By Elizabeth Scott, M.S.
How To Enjoy Life: Why Savor Life?
Much of stress management focuses on avoiding stress, dealing with the body’s response to stress, and learning effective coping techniques. However, developing healthy habits to build emotional resilience can increase your emotional reserves and provide you with a greater ability to withstand the stressors you encounter in life. Self care strategies like getting enough sleep and surrounding yourself with a supportive network of friends can make a significant impact on how you react to the stress you encounter, enabling you to function at your best and bounce back more quickly. Creating positive experiences and feeling positive emotions in your life can also make a real impact.
Positive psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personal resilience, the factors that make us happy and fulfilled, and, basically, what makes life worth living. This field has brought promising research that can point us in the direction of where we should spend our time if we want to be happy, build resilience, and better manage stress. Research on the importance of savoring life is clear: it’s not just a fun idea, it can bring real benefits.
Those who savor their experiences are better able to attach meaning to them, recognize the silver linings among the dark couds, and enjoy these silver linings to the fullest. Here are some resources to help you to enhance your ability to savor life’s positive experiences, and find more meaning in life.
How To Enjoy Life: Embrace Your Past
You can enjoy life more by embracing your past and using those experiences to create a better present life for yourself. By healing the past and savoring your positive memories, you can maximize your past to enjoy life more in the present. The following tips can help you to enjoy life more and use your past as a springboard:
- Remember And Relive: Remembering your fondest memories can help to bring the best of the past into the present. Go beyond merely recalling that good things happened, and really think about all the details. Feel how you felt in the best of times. Look at how those positive events may be parallelled in good times that are still happening today.
- Share Memories: You can bring your positive memories to life by discussing them with others. Reminisce with loved ones about memories you share. Tell your best stories to others, and enjoy hearing theirs. And don’t forget to savor what is happening now, so you can remember it in the future.
- Re-read Old Journals: If you were someone who has kept journals in the past, you may really enjoy re-reading them now, particularly if they are gratitude journals. You may gain a clearer memory of the good times, and there will be new layers of understanding as you think about the past through the lens of what you know now. Here is how I have experienced the pleasure of re-reading and old gratitude journal.) This special form of connecting to your past self can help you to appreciate even the mundane, otherwise forgotten details of your daily life then, and savor what is going on in your life now.
- Journaling To Rework Past Events: One of the benefits of journaling is that it can help you to re-assess events from your past. You can choose parts of your past that have brought you stress, and explore them in your journal, to gain a new perspective now. When attempting to shift your perspective to a more positive one, you can look at aspects of the events such as the growth it may have brought you, the positive events that may have come out of the negative, and the comparative success that you are having now. In this way, you can come to terms with parts of your past that have always bothered you, and create better memories out of those you remember less than fondly.
- Let Go Of Past Resentments: As you are exploring your past, you may take opportunities to forgive those toward whom you may have anger or unresolved issues. Forgiveness isn’t always easy, but it brings greater benefits to the one who forgives than it does for those who receive forgiveness. Holding onto past hurts can be a heavy burden, and working through them, either through the help of forgiveness tips like these or with a therapist, can be freeing.
How To Enjoy Life: Enjoying Life By Embracing The Present
In the quest to enjoy life, there’s no time like the present. Enjoying life by savoring what’s happening in the current moment is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to get the most out of your current circumstances and enjoy life to the fullest. The following tips and resources can help you to zero in on those parts of your present experience that can bring the most joy.
- Practice Mindfulness: The practice of mindfulness involves focusing intently on the present moment. This can be done in the form of meditation, or can simply involve a heightened awareness of sensations and experiences as you practice everyday activities. Learn more about the benefits of mindfulness and how to practice mindfulness meditation, and make this a regular part of your life.
- Cultivate Gratitude: Feeling gratitude for the good things in life can create more joy. You can maximize your feelings of gratitude by thanking people more often, savoring the present moment, and maintaining a gratitude journal. See these tips on cultivating gratitude for more techniques that work.
- Get More Pleasure Into Your Life: Psychologists have identified activities that bring instant positive feelings as “pleasures,” and they can bring a quick emotional lift. Here is more on the concept of pleasures, and how to get more pleasures in life.
- Laugh More And Enjoy Life: Getting more laughter, fun, and time with friends into your life is a sure way to increase your enjoyment of each and every day. Here are some strategies for increasing your fun quotient and your enjoyment of life in general.
How To Enjoy Life: Create A Meaningful Future
An important final step in learning how to enjoy life is learning to create a meaningful future that incorporates your values, reflects your priorities, and includes activities that bring you pleasure in life. Oftentimes, people find themselves working hard, but not getting where they really want to be, or they find that their goals don’t bring them the positive feelings they thought they’d bring. The following resources can help you to get in touch with what’s important to you, set your priorities, and make your future one that you can really enjoy. If you’re wondering how to enjoy life, focusing on what will make you truly happy, and getting some joy into each day, is the most effective strategy.