, and you've tried everything then change it! I know, I know, it's not that simple. I agree, it's not always easy, but if you're truly unhappy, and you're wasting your life feeling miserable it might be worth a try to change it up. If you're at a job that you hate then look for another one, if you're in a toxic relationship then leave. Nothing is worth staying if it's killing you. Unhappiness can be a poison. From personal experience your perspective changes drastically once you've gotten yourself out of a situation, especially in regards to relationships. Why would you want to spend your entire life with someone or something that drags you down? It's scary, but sometimes that fear changes into excitement. Be excited to try something new, to feel something new, and to be happy. Life always has new opportunities. In a world of over 7 BILLION people there must be a new experience waiting for you, whether it's nearby or not. I guess my main message is stop making excuses! You can say there is nothing you can do but there is ALWAYS something you can do, even if it's a small something. Take your time, and trust that the world does in fact have more positive experiences waiting for you!
I know that this entire piece has been oversimplified, and that every situation is unique but in my experience a simple change in perspective can make a world of difference in your life. I have been through situations that made it nearly impossible to be positive, but being a human means being resilient. It can mean being sad, but it also means bouncing back, and pulling ourselves back up. It means changing our outlook on the world, putting our rose coloured glasses on and seeing things in a new light. Our mind alone is powerful enough to change our lives, so use it! Be the you that you really want to be. Learn to love your life.