Life moves at a frantic pace, and while we’re all working hard to squeeze the best out of our lives, it can be easy to overlook some of the simpler techniques that we all have at our fingertips.

1. Embrace novelty and enjoy the results.

Do something completely new on a regular basis. The shock of a new experience will remove you from your comfort zone, energize your mind and even help you gain new objectivity on familiar or difficult aspects of your life. Regularly trying your hand at new skills, such as learning a foreign language or picking up a new musical instrument, is also a great way to keep your brain engaged, active and healthy. And of course, you’ll also be adding new strings to your bow at the same time. Two for the price of one!

2. Learn to appreciate each and every moment.

Mindfulness (the practice of paying close attention to your place, thoughts and feelings on a moment-by-moment basis) is an incredibly simple way to get more out of each and every second and, by extension, ensure you’re getting the most out of life.

By using easy mindfulness techniques, you’ll be shutting out the constant barrage of noise for a short while and enjoying the value of each moment. The results might surprise you. Though Mindfulness traditionally deploys techniques such as meditation, getting started can be as easy as closing your eyes for 2 minutes and focusing inwards on your breathing, or on the sounds in the environment around you.

Once you’ve tuned in to the value of each and every moment, you’ll be able to enjoy more of what life has to offer. What’s more, taking a more mindful approach to life is free, can be done anywhere, and doesn’t require any fancy tools or expertise. To get started, all you need is a willingness to embrace who you are, where you are, and what you’re feeling. What could be simpler?

3. Travel, but don’t go far.

As the old saying goes ‘travel broadens the mind,’ but travel is also a state of mind. A readiness to embrace new sights and sounds, however close to home they might be, is a simple and fun way of expanding your appreciation of the community to which you belong. Sure, it might be great to jump on a plane to somewhere exotic tomorrow, but that isn’t always an option. Making a trip somewhere new, even if it’s only an hour from home, is a simple way to expand your horizons. Stop making excuses, and start planning your trip!

4. Laugh, and the whole world laughs with you.

How do you decide whether you’re actually getting the most from life? A chuckle and a large pinch of salt would be a good start. When we are laughing, we are more relaxed, and everything in life seems a little easier.

Even when life feels too busy, hard, or plain ridiculous, we all possess the capacity for laughter. Whether it’s a joke, a video featuring ridiculous animal behavior, or just seeing the funny side of a difficult situation, you owe it to yourself to make sure that your life features a regular dose of laughter. Go on; get more from life! It all starts with a smile.

5. Be generous. It’s good for you!

Giving your precious time to others is good for your health and happiness. Recent studies have shown that the simple process of volunteering time, skills and goodwill for a deserving cause can bring distinct benefits to the giver as well as the recipient. So by being more generous, you could be better off too. And if you’re healthy and smiley, you’ll have the time and energy to ensure you’re getting the most that life has to offer!

None of these 5 simple rules need take up much of your time, but each of them will ensure you’ll be on the road to getting the most from your life.

The older we get, the more that we experience life and the more that we learn what truly makes us happy. 10 Things You Need to Learn to Live a Super-Happy Life

Featured photo credit: Timothy Tollevia Flickr

Love this article?