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Last Updated on December 22, 2020

How to Enjoy Life In a Way That Most People Don’t

How to Enjoy Life In a Way That Most People Don’t

Many of us assume that we need to make drastic changes to our habits, routines and/or bank balances to be happy and enjoy life. Fortunately, that’s not the case.

Often, we already have everything we need to enjoy life—it’s just a question of prioritizing what’s really important.

So, how can you enjoy life in a way most people don’t? Here are 25 simple ways you can enjoy your life more, starting today.

1. Focus on Yourself

Other people will always be on hand to offer up their opinions and advice. Ultimately, however, it’s you who has to live with the consequences of your decisions.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with outsider opinions and advice, go off the grid for a few days. Get off social media, put your phone on silent, and tap into your own thoughts and emotions to figure out what your next step should be.

2. Make Time to Relax

Making time to relax and reconnect with ourselves leaves us better equipped to deal with more challenging periods in life. Instead of only finding time to relax when you’re extra stressed, in order to enjoy life, you need to be making time for rest on a daily basis[1].

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8 Ways to Relax Your Mind and Calm Down

    Relaxing can involve doing a favorite hobby, taking a short nap, going for a walk, or even taking a quick weekend trip. Find what works to get your stress levels down and do it.

    3. Avoid the News

    It’s all too easy to get sucked into public drama, online and offline. Trust that if something important happens, you’ll know about it. Otherwise, save your energy and spend your time on something more worthwhile than doomscrolling.

    4. Nurture Your Positive Relationships

    Make time to nurture the positive relationships you have with friends and family. Identify the people who lift you up and focus your energy on them.

    Cultivating positive relationships in life has been proven to increase overall well-being. One study even found that “found that people who have good social relationships are half less likely to die early than are more isolated people”[2]

    5. Meet New People

    Community is one of the most important needs we have. Making a consistent effort to meet new people helps us fulfill that need and introduces us to new ideas and perspectives.

    Expanding your support system will also insure that you have more resources to get through tough times and enjoy life.

    6. Explore New Places

    New places and cultures offer a different perspective on the world and add a healthy dose of inspiration and possibility to our lives. You don’t need a huge bank balance, however, in order to explore. Walk through a new part of town, watch a documentary, go camping in a nearby national park. It doesn’t have to be far to offer you a great experience.

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    7. Keep a Wish List

    Whenever you think of something you’d like to try, or a place you’d like to visit, write it down and keep a collection. It keeps the dream alive and stops it fizzling out as a forgotten thought.

    8. Try New Things

    Commit to trying a certain number of items from your wish list each year to make sure they don’t just stay as wishes. This will keep you engaged with the world around you instead of allowing you to sit back and watch it all fly by.

    9. Spend Money on Experiences, Not Possessions

    It’s experiences, not possessions, that create memories and meaning. Instead of buying that diamond necklace you’ve got your eye on, why not spend that money on a weekend getaway with your spouse? Objects won’t help you make memories, but experiences will, and those are things that really allow you to enjoy life like no one else.

    10. Cut Down Your Junk

    Physical clutter equals mental clutter. Reducing the amount of stuff around us fosters a calmer mental state, too. By tidying up around the house, you can increase your focus, productivity, and positive emotions.

    11. Make Time for Gratitude

    Creating a routine of writing down three things you feel grateful for each day helps you focus more on what’s good in your life. Starting a gratitude journal can help, too. By focusing on gratitude, we place ourselves in the moment and are able to see just how much good we’ve got going for us[3].

    How to Practice Gratitude to Enjoy Life

      12. Track How You’re Spending Your Time

      It’s easy to get to the end of a day and wonder where all the time went, so track how you spend your time in an average week. When we’re conscious of how we’re spending our hours, we can make the most of the time we have on this planet.

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      13. Be Deliberate in Your Choices

      We’ve never had so many opportunities to create a lifestyle that we truly love, yet many of us still live life on autopilot. Be deliberate in your life choices: remember that it’s your life and no-one else’s.

