In my work, I help people make transitions, cope with stress, and experience small moments of joy each day￼. I encourage people to volunteer, self-care, learn how to be solitary, learn how to be attached, and how to be bold. From the research and my clinical experiences, these are a few things that I have summarized. ￼￼
– Those who appreciate life don’t work jobs they hate.
To hate your job is to hate the time you spend doing that job. Or, in other words, to hate spending your precious time. Yes, we all have to do things that we don’t especially want to do, from time to time. That doesn’t mean, however, that we should agree to spend 40 or more hours a week doing something we have to convince ourselves to get out of bed doing every morning that we wake up.
– They don’t befriend people that aren’t good for them.
They do their best not to date or hang with awful people, and then do their best to move on as quickly as possible when they find out they are. Only give time and energy to those worthy of it.
– They have their priorities straight.
They understand what’s important in life. For this, there is no singular universal answer. Freud said “love, work, and play like a child.” ￼ How you add these up is a personal equation.￼ While binge watching a show might be a pleasure, taking a course online might be more beneficial. They balance pleasure and priority.￼
– Those who appreciate life, appreciate life.
To appreciate life isn’t to only appreciate your life. It’s to appreciate all life.
This includes the lives of other people, the lives of other creatures, plants, animals, and the cosmos. To appreciate life is to appreciate life itself.
– They never waste a single day.
Time is the most precious commodity. Mindfulness includes what you watch, what you eat, whom you associate with, and every moment matters. The past shouldn’t be forgotten, but at the same time we shouldn’t be spending too much of the time that we have left looking back with disdain or sadness. What was, was and no longer is. I believe in gestalt. Everything we have gone through brings us to this place and time, and you can’t just pull out pieces of it because they were painful or shameful. You-ness is a totality.
– They are spiritual.
Whether it’s an organized faith, personal rituals, or a quiet inner spirituality, people who have life satisfaction have an inner life that is connected to a spiritual practice, from meditation to church.￼
– They are curious.
They are always trying to understand life more fully and answer life’s existential questions. They like to learn.￼ A curious soul is someone who understands the importance of knowledge as a toolbox for life, that keeps growing.
– They are compassionate.
They do not like to cause suffering to others, and they defend the vulnerable￼. From community service and volunteering, to activism, these activities have been shown to be strongly associated with life satisfaction. Giving to others makes us feel good and makes the world a better place.
– They live both fast and slow.
Living fast and dying young sounds like fun. Until that last part. Living slow and meditating all day austerely sounds peaceful. And boring. If you want to experience all that life has to offer then you have to live in both extremes, creating your personal balance.