October 8, 2018
Do what you need to do and enjoy life as it happens.
I am learning that a life of leisure takes up a lot of time and today we are adding physical therapy sessions. My docs want me to regain some of the strength in my legs that I lost since I can no longer get to the gym and my coach, Julia.
My PT folks will escort me to the workout area and put me through their regimen. Since I walk from my apartment to the facilities restaurant two or three times a day, a long distance, I should be able to retain my strength.
One of the good things about my life these days is that there is little time for negative thoughts, I get to enjoy what I do have rather than morn what I no longer have. Of course my siestas do shorten my day.
What about you? I hope you are enjoying your life as much as I am. Here are a few tips that might help you enjoy it more.
Three Ways to Enjoy Your Life More
Enjoyment is an incredible energizer to the human spirit.
John C. Maxwell
We all want to be happier: a simple sentence, only six words long. And yet every time it crosses my mind, it’s a powerful reminder of why my job—psychologist—even exists; every patient I work with wants my help in order to enjoy their life more. These individuals come from all walks of life, and each has his or her own story, but this desire is perhaps the only thing that they have in common with each other—and, for that matter with you or me. They all want to “be happier”.
So, what’s the number one thing you can do to make that happen?
During my first meetings with them, people often suggest large, sweeping changes to their lives. I could quit my job. I could leave New York. I could get back with my ex. I could shave off my beard.
All valid ideas. But here’s my suggestion: I could try to find more enjoyment in my life as it exists right now. It is so clear that enjoyment of life is linked to so many other positive outcomes. Some point to the possibility that enjoying exercise will lead to better performance in physical activity. But are there things that you can do practice enjoyment? What concrete behavioral changes can you make to begin your quest to enjoy your life with more vigor?
Here are three ideas for you to practice:
1.Have a daily ritual around enjoyment: Upon waking, ask yourself, “What do I look forward to most today.” At the end of your day, ask yourself, “What was the most enjoyable part of my day and why?
You could actually take it one step further and document your enjoyment ritual. Each night, you could write down one thing you enjoyed about your day on a slip of paper, and drop it in a jar. A year from now, empty the jar and re-read the slips. I love this method because of its double-pronged benefit: not only do you get to dwell on your enjoyment every day, but you can relive it all at once, long after the fact.
- Whenever you eat try to focus on the taste of your food for just one minute. What does it taste like? Try to identify the different sensations. Salty? Sweet? Bitter? Sour? If you are eating with someone, comment to them about each observation.
This tip comes out of the research which suggests that eating smaller portions of food with more mindfulness can increase your actual enjoyment of what you are eating. (Of course, the trick is the smaller portions – read my post on changing a behavior for that one!)
- Put a reminder on your phone, computer or calendar that reminds you to enjoy whatever is most important in your life. I have a small cartoon sticker of a shining sun that my daughter gave me that’s on my phone case. In the midst of any stressful day, it reminds me to focus on what I can enjoy and divert my attention from the rest.
If you go around being afraid, you’re never going to enjoy life. You have only one chance, so you’ve got to have fun.
We were on our way to the hospital where our 16-year-old daughter was scheduled to undergo a tonsillectomy. During the ride we talked about how the procedure would be performed. “Dad,” our teenager asked, “how are they going to keep my mouth open during the surgery?” Without hesitation he quipped, “They’re going to give you a phone to hold.”
When you have accumulated sufficient knowledge to get by, you’re too old to remember it.
Recently we called a business phone number and heard the following: If you are calling from a touch-tone phone, press one now. If you are calling from a rotary phone, hang up and call back from a touch-tone phone.
I dialed a wrong number and got the following recording: I am not available right now, but thank you for caring enough to call. I am making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the beep. If I do not return your call, you are one of the changes.”
There was a woman who spent some months serving God in Kenya. On her final visit to a remote township she attended a medical clinic. As the Maasai women there began to sing together, she found herself deeply moved by their hauntingly beautiful harmonies. She wanted to always remember this moment and try to share it with friends when she arrived home. With tears flowing down her cheeks, she turned to her friend and asked, “Can you please tell me the translation of the words to this song?” Her friend looked at her an solemnly replied, “If you boil the water, you won’t get dysentery.”
“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”
When the new patient was settled comfortably on the couch, the psychiatrist began his therapy session. I’m not aware of your problem,” the doctor said. “So perhaps, you should start at the very beginning.”
“Of course,” replied the patient. In the beginning, I created the Heavens and the Earth…”
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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