This Is How To Enjoy Life Now

Happy no matter what.

Enjoyment of life is tied to living in the moment without attachment. You can have everything without holding onto anything, living your best self.

The purpose of life is one of the most profound and enduring questions that humanity has grappled with throughout its existence. Philosophers, theologians, scientists, and thinkers from various disciplines have all attempted to unravel this mystery, yet a definitive answer remains elusive.

Life, it seems, is a canvas upon which we are free to paint our own meaning. While some turn to religious or spiritual beliefs to find purpose, others find meaning in relationships, creativity, knowledge, or personal achievements. 

The common thread in all those pursuits equates to enjoyment. 

When we do things that bring us joy, whether it’s spending time with loved ones, dabbling in hobbies, exploring new places, or immersing ourselves in art and culture, life becomes more vibrant.

Joyful Living Instead Of Survival

Enjoying life in the moment.

In many parts of the world, survival is a daily struggle, where access to basic necessities such as clean water, food, and shelter is uncertain. In such scenarios, the concept of enjoyment takes a backseat to the need for sustenance and safety. While we in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the like may indulge in various forms of entertainment and leisure activities, for many across the world, the luxury of enjoyment isn’t as readily an option.

Yet, while most of us do not struggle to remain physically alive like others in a hostile, war-torn, predatory environment, there is still this sense of “surviving” from day to day.

A number of scientists argue that survival is written into our genetic coding. An article published in FTL Science explores this concept. When out of the jungle, so to speak, the things that are trying to kill us have been minimized, minus human conflicts, like war. The irony is that “thriving”, or “enjoying” modern life is significantly easier than surviving, psychologically speaking.

Perspective and mindset tend to be what contribute to or, even possibly, create enjoyment.

As basic survival needs are often met for many people, we have the opportunity to explore our passions, build meaningful relationships, and do things that bring us happiness. Unlike our ancestors who had to constantly worry about finding food, shelter, and protection from physical threats, we now have the luxury to pursue hobbies, travel, and invest in personal growth. Access to education and information, allows us to broaden our horizons and learn about different world views, leading to an even more enriched life.

The truth is, in most of the Western world, many of the threats we perceive are more mental than genuinely harmful dangers. Excessive worrying about hypothetical scenarios or things beyond our control can take a major toll on our well-being. 

It’s almost as if in modern society, predators have evolved into mind creatures, where thoughts are teeth and emotions the bite.

Life Is Suffering, Enjoyment Is Living

Living well means enjoying the now.

Physical survival aside, in Buddhism, the first of the Four Noble Truths is that “Life is Suffering”. 

Whether or not you follow or believe in Buddha or his teachings, the quote acknowledges the universal nature of pain.

This includes not just physical discomfort, but also emotional and psychological distress. However, this insight is not meant to convey a pessimistic outlook on life. Instead, it’s a realistic acknowledgment of the challenges we all face. It’s something everyone can relate to, irrespective of societal environments and regardless of spiritual or religious leanings.

Although inherently unpleasant, those moments can serve as a powerful catalyst for becoming stronger, teaching us to endure and overcome.

This is how we often discover our inner strength which can lead to increased emotional intelligence and empathy. Suffering can foster a deep appreciation for the moments of joy and contentment in life. It can also motivate us to self-reflect and be the final kick to make positive changes.

Simultaneously, the reduction of suffering is something we all strive for.

It’s the purpose of this site, MidLife Assets. While there are certainly gains to be had through difficulties, finding aspects of this existence that are enjoyable is what keeps many of us going.

Savoring Life Is Self-discovery

Savoring the little things in life.

Enjoyment refers to the state or feeling of taking pleasure or satisfaction in something. It often involves a positive emotional response and can be derived from various sources that bring pleasure and fulfillment to a person.

The experience of finding delight, happiness, or contentment in an activity, object, situation, or any other aspect of life is a huge part of it.

Ultimately, enjoyment is subjective and can vary from person to person. 

The self-discovery of enjoyment is a journey that can add happiness, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose in life. It is a process of introspection, exploration, and often, stepping out of your comfort zone to uncover the activities and experiences that genuinely move you.

At its core, it involves being acutely aware of your thoughts, emotions, and reactions to various situations. It requires a conscious effort to pay attention to the activities or moments that give you joy, contentment, and enthusiasm.

It could be a solitary walk in nature, the act of creating art, engaging in meaningful conversations, volunteering for a cause, pursuing a hobby, or simply spending quality time with loved ones. The key is to be open-minded, curious, and willing to experiment with different experiences.

Enjoyment is also something that evolves as you grow and change. What once brought immense happiness might lose its appeal over time. 

Conflicts To Embracing Happiness

From the moment we are born, there is conflict.

If life is suffering, conflicts are often to blame.

Interference with the enjoyment of life in society can come from several interconnected factors. One of the most constant is economic inequality, where there is a perception of disparity in wealth and resources. This gives the impression of immovable poverty and a sense of servitude to a system that caters to only a “lucky few”.

This idea may lead to a form of social discrimination, marginalizing certain groups based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or politics. 

Healthcare also plays a significant role, with access to medical services and proper information may be more available to some over others. Environmental issues, such as localized pollution and how to properly address climate change, further deteriorate living conditions and affect the overall quality of life.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports a staggering 1 out of 5 adults in the United States alone suffers from at least 1 mental health problem. 

Work-related stress and a lack of work-life balance often cause burnout. This hinders the enjoyment of leisure activities and meaningful social interactions. Additionally, the influence of media, often portraying a skewed or negative version of reality, can amplify fear and anxiety, affecting the perception of safety and overall well-being.

