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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.

      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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      Published on March 3, 2021

      How To Relax Quickly When You Are Addicted To Work

      How To Relax Quickly When You Are Addicted To Work

      You’ve finally reached the end of your workday—a day that started with you skimming hours from sleep to get a jump-start on your to-do list. It continued with you eating lunch at your desk to avoid losing momentum, ignoring calls from family and friends to fend off feelings of guilt about not working, and adding new projects to your plate after finishing up others. You’ve managed to reject anything that resembles a break so you can stay firmly focused on your work performance and success. Now, you’re exhausted. And, let’s be honest: you’re also addicted to working.

      There’s some part of you that knows this and understands the urgency with which you need to conjure personal courage to confront the unhealthy, underlying causes of your obsessive work style. But, for now, the only mental energy you can muster is the bit that’s required to figure out how to relax quickly so you can do it all over again tomorrow.

      Here are 5 temporary solutions to try out to ease the tension of mental exhaustion from being addicted to work until you’re ready to put in the courageous effort to change your approach to work.

      1. Take a Walk Around the Block

      Once you close your computer and step away from your desk, kick on your walking shoes and head outside. Walking has long been identified as a way to relax the mind and the body. In fact, research has shown that a brisk walk can relieve stress and tension similar to how aspirin relieves a headache.[1]

      The reason for this has to do with how this low-impact exercise triggers the release of endorphins or brain chemicals that stimulate relaxation.[2] If your work addiction has left you with limited time, you’re in luck. A walk as short as 10 minutes can provide the stress-relieving benefits you need to reset your mind.

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      If work has depleted you’re energy to the point where a vigorous walk seems like more trouble than it’s worth, you can try a slower-paced walking meditation to help you unwind. Mindful walking is practiced within many forms of Buddhism and focuses on walking with reverence. This means that each step is taken with intentional breathing, whole-body awareness, and deep gratitude. Mindful walking is meant to bring your body and mind together peacefully and can help you relax in as little as 10 minutes.

      If you’d rather unwind with a little less movement, give a weighted blanket a try.

      2. Crawl Up Under a Weighted Blanket

      For many people, taking a nap is an ideal antidote for restoring the body and brain after many hours of work. If you are addicted to work, however, you may not be able to easily disconnect from unfinished projects and allow yourself to drift off to sleep.

      A weighted blanket may be able to help. This type of blanket ranges from 5 to 30 pounds and is designed to help you feel snug and secure like a comforting hug. In theory, the blanket provides “pressure therapy,” which helps to settle your nervous system and lower your heart rate when you are stressed.[3] Pressure therapy can increase the amount of serotonin and oxytocin released in the brain, which can lead to a sense of calm.

      Some experts recommend staying under a weighted blanket for 20-30 minutes. However, the duration is up to you depending upon how much comfort and relaxation you feel. Once you’ve snuggled underneath a weighted blanket, you may find your way to sleep in no time.

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      However, if a weighted blanket alone doesn’t seem to be doing the trick to help you relax quickly, you may want to add music to the mix.

      3. Turn on Otis Redding

      Music is often a go-to resource to stimulate good vibes. If you’re addicted to work and looking for a way to release the built-up tension generated from your intense focus on productivity, power up your favorite music streaming service and turn on some soothing sounds. Research shows that “music around 60 beats per minute can cause your brain to synchronize with the beat” and create alpha brainwaves.[4] These are the helpful brainwaves that appear when you are relaxed.

      You might be wondering what type of music comes in at 60 beats per minute. Think Otis Redding. Spotify features a playlist called “60 bpm” that includes several of Redding’s songs like “My Girl” and “These Arms of Mine.” If you’re not a fan of old-school jams, you’ll find other artists and songs on the list as well. You can also do your own research to create a custom playlist that’s immediately ready when you need it the most.

      When choosing relaxing music to listen to, keep in mind that you don’t want to simply turn to a tune because science says so. Listening to music that doesn’t appeal to you might have the opposite calming effect that you’re going for.

      4. Say Cheese

      Smiling is easy, quick, and loaded with relaxation benefits. All it takes is getting past the awkwardness of sitting down or walking around with a grin on your face for no reason other than to unwind. Research shows that an act as simple as smiling can be effective in reducing the intensity of the body’s stress response and lowering heart rate levels after stressful activities.[5] And all of this can happen regardless of whether you actually feel happy.

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      When you smile, your brain releases dopamine and endorphins, which are chemical messengers that help to lighten your mood. This makes smiling a sneaky—yet effective—way to trick your brain into helping you feel good.

      As a bonus, research shows that smiling can help you look more attractive. In a study conducted at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, participants found men and women who made eye contact and smiled to be more good-looking than those who did not.[6]

      If you really want to take your relaxation up a notch, try smiling while lying on the floor.

      5. Lie on the Floor

      If being addicted to work has left you in a severe state of exhaustion that the only thing you can think to do is lay flat on the floor, you’re closer to relaxation than you may realize. The Alexander Technique, named after a Shakespearean actor, offers up a specific way to lie on the floor so that you release tension in your muscles.[7]

      The technique, also known as Constructive Rest, involves turning on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. In addition to helping you relax, the specific position supports spinal alignment.[8] Be sure not to get too cozy, though. Lying on the floor for an extended period of time could lead to soreness and stiffness. You only need to hold the Alexander Technique for a few minutes to feel a sense of ease, and practicing each day can lead to longer-lasting results.

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      The Bottom Line

      Being addicted to work can bring on an unbearable amount of tension and unease that leaves you with an urgent desire to find relief. But until you can conjure the courage to transform your approach to work and success, that relief is destined to be temporary. There are several methods, backed by science, that can help bring about a brief sense of relaxation.

      Walking has been proven to release neurochemicals that are responsible for easing stress. Positioning yourself under a weighted blanket has been thought to provide pressure therapy, which helps settles your nervous system.

      On top of that, listening to music at a specific rhythm can cause your brain to create alpha waves—the waves that are generated when you are relaxed. You may also try lying on the floor. The right horizontal position can help you release the built-up tension that comes from working overtime. The simplest and quickest way, though, for those addicted to work to bring about a sense of calmness is by cracking a smile. Smiling has been shown to reduce the body’s stress response.

      Now, if you’re an overachiever in figuring out how to relax, just a much as you are an overachiever at working, consider walking around the block, returning home, turning on smooth sounds, lying on the floor with a weighted pull on top of you, closing your eyes, and smiling concurrently.

      More Tips on Leading a Balanced Life

      Featured photo credit: XPS via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Anxiety & Depression Association of America: Exercise for Stress and Anxiety
      [2] Prevention: How To Walk To Relieve Your Stress
      [3] Harvard Health Publishing: Anxiety and stress weighing heavily at night? A new blanket might help
      [4] University of Nevada, Reno: Releasing stress through the power of music
      [5] Association for Psychological Science: Grin and Bear It! Smiling Facilitates Stress Recovery
      [6] Psychology Today: There’s Magic in Your Smile
      [7] Harvard Health Publishing: The Alexander Technique can help you (literally) unwind
      [8] BodyIntelligence: Stress Reliever: The Alexander Technique Practice of Lying Down

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