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Life Doesn’t Have to Be Miserable!

belly dancer

photo by DavidDennis

So many of us, myself included, get caught up in life. We move from one thing to another, doing all the things we think we “should” do or have to do. And we never stop to think that there might be another, more pleasurable way, to skin that cat in front of us.

What made me think of this is a belly dancing class I signed up for. It’s completely fun and silly and you know what? It tightens your abs! Who knew you didn’t have to do boring sit-ups in order to get your tummy in shape. That little revelation got me thinking of all the other areas of our life where we just keep doing things the same old way even if it is drudgery because we think life has to be hard. But here’s the news flash: Life Doesn’t Have to Be Miserable! You can increase your enjoyment by making some simple changes.

So here is a listing of some areas that might feel like obligatory hardships followed by some alternatives to consider to make your life more enjoyable.

Say Goodbye to: Say Hello to:
Sit-ups and Crunches. Yoga, belly dancing, latin dancing, walking.
Exercising on a Treadmill. Have Fun Exercising! Get outside! Try walking, jogging, tennis, dancing to your favorite music, or other favorite sports. Exercise is allowed to be fun!
Being Serious all the time, especially at work…or at home…or anywhere! Laugh, Smile, & Have Fun. Make a point to include laughter in your day. Make a point to smile. Put a reminder and a mirror at your desk so you don’t forget! Get a joke buddy that you call each day to share a joke or funny story.
Work Til You Drop. Shorter Workdays and Scheduled Play. What you make time for is what gets done, so SCHEDULE in some PLAY time!
Austere Painful Diets. Cheats in Moderation. There are several ways to work this: Eat what you want, but only in moderation. Have one day per week be a complete cheat day where you can eat anything you want with some moderation. One small cheat per day. Keep your diet enjoyable and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Hating Your Body. A lot of women spend their whole life this way. What a waste of time and how unkind! Are there any men who feel this way? Appreciate and Love Your Amazing Body. Get in touch with your body by having a gratitude session devoted just to realizing and being thankful for all the things that different parts of your body do for you everyday. How amazing are our hearts, feet, minds, nervous system, hands, eyes, lymph system, and more?! It’s high time we start to love our bodies! Think of role models who love their body no matter the size and assume that confidence too!
Recurring Arguments. Why, oh, why do I always get into the same arguments? Stop the Argument Cycle! Click here to read more about how to changing your expectations and perspective can change these destructive patterns.
Living a Life of “Shoulds.” I should do this, I should do that. Stop “shoulding” all over yourself. Live the Life of Your Dreams! Plan the life you want today. Click here for an amazing free life goal workbook ! (free excel spreadsheet download). Planning your life is fun. Just take it one step at a time and have fun!
Living in the Empty Part of the Glass. Notice That the Glass is Half Full. Realize that much of what’s there is great. Try for one day to be grateful for every little thing in your day and your life. Watch your happiness soar! And then make it a daily habit!
Telling Your Kids or Your Spouse, “I don’t have time right now. I’ll play later.” Play Today! Even if you are a very busy person, take small breaks to play with your children. Try 15 minutes here and there. Involve them in housework. With your spouse, be sure to set up date-nights on some regular basis. Why not enjoy life? When you look back on your life, you’ll be glad you did!
Working at a Job That Is Not Your Passion. Discover Your Dream Job or Reconnect with the Meaningfulness of Your Current Job. There are times in all of our lives when we need to work at things that are not our passion. That’s ok, but always have your plan in place towards getting your dream job. Barbara Sher writes great books about doing this. Sometimes we lose sight of our love for our job. If that’s the case for you then try to re-discover that meaning in your current job.
Staying in a Bad Relationship Because You’re Afraid to Be Alone. Embrace Your Inner Strength. Don’t live out of fear. Live out of your strength. Know that it is there. Discover how you can be happy on your own. I’m not saying run away simply if you’re bored, but if your relationship is not healthy for you, find support from someone to help you move forward with your life. Move towards the good things you want and deserve.
Letting a Good Relationship Wither from Complacency. Appreciate and Nourish Good Relationships. Think about the good relationships in your life. Ask yourself, “What could I do to care for this relationship more?” And then do it! You know you’re smiling thinking of some things you could do! Let us know what they are!
Being Chronically Exhausted. Discover Maximum Energy! Stop the energy zappers in your life. Get more sleep, cut back on caffeine, get some exercise, cut out excess sugar, meditate, and enjoy life more.
Never Any Time for Yourself. Schedule a ME Day. Try this once per quarter or even once a month. Plan a day or afternoon where you only do things for yourself. Get that massage you’ve been dreaming of for the last 6 months. Maybe ice fishing would be your idea of fun. Whatever it is, do it!
Zombie Mode. No creative expression. Too much TV or video games. Same old, same old. Unleash Your Creativity. OK, maybe you think you have no creative talent, but assume for today that you do. I’m telling you, you have creative talent. Now, go ahead and write that song you’ve dreamed of writing. Practice that dusty guitar. Carve something out of a bar of soap. Go buy a massive canvas and paint a spectacular naive painting. No self-judging, just express yourself and have fun!
SPENDERS: Stop Running Up Your Credit Card Bills. Enjoy the Simple Pleasures in Life. Instead of the heavy burden that comes with an overabundance of possessions, enjoy things that are free for a change. Take in a sunset, a walk in nature, time with friends and family, or low cost entertainment like renting DVD’s. When you feel the urge to buy more and fill up your house, ask yourself, “Do I really need this? What can I do that will make me feel good instead of buying something?”
FRUGAL FANATICS: Stop Denying Yourself. Treat Yourself Every Once in a While. If you always deny yourself, you are always frugal and careful with money, allow yourself a mad money day every once in a while where you buy that one thing or service you consider a true luxury or extravagance. You deserve it!

