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26 Things To Remember To Pursue True Happiness (From A To Z)

26 Things To Remember To Pursue True Happiness (From A To Z)

You want to be happy. Whether or not you know it or believe it, you desire complete and utter contentment in your life.

It is the reason you get up in the morning. It is why work so hard to provide for you and your family. It is the reason you undertake hobbies that enrich your life. It is the reason you pursue things you are passionate about.

Happiness isn’t necessarily your main purpose in life but you aspire to live joyfully whenever possible because those are the moments that you really relish.

Why not institute these joyful moments all the time? How do you go about doing that?

I present you the A to Z ways to cultivate genuine happiness into your life everyday.

A is for Acceptance

Acceptance- Accept yourself first and foremost for who you are. Until you accept yourself you will never cultivate genuine happiness. Change when necessary but accept the wonderful being that you are.

Accept others because you can’t change them. The more you accept and the less you try to transform others, the happier you will be.

B is for Believe

Believe- Believe in yourself. You are capable of accomplishing amazing feats. When you have a goal or a dream believe you can achieve it. Believe in others as well. Believe in your family and your friends. Believe in society as a whole.

Imagine how happy the world would be if everyone believed in one another?

C is for Compassion

Compassion- Be compassionate for yourself and other people. Altruism is the greatest gift you can give yourself and other people. Don’t pity other people, rather have compassion for them.

More compassion leads to more understanding. More understanding leads to less judgment.

D is for Dedication

Dedication- Dedicate yourself to something noble and worthy. No matter what you do in life, dedicate yourself to it. If you are dedicated in life you will always be fulfilled.

E is for Elation

Elation- Be elated when great things happen in life. Celebrate birthdays and other meaningful holidays.

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Don’t hold back in the joy you feel when you are surrounded by people you love. Demonstrate elated happiness as much as possible!

F is for Forgiveness

Forgiveness- You are going to make mistakes. Other people are going to hurt you. That is a part of life. How will you respond to yourself in these situations?

Holding a grudge against yourself or others is not the answer. Forgive and do your best to forget. Move on because life is too short to be unhappy!

G is for Gratitude

Gratitude- Be grateful for every moment you are fortunate enough to have in this life. Don’t hesitate to express gratitude to your loved ones.

Show gratitude to strangers or to anyone you feel is deserving of it. Most importantly, be grateful for you.

H is for Hope

Hope- Remember even in the darkest of times there is always that ray of light called hope. Don’t ever lose hope. Hope keeps you going when you think you can’t go on. Hope saves lives.

Share a message of hope with those people in your life who are especially going through rough times.

I is for Involvement

Involvement- Be involved. Don’t isolate yourself. The happiest people in the world are able to find a balance between solitude and social situations.

Become involved in your community. Immerse yourself in hobbies and extracurricular activities that are challenging and fun. Reach out to your coworkers. Simple involvement with other people can be a solid foundation for genuine contentment.

J is for Joy

Joy- In order to live a happier life you have exude joy and jubilation on a consistent basis. It doesn’t just happen.

You have to make the effort every day to live joyfully not because someone or something makes you express joy. Live with joy because you are alive. What a gift!

K is for Kindness

Kindness- Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Do random acts of kindness for your fellow man.

Being kind to others is much more beneficial to you overall happiness than being unkind.

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L is for Love

Love- There is no greater emotion than love. If you display love frequently and experience love with open arms you are going to live a happy life. It is as simple as that.

You can either be in a loving state or a non-loving state. Think about how each one feels. Which one would you prefer to experience?

M is for Mindfulness

Mindfulness-Be conscious and aware of who you are and what you are doing. Be conscious and aware of the people around you and the world you are living in. Introducing more awareness into your life will help you bring about positive change you seek and desire.

Meditate, spend time in nature, observe your mind and the thoughts that are running through it, and continue to learn.

Mindfulness takes practice. The more you train yourself to be aware of your mind, the better understanding you will have your emotions.

Instead of living a reactive life, one in which you continually react to situations with common negative emotions, live an active life.

An active life is one in which you are aware of your emotions and you experience them as you choose.

N is for Nurture

Nurture- Breed the things you desire in life. If you wish to handle negative situations in your life with more balance and dignity, than cultivate genuine happiness.

When you are genuinely happy you aren’t going to experience such drastic highs and lows. You will notice more equanimity because you have nurtured awareness. Anything you want in life can be nurtured for your benefit. Things will not always go the way you want them to but your ability to deal with adversity will be more profound.

