All of us want to have happier and more satisfying life experiences. We would also like to avoid suffering as much as possible and be able to focus on enjoying life! Even so we often put our happiness on a future shelf, and focus on “the task at hand,” that we think we need to accomplish before we can enjoy the fruits of our labors.
If we were to stop and consider our lives realistically we would see that the only time we ever have is right now. We always live in the present moment. The past is a fading memory, and the future is a fluid concept that changes drastically from day-to-day, depending on the choices we make now in this present moment.
The very best time to be happy is right now. One of my favorite authors Thich Nhat Hanh says that ” “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. (21)”
― Thich Nhat Hanh,
Let’s look at 10 awesome ways to improve our quality of life, and increase our happiness now. These 10 practices will help us reach our goal of increasing our happiness in the present moments we are experiencing.
10 Practices to Improve Your Life and add to your Happiness.
- Practice Mindfulness Daily. Essentially Mindfulness is simply focusing your awareness on what you are thinking, doing, and saying in this present moment. To me mindfulness is like that soft inner voice that reminds me to practice loving-kindness and compassion for myself and others each day.
- Practice Communicating using Deep Reflective Listening, and Kind Speech. Listen carefully and deeply to what is being said. Do not interrupt or think about what you want to say. Fully consider the other person’s thoughts and feelings about the matter as you listen to them. When it is your turn to express how you feel, or to ask questions if needed about what they expressed, they are more likely to give you the same courtesy of listening deeply to what you have to say. It is also important to remember that showing kindness to others reflects back to us the same energy, adding to our happiness as well.
- Let Go ~ Use the Power of Forgiveness to set Yourself Free! “To help us reach our goal of inner peace and freedom from our suffering and pain, through forgiveness, consider these thoughts from Gerald Jampolsky found in the introduction of his book, “Forgiveness: The Greatest Healer of All.”
- “Forgiveness releases us from so much. It stops our inner battles…it allows us to stop recycling anger and blame.”
- “Forgiveness allows us to know who we truly are, with forgiveness in our hearts, we can at last experience our true essence as love.”
- “Forgiveness is the greatest healer that allows us to feel joined and at one with each other, and all that is life.”
- Forgiveness has the power to heal both our inner and outer lives. It can change how we see ourselves and others. It can change how we experience the world.”
Basically when we fail to forgive those who hurt us, we are essentially holding onto a burning hot coal, which can engulf us in burning flames of anger and consume us, if not released so that healing can take place.” (Source my Post on The Inside Scoop on Forgiveness Pt. 1)
- Accept Yourself as You are, Fully and Unconditionally! Practice Loving Yourself! “To help ourselves reach new heights of self acceptance, in our quest for happiness and success, we need to see ourselves as we really are. We need to allow the truth to be. Then no matter how painful it may be, the truth will help us to heal. We will become free to love, forgive and accept ourselves, as we are. When we are able to give ourselves the gifts of unconditional love, and self acceptance; we will truly be free to experience happiness and success in our lives! To live a life that is free from self sabotage and doubt, will open the door for you to grow, and create the happy life of your dreams!” (Source: my Post on How to Build Self Acceptance ~ for a Happy Life!)
- Take Time to Enjoy Your Life now, with Your Family and Friends! Think how you would feel if a loved one suddenly died, or if you did? Would you regret all the times you were to busy for them, or put off spending time with them for work or other busy reasons? Enjoy time together now, and you will have fewer regrets later down the road.
- Use meditation and prayer to help expand your inner world. This will help you better understand yourself and all others as well. Meditation helps increase your understanding, compassion and concepts of the reality you are living in. Understanding is an essential key to improving your life in many ways. Prayer gives you a wonderful way to commune with God, the source of our existence, and the greatest source of help, hope and happiness in the Universe!
- Practice eating a healthier and more balanced diet. Eat new foods, make it fun trying new things with your family. Cook the meals together so everyone can be a part of the fun! Let different family members help choose new things to try as well. Seek to create a variety of fresh tasty foods that are as natural and free of additives as possible. Avoid heavily processed foods and excessive sugar consumption. We are what we eat! We can let our food be our best medicine.
- Practice an Attitude of Gratitude! The more you can focus on the positive, and all your blessings, the happier and more satisfied you will feel! Try keeping a gratitude journal to help you see how much you really have to be thankful for! There is a healing power released into your life when you practice gratitude! I encourage you to try it, as the transformation of your perspective is amazing!
- With Your Doctor’s Guidance Start an Exercise Program Appropriate for Your Fitness Level. Exercise has many proven benefits. It is important to get professional guidance on this to ensure you are able to do the exercises safely so as to avoid injury. Being fit and healthy will help you feel better about yourself and improve the quality of your life in many ways.
- Take Time For Yourself. If we do not nurture ourselves, and invest in our health and happiness we will not be able to live up to our full potential, or be of much help to others. Consider this awesome quote from Buddha on loving and caring for ourselves. “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
In summary when we practice these 10 things, we will begin to see our lives transform as our happiness and sense of fulfillment grows. Our health and quality of life can also be improved by the practices listed here. I invite you to try these practices for yourself and enjoy a happier more fulfilling life with the ones you love, now!
Namaste, until next time.