I hope that these ideas prompt you to take a little more enjoyment from life starting today! I’m going to try too! I think I’ll be belly dancing, playing more guitar, and playing with my son some more! How about you?

Please Share!

How do you choose to make life more enjoyable? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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15 Responses to Life Doesn’t Have to Be Miserable!

  1. FBeauty January 18, 2008 at 1:37 pm #

    This one I couldn’t agree with more:

    Goodbye: Sit-ups and Crunches.
    Hello: Yoga, belly dancing, latin dancing, walking.

    The main problem withexercise it is seen as boring and a chore. Belly dancing is about as far away as you can get.

  2. Tess January 20, 2008 at 7:52 am #

    I love, love, love your lists on hellos and goodbyes and I am sharing them to all my good friends. Thank you for the share.

  3. Sarah January 23, 2008 at 6:15 pm #

    I absolutely love this list! It made me smile and see silver linings and small pleasures I had overlooked or forgotten about.

  4. Jan January 24, 2008 at 11:03 am #

    well this are finally some good tips. I’ll bookmark this post because it’s really interesting.

    and the short review of this post is: “Be active!”. great stuff.

  5. Tom Bushnell February 5, 2008 at 7:00 pm #

    Food for thought!

  6. Scott February 6, 2008 at 6:31 pm #

    Not only be active, be a number of these related to having a positive attitude. I like the thought that you don’t have to do everything, but at least do something.

  7. credit management February 14, 2008 at 10:48 am #

    I love taking the kids to play football on the beach. I could spend hours there. It’s where I forget everything else and remember what life is really about. :)

  8. Jason Dawson February 28, 2008 at 7:53 am #

    Yeah, I might try to improve myself and take a learn to use microsoft excel course or something. I get bugged at work for not being able to use MS Excel.

  9. Stephanie Daniels April 1, 2008 at 10:42 am #

    Very good information and tips. Very interesting.

  10. Akhmad Guntar April 1, 2008 at 11:45 pm #

    Very Nice Post.

    We’re living in a remarkable time. You aren’t supposed to spend your entire career or profession at one spot anymore. On top of that, there’s this thing called the Internet that’s made it possible for you to easily pick up new skills, and learn about career options that fit better with your passions.

  11. Monica Webster April 1, 2008 at 11:47 pm #

    Are you spending your time working because you’re in love with what you’re doing, or because, well, “it’s a job”? If it’s the former, that’s huge. If it’s the latter, what the hell are you thinking? :mrgreen:

  12. Loskas June 5, 2008 at 6:08 am #

    Walking and jogging are actually very good things to do. You can pick your speed and exercising time however you want.
    But I think that yoga and belly dancing aren’t for me. :D

  13. Rick highton February 27, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    I love doing this! belly dancing…it will be abig help for me since im a bit chubby here..nice tips to follow especially for the relationship stuff..we need to embrace our inner strength…we need to laugh ..smile and have fun.

  14. abdullah siray February 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    great..? love dancing..

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  1. Song About Healing Emotional Wounds – Non Judgment - Forgiveness | Voice In The Dark - December 10, 2010

    [...] Life Doesn’t Have to Be Miserable! – photo by DavidDennis. So many of us, myself included, get caught up in life. We move from one thing to another, doing all the things we think we “should” do or have to do. And we never stop to think that there might be another, … [...]

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  1. [...] Life Doesn’t Have to Be Miserable! – photo by DavidDennis. So many of us, myself included, get caught up in life. We move from one thing to another, doing all the things we think we “should” do or have to do. And we never stop to think that there might be another, … [...]

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