O is for Optimism

Optimism- If you want to live a positive and happy life than you have to live optimistically. There is more to it than simply saying you are going to be optimistic.

It takes a lot of training and discipline, but shifting your perspective can have an enormous impact on your life. If you generally view life from an optimistic point of view you are more likely to attract positive outcomes.

P is for Passion

Passion- Be passionate in your life. Engage in work that you love. Cultivate relationships that you are passionate about. Undertake hobbies and activities with enthusiasm.

If you go through life without passion and desire you are like a snail or a slug slowly dragging its way along the concrete. Don’t wait for someone else or something else to ignite the flame of passion into your life. Go find it for yourself!

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Q is for Quietness

Quietness- Spend time in quiet. Just like your physical body needs breaks from time to time, the mind needs breaks as well. Quiet the mind and just be.

Step away from your busy schedule, sit in a quiet place, and just observe yourself in the moment. A couple minutes a day will have a tremendous significance on your life.

R is for Resilience

Resilience- How resilient are you? When the going gets tough do you falter or persevere? Life is wonderful but there are going to be plenty of instances where you experience adversity.

You might lose your job or even worse a loved one. People will be cruel to you. Will you let these situations define you or will you continue to live life on your terms? Don’t let negative situations transform you for the worse.

You have the right to experience grief and other negative emotions when necessary but be resilient. Don’t allow them to derail them from your happy life.

S is for Selflessness

Selflessness- Many people are so focused on themselves that they forget what life is about. Instead of being selfish, be selfless.

It is scientifically proven that people who serve others on a daily basis and look out for their fellow man are more content with life. There are going to be times when you need to look out for your best interests.

As you go through life ask yourself how you can help others. Whether you realize it or not everyone else’s needs are just as important as yours.

T is for Tolerance

Tolerance- Much of the fear that is portrayed through the news and other media is due to intolerance. People are unable or unwilling to accept others for who they are.

You don’t have to agree with others in order to be tolerant. The more you tolerate others, the less likely you are to hate others. Spreading hatred is the anti-thesis of what you should do if you crave to be genuinely happy.

Intolerance only leads to more intolerance. It doesn’t solve anything.

U is for Unconditional

Unconditional- When you love, love unconditionally. When you serve others, serve unconditionally. Unconditionally means without any strings attached. Do good deeds for others because you genuinely want to spread joy.

Don’t expect anything in return. Don’t merely show love to your spouse, partner, or whomever because you desire them to act a certain way or give you something you want. This is not a representation of the true and authentic you.

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V is for Value

Value- Live a purposeful life. Seek meaning in what you are doing. Look for the good in people, even those people who you believe lack value.

Don’t only value your life but value the life of everyone around- family members and non-family members alike- loved ones and strangers.

W is for Well-being

Well-being- You desire to live a life full of well-being. Well-being is a constant state of happiness and contentment. The ebbs and flows of life don’t alter this state.

Negative can be expressed freely without fear of losing your ability to be happy. Positive emotions are shown without fear of losing the happy feeling.

X is for Xenial

Xenial- Xenial means to be hospitable and giving especially to strangers and people whom you don’t know. Hold the door for strangers. Let other drivers in front of you during high traffic times. Give someone hand carrying their groceries. Assist a elderly person walking across the street.

These are all examples of being xenial. Carrying out acts of kindness to people you don’t know will strengthen your positive outlook on life. Is there a greater feeling than helping someone who is need?

Y is for Yes

Yes- I am not suggesting you be like Jim Carrey in the movie Yes Man and say yes to everyone and everything no matter what. I am proposing to explore the possibilities of this word.

How often do you say no in comparison to how often you say no? Think about this because it might give you an understanding of what kind of perspective you have in life.

Do you consistently say decline invitations even when you are free and have no prior engagements? Step out of your comfort zone and try new things. If possible, say yes the next time you are invited out with friends or coworkers. It might change your life.

Z is for Zealous

Zealous- When you leave this Earth will you be able to honestly say that you lived a life filled with verve, devotion, and passion?

I think overzealous is a word that has been given a negative connotation of sorts. Maybe in certain situations being over excited or over enthusiastic is frowned upon.

This couldn’t be further from the truth when describing your life. Live your life full of zeal. Be excited and energetic. Be genuinely happy!

Being happy can be as easy as learning the alphabet if you practice, practice, practice.

Implement these simple but powerful words into your life, and empower yourself with the ability to manifest authentic joy.