      14. Invest in Yourself

      The more self-aware and self-accepting we are, the happier we are. Make time to read personal development books, journal, and focus on being compassionate towards yourself. Here are also 3 Valuable Ways to Invest in Yourself

      15. Remember That All Feelings Pass

      A key part of enjoying life is accepting that we’re not going to feel 100% happy 100% of the time. During the more challenging times, remember that life is one big cycle of ups and downs, and remember that all feelings pass.

      16. Celebrate Small Wins

      In a goal-obsessed society, it’s easy to bounce from one milestone to the next without savoring our successes. Make time to celebrate your wins—no matter how small, and focus on enjoying the journey rather than the destination.

      17. Allow Yourself to Feel Happy

      Many of us find it challenging to enjoy a calm, “normal” life. Give yourself permission to enjoy a drama-free existence and focus on finding pleasure in your daily experiences.

      18. Practice Mindfulness

      Noticing how we feel and what’s around us right now is an effective way of getting out of our heads, detaching from our worries, and returning to the experience of what it’s truly like to be alive, which is key when we want to enjoy life as much as possible.

      Get inspired by this article about mindfulness: Meditation Can Change Your Life: The Power of Mindfulness

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      19. Get Outside

      Feel the wind on your face, the sun on your skin, and enjoy a good dose of Vitamin D and fresh air. Science has found that being out in nature reduces stress and increases overall well-being.

      One study found that walking in nature, compared to simply looking at nature, reduced cortisol (stress-hormone) levels and improved mood in a sample of healthy university students[4].

      20. Speak Your Mind

      When we hold back our thoughts, opinions, and desires out of fear of displeasing others, we’re not being true to ourselves. Speak up and feel uncomfortable in the short-term and you’ll enjoy life more in the long-term.

      21. Record Happy Moments

      Take photos, journal, draw—whatever you need to do to record happy moments and memories. This way, when you’re feeling down, you’ll have something to look back on to lift your spirits and help you enjoy life.

      22. Get Active

      Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving and stress-busting chemicals. Even if you’re short on time, a 20 minute walk or a few jumping jacks can do wonders for your mood.

      23. Keep Learning

      Find enjoyment through a sense of purpose, and make time to explore subjects that interest you. After all, you never know where your interest might lead!

      24. Practice Compassion

      When we can feel compassion for ourselves and compassion for others, even difficult situations become rewarding and, ultimately, more enjoyable.

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      25. Give Back

      Spending time on activities that make a difference to others, through pursuits like volunteering, helps instill a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. Even though some of the activities might not be that enjoyable or exciting, the simple act of giving back is a reward in itself.

      More on How to Enjoy Life

      Featured photo credit: Adam Wilson via unsplash.com

      Reference

      More by this author

      Hannah Braime

      Hannah is a coach who believes the world is a richer place when we have the courage to be fully self-expressed.

      7 Tips for Building New Habits The 5-Step Guide to Self Care for Busy People How to Enjoy Life In a Way That Most People Don’t The 5-minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime 5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

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      1 What Is Well-being: A Guide On How To Measure And Improve It 2 7 Daily Habits to Balance My Day (And My Life) 3 How to Balance Time for a Truly Balanced Life 4 How to Start Living in the Moment and Stop Worrying 5 How To Relax Quickly When You Are Addicted To Work

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      Published on June 11, 2021

      What Is Well-being: A Guide On How To Measure And Improve It

      What Is Well-being: A Guide On How To Measure And Improve It

      Well-being is a term often utilized in psychology literature to describe healthy individuals. It is often associated with contentment, happiness, or fulfillment. However, there is debate about what well-being really is and even how to spell it.[1] With so much confusion around the definition, individuals are often left to wonder what well-being is and how to achieve it.

      This article will unlock the answers to three questions:

      • What is well-being?
      • How is it measured?
      • How is it improved?

      What Is Well-Being?

