This morning, when I woke up, I stayed in bed a little longer while enjoying the feeling of warmth, the relaxed state of my body and the thoughts wandering through my mind. It is a simple example of how to enjoy life and each moment more fully and I can give you many more.
I enjoy each time I step into my car, experiencing the sensation of speed, movement and freedom. I enjoy each time I switch on my laptop, getting completely absorbed by the incredible wealth of information on the Internet, connecting with friends all over the world or a exploring the latest computer gadgets. I fully immerse myself in a game of squash with a colleague, enjoying each rally, each game, enjoying the physical fatigue and warm shower afterwards. An online chat with my children. The food I eat. The music I play. Joking with colleagues. The list is endless of how I fully enjoy life.
What about you? Do you enjoy each moment of your life? Or, are you living on automatic pilot, like I did for most of my life? Be honest.
If you find it difficult to enjoy life more fully perhaps the following will help you.
1. Become more aware of each moment
To enjoy life more fully it will greatly help when you become more aware of each moment. We are so often preoccupied with the future or the past that we often forget to enjoy the present moment.
For many, this living in the “now” is difficult to attain, there are so many distractions. But by becoming more observant and conscious of each moment and each experience, whatever you are doing, you will notice that this will become more easy. Just allow yourself to take a few moments each day to pause for a second, take some deep, conscious breaths and then become fully aware of where you are, what you do, what you see around you and through this simple practice you will start to discover the richness of your own life.
2. Let go of control
One sure way to decrease the joy in your life is to try to control everything. How often do you have this feeling that you have to keep a lot of balls in the air at the same time? That you have to make sure that everything goes your way at work or at home?
I took me many years to realize that control is an illusion and more importantly that it kept me from enjoying my life more fully. For example, I was constantly interfering in the life of others, often with the best of intentions, but it required a lot of my attention and energy and the results were often disappointing (from a control point of viewJ).
Now, I am the first to admit that letting go of control is not easy as it is so firmly embedded in each of us. I started by no longer interfering in the life of my wife and children. At first they thought it was a lack of interest or caring on my part, but once I explained where I was coming from and why I did it they understood and appreciated it. One of the immediate benefits for me was that it released a lot of energy and that I began to worry less and less about what was going on in their life.
Once I had experienced these benefits it became much easier to let go of control in other areas of my life as well. Today, there is very little I worry about, if anything, even when it comes to things I don’t have.
3. Be grateful for everything you have
As humans we seem to have this strange need to focus on all the things we don’t have. Now consider for a moment what kind of energy this brings to your daily life. How can you enjoy your life more fully if you are constantly thinking of the things you lack? Why not turn this around and each day, each moment, think of all the things you do have?
There is so much to be grateful for. Perhaps you didn’t realize it but you already have a lot. You doubt this? Well, take a piece of paper and write down all the things you can be grateful for: the friendships you have, the place you live, the work you have, your health, but also small things like that beautiful ring or watch, that nice coat or dress, that new smart phone or iPod. Or, even things like a nice view from your home or office. Make the list as long as you can.
Once you become more aware of all the things you have and that you can be grateful for, it will also be more easy to start enjoying your life more fully.
If you still find this difficult perhaps it helps to start and end your day with this gentle, short meditation by Deepak Chopra (2:43).
What did you do to enjoy life more fully? Please feel free to share your experiences and suggestions with the other readers.