At some point, we’ve all wondered, “Is this it?” Do we just study, work, pay bills, and try to squeeze in enough time for sleep and fun? There’s more to life than the humdrum daily routines we get into, but you’ll have to work hard to find it. If you’re feeling empty or unsatisfied, here’s how you can learn to live a happier and more fulfilling life every day. It’ll take practice, but it’s worth it.
Live in the moment. Slow down and focus on what’s going on around you! You can’t be happy if you’re distracted or worried about something else. Appreciate the beauty in a given moment, because before you know it, it’s gone.
Be true to yourself. Figure out who you are and always stay true to yourself. Being someone you’re not or trying to live up to others’ expectations is a surefire way to drain your energy and your joy.
Follow your dreams. If you have a dream, go for it. Even if you don’t succeed, at least you won’t have any regrets or wonder about what could have been. Putting your dream on a shelf while you just get by in life will leave you feeling empty and sad.
Work hard. There’s not much that’s more satisfying than putting in a hard day’s work. Try to build something and give it your all, because hard work really does pay off. If you’re tired or sore when your head hits the pillow, you know you’ve had a good, productive day.
Take risks. Playing it safe won’t lead to anything fulfilling. It can lead to comfort and security, but most people aren’t content with just being safe. Strive for self-actualization instead, and happiness will come to you.
Make time to reflect. If you’re feeling restless, frustrated, bored, or unsatisfied with your life, it’s important to take some time to reflect on why. What’s the root cause of your feelings and what actions can you take to change that?
Only compete with yourself. Competing against other people is exhausting and will always leave you feeling unsatisfied. There’s always going to be someone else who’s smarter, stronger, better looking, wealthier, etc. Value your personal accomplishments instead of aiming to be the greatest in the world. Your accomplishments, no matter how small, do matter and are worth celebrating. Be your best, not the best.
Challenge yourself. We recognize that unhappy children who act out need to be challenged more, so why don’t we see that in adults? Take on a new project, apply for a promotion, or get involved in the community. People need new challenges to continue feeling accomplished.
Be grateful. Try to be grateful for the things you do have. This can be difficult, but focusing on the positive will increase your happiness and make the process of sorting everything else out easier.
Value your loved ones. Spend time with the people you love. At the end of the day, your connections with these people matter more than anything else. So give your boyfriend, sibling, BFF, or dog a big hug and do something to make them happy, and that happiness will come back around to you.
Laugh at yourself. Don’t take everything so seriously. Laugh at your failures and your mistakes. Be goofy. Be weird. Laughter is always the best medicine.
Remember that no one feels fulfilled in every aspect of their life. If you aim for perfection everywhere, you’re just going to feel disappointed. Maybe having a fulfilling career and a wonderful love life can be enough, or your dream apartment and a great group of friends. If you’re always reflecting on areas where you’re unsatisfied, you’ll miss out on happiness from the blessings you do have.
Stop escaping. We all need some time to zone out in front of the TV, playing video games, having too many drinks, or mindlessly scrolling through our phones. Be careful not to spend too much time checking out from your life, or too many days will slip away from you. You don’t want to look back at your life only to see you missed living it.