Life could pass us by in our fast-paced world that glorifies overtime work and instant promotion. When this happens, we might forget to show appreciation for the little things that make life a worthwhile journey. Life passes relatively quickly, as Ferris Bueller famously put it. This short adage should be enough to help us realize that we could easily miss life’s beauty if we don’t take a pause and a good look around.
Occasionally putting our life on pause does not mean we should stop doing things that help us pay the bills or clean our house. It also does not mean we should pack all our belongings and leave everything behind. Appreciating life is as simple as expressing gratitude to the people and the situations around us. These situations could be the sunlight in the morning, the funny jokes we share, or the mere fact that we can open our eyes and discover a new day filled with endless possibilities.
Every day, unpleasant news bombards us, which could easily distract us from shifting our focus to the magic of gratefulness. With these unwanted diversions, here are some simple ways to help you make each day matter.
Share Some Jokes
There are many advantages to laughing, and having frequent laughter in your life helps deal with problems from a positive perspective. Sometimes playfulness is the most fruitful attitude in tackling serious issues.
For instance, if anything is causing you annoyance, try letting out some laughter to make the situation less stressful. Imagine how enjoyable your days would be if you made an effort to amuse yourself and those around you. You can also use humor as a method to communicate or console someone. Skimming through “Humor All The Way” by Renee Servello is a good start if you find it challenging to think of a good joke. The book has hilarious anecdotes from everyday situations.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
How do you cherish the good things you have received or the special moments you have shared with others? Establish a daily habit of remembering the blessings and good things you enjoy. Taking time each day to remember moments of gratitude may weave in the sustainable living theme of gratitude.
Plus, recording your gratitude is a great way to keep track of all the details in your life, big and small, so pick up a pen for your old-fashioned journal. Keeping a gratitude journal also helps in reminding yourself of the struggles you have overcome. Doing so will instantly enhance your mood if you’re feeling low. If writing is something you are not fond of, you may arrange your journal in the form of a list. Add a list of what you are thankful for in your daily life.
Change Your Perspective
It’s normal not to feel thankful and joyous at all times. Such a feeling is especially applicable if you are in a challenging situation. Changing your perspective on this matter will magnify your sense of gratitude. You may start by empathizing with others experiencing misfortunes greater than yours.
For instance, thinking about those fighting for their lives in a hospital bed will encourage you to feel more grateful that you woke up with a healthy body. Are you tired of your child’s cheekiness? Think about those who struggle with conceiving. Can’t cook without burning something? Maybe it’s time to enroll in that cooking class and practice cooking with your new friends. Are you getting old? Share the wisdom you’ve earned in your youth.
Robert Emmons says we are more likely to appreciate when we focus on others than we are caught up in our inner story of how things should be.
Happiness is a Habit, and so is Gratitude
A lot of times, we focus on finding happiness. However, happiness is a fleeting emotion as it happens in the dopamine-giving region in our brain. Today, you might be happy. The next day, you might find yourself sad.
According to neuroscientist Christina Karns, gratitude is more complex than happiness as it involves higher-order cognition and reasoning. It is why our sense of appreciation deepens as we grow older. Just like humor, don’t think deeply about how to be grateful; practice it freely by doing something every day that you can reflect on as you grow older.
If you’re still racking your brains on how to make every day count, make it a habit to share a joke daily. Gather some timeless gag at Renee Servello’s “Humor All The Way.” All good things in life must be free, including humor.
Featured Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/8EQTXMqr0vg
Why Gratitude Is Good
The science of gratitude: As we age, our brains get better at feeling thankful
9 Things To Be Thankful For as We Age