I think most people would agree, the key to living a happy life is to find a way to satisfy your soul. We live in a world of high-stress, fast-paced demands. We are in a daily race with ourselves and our neighbors to achieve more, get more, and have more but ultimately what is all that scrambling winning us? It leaves us feeling burnt out, irritable, and empty.
How do you feed the most important parts of yourself?
One of my basic rules is to keep it simple so here are five concrete ways to satisfy your soul and win the happy healthy life you deserve:
1. Give Thanks
Gratitude is everything. I say this over and over: you have to find the wins that already exist in your life if you want to maximize your potential and grow.
Even in our darkest moments there are so many things to be grateful for from family to friends to a good sense of humor or a sunny day. Look around you. I’m betting that you can find three things that you are thankful for without moving from your seat or setting down this blog.
If you are in a place where you can’t see the good, go look for it. Pet a dog. Go to the park. Watch kids play. There is goodness everywhere if you open your heart to it.
Try generating a list of everything you have to be grateful for. Give yourself a goal of ten and I’m betting you can come up with fifty.
- Fresh air.
- Clean sheets.
- Great friends.
- Good Books.
- Fuzzy socks.
- Puppy kisses.
- Cell phones.
- Indoor plumbing.
- Air conditioning.
- Ocean waves.
- No traffic.
- The stars.
- Cold beer.
- Purring cats.
You get my point; the possibilities are nearly endless.
2. Adjust Your Expectations
A lot of times all we need to do to be satisfied with our lives is to rethink our expectations. Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t. The behavior of those around you, the circumstances you were born into, how others perceive you, and the like are all beyond your reach.
Quietly set realistic, achievable goals and then crush them.
Consider the issues that you find dissatisfying. Are they things that you can actually change? If so, make a plan to make that situation right. I’m not talking about some wishy-washy, generalization. I’m talking a step-by-step manual for fixing the crap in your life that is holding you back.
And if you find that your dissatisfaction with your life is coming from things that you can’t control, you have to adjust your expectations, make like a Disney Princess, and let it go.
3. Value Your Time
Surfing the web, arguing, waiting in line, running errands, stressing over things you can’t change— they’re all time thieves. I think one of the best ways to feed your soul is to respect your time. The more time you waste on the unnecessary, the less time you have to savor your life. That’s why I am such an advocate of time blocking.
Never heard of it? Time blocking is a life-changing strategy for using time wisely and getting more done. I use it in my every day life to create structure and keep me on task but the biggest perk is that it actually makes more time in my life for myself and the people I love. I won’t kid you. I fought learning to time block tooth and nail but if you give it a chance, it really will make your life SO MUCH BETTER.
Try it! Follow these six steps and see how time blocking can change your life too:
- Identify your priorities and the big stuff you need to get
- Look at the day in front of you and block out chunks of time to actually get those things
- Create a visual representation of the time blocks like color coded blocks on paper, an Excel spreadsheet, or a mobile device app that charts your
- Schedule in your breaks. If you don’t, the whole day can easily become break time!
- Identify, limit, or annihilate the habits that interfere with your time blocked goals. In other words, give yourself fifteen minutes to chat with a friend or surf the web, not two
- Create a work zone. Find a quiet place where you can focus on getting stuff
That’s it. Not hard. And you will be amazed at how much more you get done and how good you feel about yourself when you get your brain organized.
4. Rise Above
Setbacks, hardships, and missteps are part of living. There’s no need to beat yourself up over them. If you allow yourself to respond to every challenge fearlessly, with grace and dignity, you will find an ability to appreciate your strength. You cannot underestimate the power of your ability to rise above. It’s like swimming. You have to push yourself to the surface and take a deep breath or your will drown. You’ve got to get up to live.
For me, taking a few minutes to acknowledge the “level of suck” in the situation is essential. Then I think about how to make it right and or move forward. Not every mistake is one that you can fix. And not every hardship is one that you can “get over” but life insists that you move one way or the other. You can slide back or you can move forward.
Life Tip: Always choose to move forward.
5. Laugh More
There is nothing more healing, empowering, or cleansing than a good laugh. Laughter, in fact, literally heals. It boosts the immune system, relieves physical tension and stress, and relaxes muscles for as much as forty-five minutes. But my favorite thing about laughter is that it cultivates optimism. It changes the dynamics of relationships and experiences. Laughter creates hope. And who can’t use more hope?
You can read a funny article, hang out with your favorite person, watch a comedy, or simply learn to appreciate and laugh at the absurdities inherent in living. Bless yourself by filling your life with people who make you laugh. Let yourself enjoy conversations and time filled with big hearty laughter that makes your cheeks hurt, your eyes water, and might even make you pee a little.
When you laugh you spread happiness, and you satisfy your soul.
We all want to live happy. We want to be healthy, joyful, and SATISFIED.
Don’t overthink the path to your happiest life. It doesn’t have to be that hard. Be grateful for what you have and realistic about what you want and deserve. Recognize that time is precious and make good use of it. Don’t let the bad stuff sink you and maybe most importantly, douse yourself in joy every day. Those five simple steps will feed your soul and help you win that happy, healthy life you deserve!
Join us for our weekly Facebook Lives at 11 a.m. CT on Tuesdays for more practical tips for how to live healthier and interact with our coaches at the same time.