How to Cherish Life
Have you found that life has become mundane and you’re just going through the motions? Does one week pass to the next with you barely noticing? Maybe you’re wondering what the point of it all is? Life is a gift, but cherishing it doesn’t always come naturally or easily. We’re easily overwhelmed by our constant lists of things to do and caught up in petty dramas. When was the last time you actually stopped to smell the roses?
As you’ve gotten older, you’ve probably noticed that the years seem to pass more quickly than before. We’re only granted so many moments on this earth, and they too often go unappreciated until suddenly we realize that we have no more moments left. Don’t wait until you have a near miss or, Heaven forbid, get diagnosed with a terminal illness before you decide to make a change and want to start taking time to appreciate life. Learn how to start cherishing your life now.
1. Spend more time in the present. You cannot change the past and if you’re always living in the future, it’s difficult to appreciate what you have going on right now. One way to start living more in the present is to fully engage in each moment. Put your smartphone away when you’re having a conversation with someone. Stop spending every moment photographing your existence to post on Twitter and Instagram -- instead, spend the moment actually living it! Don’t distract yourself with your computer or the television while you’re eating a meal. Take time to savor each bite and appreciate the food that you have.
2. Start a gratitude journal. Get in the habit of writing down at least five things every day that you are grateful for. Try to come up with different examples every day. For example, don’t just write “mom, dad, job, car, money” every single day. Write things like, “the cute baby who smiled at me, having time to stop for coffee on the way to work, taking a walk with my best friend, the perfect weather, my boss telling me she loved my work.” It may seem difficult at first, but soon you’ll start keeping an eye out for things to include in your gratitude journal, which makes you notice more positive events in your life every day.
3. Spend time with your loved ones. It’s easy to get caught up in work, errands, and even hanging out with people you don’t actually even like that much. Make a list of the top most important people in your life. How often do you actually see them or hear their voices? While sending quick text messages or commenting on their Facebook post provides some sort of connection, it’s still a bit lacking. Make a plan to spend more time with the people you care about the most. If they live far away, plan a video chat or phone call once a week or so.
4. Don’t obsess about perfection. Do you love how much time you’re spending at the gym? Are you following a such a strict diet that you won’t even taste the cake at your sister’s wedding? Do you spend a ridiculous amount of time doing your hair and makeup in order to keep up with appearances, or wear painful shoes to make a fashion statement? If you’re doing things because you feel pressure to meet some societal ideal instead of because you actually enjoy it, you need to reconsider your priorities. We’re not saying you should put aside your healthy lifestyle completely or stop showering. What we’re saying is, live a little! You deserve to find activities you enjoy, eat the rich foods you enjoy (in moderation), and wear the clothes that make you comfortable! By changing your priorities, you’ll have more time to spend on the things you truly cherish in life.
5. Learn to find the good even in the bad. Life isn’t always easy, and there are moments big and small that are challenging. Try to find something to appreciate and a reason to be grateful for moments like those. For example, if you’re stuck in line at the bank, feel grateful for the opportunity to practice patience. Try to find life lessons even in the worst situations and aim your thoughts toward the positive.