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Last Updated on November 25, 2019

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

How to Enjoy Life In a Way 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. In reality, however, 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 to 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 we, and we alone, that have to live with the consequences of our decisions.

2. Make Time to Relax

Making time to relax and reconnect with ourselves leaves us better equipped to deal with more challenging periods.

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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 yourself energy and spend your time on something more worthwhile.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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9. Spend Money on Experiences, Not Possessions

It’s experiences, not possessions, that create memories and meaning.

10. Cut down Your Junk

Physical clutter equals mental clutter. And so, reducing the amount of stuff around us fosters a calmer mental state, too.

11. Make Time for Gratitude and Appreciation

Creating a routine of writing down three things we feel grateful for each day helps us focus more on what we’re grateful for in life. Starting a gratitude journal can help too.

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.

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’re also 3 Valuable Ways to Invest in Yourself

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

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.

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.

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21. Record Happy Moments

Take photos, journal, draw—whatever you need to do to record happy moments and memories.

22. Get Active

Exercises releases endorphins, natural pain-relieving and stress-busting chemicals.

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.

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 About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Adam Wilson via unsplash.com

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.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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