      Well-being includes a combination of feeling states and lifestyle factors. Feeling states associated with it may include happiness and contentment. Lifestyle factors may include feelings of fulfillment, achieving one’s potential, having some control in life, and engaging in meaningful relationships. Well-being is also associated with positive mental health.[2] In simpler terms, It is a construct used to describe many facets of life including psychological, physical, and social health. Synonyms for it include happiness, health, positive feelings, welfare, and wellness.[3]

      It may also be defined as a state of balance or homeostasis. This balance is achieved by having enough resources to cope with life’s challenges.[4] Both challenges and resources may be prevalent in three areas: physical, psychological, and social.

      When there is an abundance of challenges and inadequate resources, well-being is lost. However, humans are designed to work towards achieving a state of balance. Well-being is linked to interpersonal, professional, and personal success. It often results in greater productivity at work, increased learning and creativity, prosocial behavior, and fulfilling relationships.[5]

      Why is well-being difficult to define? Likely because it encompasses a variety of life experiences and feeling states that may vary among individuals. To help individuals assess themselves, several measures have been created.

      How Is Well-Being Measured?

      Researchers need to agree on a standardized definition of well-being to accurately measure it. An adequate measure must therefore encompass every facet of well-being, including as a feeling state as well as a lifestyle. In other words, an effective measurement takes both life satisfaction and functioning into account.

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      Well-being can be broken down further into two categories: objective and subjective.

      Objective Well-Being

      Objective well-being looks at standards of living. This is useful for research looking at cultures, countries, or groups of people. It includes measuring education, income, safety, and life expectancy.[6]

      The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United National Development Programme, and the Italian Statistics Bureau have identified six areas for study related to objective well-being:

      1. Health
      2. Job opportunities
      3. Socioeconomic development
      4. Politics
      5. Safety
      6. Environment

      Subjective Well-Being

      Subjective well-being includes an emotional and mental assessment of an individual’s life. Two prominent subjective measures are life satisfaction and happiness. Measuring subjective well-being is useful for predicting mental health patterns.[7] It is determined intrinsically by the individual. Regardless of how their life might be perceived by others on the outside, this measures how individuals feel on the inside.

      Subjective well-being can be broken down further into two categories: hedonic and contentment. The hedonic component relates to feelings, emotions, and moods. The contentment component relates to thoughts and whether an individual feels their life has been fulfilling. Individuals often measure their thoughts and life fulfillment against social and cultural backgrounds.

      In other words, it is important to consider the context in which an individual lives. Individuals may perceive their lives differently based on social and cultural expectations. Furthermore, individuals cannot be measured without taking their environment into consideration.

      In 2013, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development determined subjective well-being to be an important factor in assessing well-being. Because it is perceived by the individual, it is often assessed by self-report measures. In other words, individuals rate their own level of well-being through psychological tests.[8]

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      There are five areas associated with subjective well-being:

      1. Genetic factors
      2. Basic and psychological needs
      3. Social environment
      4. Economics and income
      5. Political environment

      How to Improve Well-Being

      There are many ways that individuals can improve their sense of well-being. It is a complex construct with a variety of factors at play. Therefore, there is no one, perfect solution for it. Instead, the goal should be to engage in a holistic approach the incorporates a variety of factors.

      The following methods are not comprehensive. What works well for one individual may not be the right approach for others. Instead, these approaches should be considered suggestions for improving well-being.

      Individuals looking for a truly comprehensive assessment of well-being should consider scheduling an appointment with a psychologist, therapist, or medical doctor. These individuals may also provide resources, prescribe medication, or share tips for making lifestyle changes to assist in overall improvement.

      1. Spend Time in Nature

      There is evidence to support the claim that interactions with nature increase well-being. This includes an increase in positive emotions, happiness, and subjective well-being. Time spent in nature is also linked with an increased sense of meaning and purpose in life as well as the ability to manage challenges in life.[9]

      One study found that spending at least 120 minutes in nature each week was associated with greater health. In the study, it did not matter if that time was spent all at once or stretched out over the course of a week. Peak gains in well-being occurred between 200 and 300 minutes of nature time, weekly.[10]

      2. Practice Gratitude

      Individuals who experience gratitude as a trait experience increased well-being. Trait gratitude refers to the willingness to see the unearned value in one’s experience. State gratitude is a feeling that occurs after individuals experience an act of kindness and, therefore, feel motivated to reciprocate.