Featured photo credit: Pikdit via pikdit.com

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Mike Oppland

Mike is the Creator of Carpe Diem Motivation. He aspires to inspire individuals who are seeking a little extra boost in their lives.

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Last Updated on September 30, 2020

How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

We often hear people talk about the importance of living in the present and the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, especially the lower levels of stress and anxiety, but how exactly can we live in the moment when our mind is constantly worrying about the past or plans for the future?

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of living in the moment you may not be aware of. Then, we’ll look at some of the obstacles and why we worry. Finally, and most importantly, I’ll show you how to live in the moment and stop worrying using some simple practices that you can easily incorporate into your busy schedule.

The result: a happier and more fulfilling life.

The Importance of Living in the Moment

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha

While it can be difficult to live in the moment, it has innumerable benefits.

Here are just a few that will enhance your life tremendously:

Better Health

By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present can also improve psychological well-being[1].

Improve Your Relationships

Have you ever been with someone who is physically present, but mentally s/he’s a million miles away?

Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and building relationships with them extremely difficult.

How about being with someone who is fully present? We enjoy being with her/him because we can make a much deeper connection.

By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.

Greater Self-Control

You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions. Imagine how much better your life would be if it weren’t at the mercy of a racing mind and unpredictable emotions. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier[2].

Why Do We Worry?

Before we answer this question, it’s important to distinguish between worry and concern.

When we are concerned about something, we are more likely dealing with a real problem with realistic solutions. Then, once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.

Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist, or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.

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Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes, such as a serious health issue. Some problems may be beyond our control, such as civil unrest or economic downturn. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.

3 Steps to Start to Live in the Moment

Step 1: Overcome Worrying

In order to overcome worrying, we need to do two things:

Calm Your Mind

When you calm your mind, you are able to see more clearly.

The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. Then, we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our mind, most of which are unlikely to come true.

In addition to seeing more clearly, a calm mind will help us think more realistically. Unrealistic thinking is fueled by confusion and uncontrolled emotions. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions, allowing you to live in the present.

Focus on Solutions Instead of Problems

Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.

People with more education tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.

If you’re not problem-solving oriented, don’t worry. You can train yourself to worry less. We’ll discuss that soon.

Step 2: Identify Obstacles to Living in the Moment

In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, as well as outside influences.

Racing Mind

Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated from too much sensory stimulation.

You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.

If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down.

Unpleasant Situations and a Troublesome Past

None of us want to be in unpleasant situations, or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel.

So how do most people cope with painful emotions?

By doing whatever we can to avoid them, we can take our mind to another place and time where things are more pleasant.

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In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.

Some people resort to things that stimulate sensory pleasure, such as food, alcohol, or sex. Others will consume substances that dull their mind and keep them from thinking about unpleasant or stressful situations.

A Wandering Mind

From the moment we are born (likely sooner) until the time we die, our body and mind are active performing some function. Therefore, it’s natural for our mind to have some level of activity, whether conscious or unconscious.

Generally, a wandering mind is unproductive. One thought starts an endless chain of thoughts, and this process can go on until we need our mind to perform a specific function or get distracted with something else.

Now, there are times when a wandering mind can be productive, such as when creating works of art, or trying to find creative solutions to problems. In such cases, we need our mind to explore different possibilities[3].

Outside Influences

Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The media draws our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future[4].

Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking. Even the whole concept of the American dream is geared toward the future. It tells us that if we acquire things like a good career, family, and house, then we’ll be happy.

Step 3: Practice Mindfulness

So how can we live in the moment in a world that is constantly trying to draw our attention to the past and future?

Before we get into concrete actions you can take, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. You’ve probably heard the term before, but may not fully understand what it means.

Understand Mindfulness

The concept of mindfulness is actually quite simple. To be mindful is to live in the moment.

When you are mindful, your attention is focused on what is happening in the present moment, and you are fully in touch with reality[5].

You are aware of what is happening in your body, mind, emotions, and the world around you. This is different than thinking about these things. To develop greater understanding, you don’t have to think about them so much, but rather just observe them.

This may be counterintuitive to many people, especially intellectuals, because they’re so used to using logic to develop greater understanding. With mindfulness, we calm our mind and emotions so we can see clearer. Then, much of our understanding will come from simple observation. When we develop mindfulness, we literally expand our awareness.

To develop mindfulness, we need to train ourselves to observe things more objectively, that is, without our emotions or preconceived ideas influencing our views.