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      One study assessed state gratitude, during Covid-19 in China. Individuals were instructed to journal while practicing gratitude for 14-days, which included a one-month follow-up. The study found that gratitude practiced in a natural setting during times of increased stress and anxiety resulted in increased positive feelings and increased life satisfaction. However, increased life satisfaction was not sustained after one month.[11]

      As a result of the aforementioned study, there is evidence to support a daily practice of journaling and gratitude for increased well-being. Individuals should practice both trait and state gratitude, whenever possible. Over time, these practices will become a habit and lead to lasting improvement.

      3. Develop Increased Awareness

      Increased awareness is associated with improvements in positive subjective experience, increased self-regulation and goal-directed behavior, and successful interactions with others.

      Increased awareness can be attained through meta-awareness. Meta-awareness is the ability to consciously notice an emotion, thought, or sensory experience. It is a skill that can be taught. Mindfulness-based meditation and psychotherapy are two ways in which meta-awareness is learned. Kindness and compassion meditations are both linked with improved well-being. Both Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may help increase awareness.[12]

      4. Achieve Work-Life Balance

      An individual’s workplace has the potential to either help or harm them. Workplace factors that negatively impact well-being include:

      • Work-related pressure or demands
      • Lack of autonomy or flexibility
      • Poor coworker and supervisor relationships
      • Shift work
      • Longer workday length

      Employers can directly improve their workers’ well-being by providing paid leave, opportunities for salary growth, support for individuals with disabilities or those returning after injury, and access to health care. Improvements in the work environment and job structure may also be helpful.[13]

      Worker well-being is beneficial both for workers and their employers. It is associated with improvements in:

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      • Performance at work
      • Coping with stress and self-regulation
      • Satisfying relationships, prosocial communication, and cooperation
      • Immune system functioning
      • And physical and psychological health

      Workplace well-being is also associated with a decrease in burnout, stress, and sleep-related issues.[14]

      5. Seek Out Positive Relationships

      Individuals with caring and positive connections often rank higher in well-being. On the flip side, poor social relationships can be more damaging than excessive drinking and smoking. Positive social relationships also help to protect against mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

      Prosocial behaviors are important for forming social connections that lead to increased well-being. Appreciation and gratitude are both pro-social traits. For example, focusing on the positive qualities and actions of others. Empathy for others also contributes to higher levels of well-being. Lastly, generosity is also a strong predictor of life satisfaction.[15]

      6. Stay Hopeful

      Hope is a concept often related to spiritual and religious traditions. However, it entered the world of psychology around the 20th century. It is now an important construct in positive psychology. Hope can be defined broadly as the belief that things can get better, and that goals are achievable.

      Hope is associated with an increase in:

      • Emotional adjustment
      • Positive feelings
      • Life satisfaction and quality of life
      • Social support
      • A sense of purpose

      Takeaways

      Well-being is a construct that is hard to define, yet widely cited in psychological literature. It is linked with feelings of happiness and contentment. It might also be described as a sense of purpose or satisfaction with life.

      To accurately measure it, there needs to be an agreed-upon definition. In general, it has been separated into objective and subjective categories. Objective well-being considers social and cultural constructs. Subjective well-being refers to the individual’s felt sense and internal assessment of their own.

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      There are several things that individuals can do to improve their well-being. However, no one thing will improve everything. Rather, this requires a holistic practice of mental and physical health. Nevertheless, individuals who spend time in nature, develop positive connections, practice gratitude, stay hopeful, and develop awareness have a greater chance of experiencing better well-being.

      More Tips For Your Well-Being

      Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

      Reference

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