If you’re ready to live a better life, read on for some simple mindfulness practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you live in the moment.

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You don’t have to do all of them, but rather choose the ones that appeal to you and suit your lifestyle.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the mainstay of developing mindfulness and living in the moment. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you really have to do is sit quietly and follow your breathing. When your mind wanders off, just bring it back to your breath.

Notice how your lungs expand with each in-breath and contract with each out-breath. Let your breathing become relaxed and natural.

You don’t have to do it perfectly. The idea is to start spending time away from the constant sensory stimulation of all your activities, and just allow it to settle down naturally. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes per day and work your way up to about 20 minutes or longer.

This practice is highly effective, and can have both short-term and long-term benefits.

If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, take a look at this article: What Is Mindfulness Meditation? 7 Ways to Start Meditating

Mindful Breathing

While this may sound the same as mindfulness meditation, all you’re really doing is taking short breaks occasionally (10 to 15 seconds) to observe your breathing. Stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few mindful breaths, then resume your activity. That’s it.

You can do mindful breathing at any time of the day during your busy schedule. What it does is interrupt the acceleration of your mind. It is like taking your foot off the accelerator while driving. It’s a nice refreshing break you can take without anyone noticing.

Here’re some breathing exercises you can try to learn: 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly)

Mindful Walking

Walking is an activity that you perform several times throughout the day. We often think we’re being productive by texting or calling someone while walking. But are we really?

Instead of getting on your cell phone or letting your mind wander off, why not use your walking to train yourself to live in the moment and focus on the task at hand?

Mindful walking is similar to mindful breathing, but instead of focusing on your breath, focus on your walking. Pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.

You can even make a meditation out of walking. That is, go walking for a few minutes outside. Start by slowing down your pace. If you slow down your body, your mind will follow.

In addition to paying attention to your walking, notice the trees, sunshine, and critters. A mindful walk is enjoyable and can really help your mind settle down.

You can discover more benefits of walking in nature here.

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Mindful Eating

Eating is an activity that most of us perform mindlessly. The reason is that it doesn’t require your attention to perform. Therefore, many of us try to multitask while we eat. We may talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or even hold a meeting.

The problem with not eating mindfully is that we don’t eat what our body and mind need to perform at an optimal level[6]. We may eat unhealthy foods, or too much. This can lead to various health problems, especially as we get older.

Live in the present with mindful eating.

    Mindful eating has many health benefits, such as reduced food cravings, better digestion, and even weight loss[7].

    So how do you eat mindfully? Start by slowing down, and avoid the temptation to distract yourself with another activity. Here are 3 different aspects of eating where you can practice mindfulness:

    • Eating itself: Focus your attention on choosing a portion of food to insert into your mouth. Notice the smell, flavor, and texture as you chew it; then finally swallow it. As with following your breath during meditation, pay close attention to every aspect of eating.
    • Choice of foods: Although you’ve already chosen your food before you have begun eating, you can still take the opportunity to contemplate your choices. Think about the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself.
    • Contemplating the sources: Most of us don’t think about all the work it takes to provide us with the food we eat. While you’re eating, consider all the work by the farmer, shipping company, and the grocery store. These are real people who worked hard to provide you with the food necessary for your survival.

    You can find more tips about mindful eating here: 7 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating

    Mindful Activities

    Choose an activity that you perform regularly, such as washing dishes. Focus all your attention on this activity, and resist the temptation to let your mind wander,. When it does, just bring your attention back to washing dishes.

    Notice some of the specific movements or sensations of washing dishes, such as how the soapy water feels on your hands, the circular motion of scrubbing the dish, or the rinsing. You’d be surprised at how such a mundane activity can truly expand your awareness.

    You can choose any activity you like, such as ironing, folding clothes, mowing the lawn, or showering. Over time, you will begin doing all these activities with greater mindfulness.

    Final Thoughts

    Practicing mindfulness is like regularly putting small amounts of change in a jar. They will all add up over time, and this will add up to greater peace and happiness, as well as get you closer to achieving your goals.

    Remember, you don’t have to do the mindfulness practices perfectly to get the benefits. All you have to do is keep bringing your mind back to the present moment when it wanders off.

    Practicing mindfulness may be a bit challenging in the beginning, but I can assure you it will get easier.

    The benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying. When you do, a whole new world will open up for you. This is what Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ultimate reality.

    More About Living in the Present

    Featured photo credit: Smile Su via unsplash.com

    Reference

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