Lastly, high levels of violence and crime create an atmosphere of unease, limiting freedom and the ability to fully interact in public spaces. The ever-growing awareness of corruption from political leaders shakes the foundation of society, magnifying uncertainty and eroding confidence.

Here Is How Most People Savor Life

Most people work to live, and live to party on the weekends.

Amid enduring conflicts, many seek ways to alleviate suffering.

The most common approach is finding something that makes you feel better, thus becoming enjoyable.

In other words, there is a thing, a visceral experience, or mental activity outside of yourself that stimulates pleasure. Research in psychology and neuroscience has explored how these external stimuli contribute to people’s overall well-being and life satisfaction.

Mind-engaging activities, such as solving puzzles, participating in intellectual discussions, or learning new skills, have been shown to enhance cognitive function and promote a sense of achievement and fulfillment. Studies, such as the one published in the journal Psychological Science in 2014, have demonstrated that engaging in mentally challenging tasks can lead to increased levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, in the brain.

Emotional pleasure often comes from positive social interactions, nurturing relationships, and acts of kindness. Research published in the Journal of Positive Psychology in 2013 by Nelson and Lyubomirsky suggests that individuals who engage in regular acts of kindness and maintain meaningful social connections tend to experience higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction. 

Physical pleasure derived from activities such as exercise, sports, and various forms of sensory experiences is another. Exercise, in particular, has been extensively studied for its positive effects on both physical and mental health. Studies, such as the one conducted by Kandola and Stubbs, published in 2020, have shown that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance overall quality of life.

Spiritual pleasure, often linked to a sense of purpose, meaning, or connection to something greater than yourself, through religious practices, meditation, or spending time in nature, produces enjoyment. Religious Practice And Life Satisfaction published in the Journal of Happiness Studies in 2022, indicates that individuals who have spiritual practices and express a sense of gratitude tend to experience greater life satisfaction.

The pursuit of pleasure through various external sources is a common and natural inclination among people. So long as you can find that thing that stimulates you just the right way, enjoyment is almost assured.

However, what if you can’t find it or, worse yet, if it’s a rare event?

Mindful Living Is Unlimited Enjoyment

Being mindful of your circumstance is the beginning to enjoying yourself.

Perception influences your experience of any given reality.

It’s the lens through which we interpret the world, shaping our understanding of reality. Perception acts as a filter, selectively processing information based on our past experiences, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds. 

For example, two people can witness the same event and understand it entirely differently. This subjective nature directly influences our reality, as it determines how we respond to situations, make decisions, and interact with others. You can read more about this phenomenon in an article published in Very Well Mind.

Mindfulness, in a way, comes from perception. 

Through perception, we engage with the world, interpreting its experiences. Mindfulness, in turn, is the conscious cultivation of this perception More so, it’s a deliberate and non-judgmental awareness of the present moment. 

It is the key that unlocks the door to unlimited enjoyment. 

When we sharpen our perception through mindfulness, we begin to truly see, hear, taste, touch, and feel the richness of every experience. In this heightened state of awareness, we allow life’s simple pleasures, finding profound joy in the ordinary and extraordinary.

In essence, through mindfulness, independent of any specific experience, thing, or person, you can allow the moment, no matter where you are or what it is, to be your enjoyment.

How To Do Mindful Living For Enjoyment

Noticing what is here now.

Simply speaking, the more you can be in the present moment and exist without wanting anything, the more natural enjoyment happens.

The beauty of approaching situations like this is that you’re not as subject to the conditions of what may or may not bring pleasure. In other words, every moment can be enjoyable without consciously allowing it to be so. Whereas, in contrast to LOOKING for something that provides enjoyment, you essentially CHOOSE it. 

This makes you and I far less reliant upon external conditions to reduce suffering. In fact, at its core, this methodology is deeply liberating.

Here are a few ways to accomplish this.

Letting Go

Many ancient teachings and practices emphasize the importance of releasing attachments, desires, and negative emotions to attain inner peace and spiritual enlightenment.

The root problem many people face is in their attachments. This could be an ideal way of living or how other people should live. It may be a certain outcome, like one sports team defeating another, or being hired by a sought after company. It’s almost always related to something that we want to have, control, or change.

This wanting creates resistance, which results in negative emotions and thoughts.

The process of letting go involves acknowledging these emotions, accepting them without judgment, and then consciously choosing to release them. There are a variety of ways to do this. The steps below are the way I’ve seen this application most successful and something I use to this day.

(1) Allow what you are feeling or thinking to be there, without judgment 

(2) Ask yourself if you can let it go. A yes or no answer doesn’t matter, as long as you answer honestly. The question and genuine answer seem to loosen the hold of the undesirable thought, feeling, or emotion. 

(3) Repeat 1 through 2 until the thought, feeling, or emotion is gone. Yes, it’s that easy. Eventually, through honest acknowledgment and consciously asking if you can let whatever it is go, the thought, feeling or emotion dissolves. Sometimes right away, others times, slowly…but I’ve never seen it not disappear. 

Living In The Moment With Gratitude 

This next method, which works very well with Letting Go, involves being as present as you can and being thankful for everything.

This can be done with eyes open.

To be mindful in the moment, start by bringing your attention to your breath. Focus on the sensation of each inhale and exhale. When your mind starts to wander, gently guide it back to your breath. Being in your senses can also ground you in the present. Notice the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures around you. Fully immerse yourself in the experience, whether you’re taking a walk, savoring a meal, or spending time with loved ones.

Then, take a few moments each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for. They could be as simple as the warmth of sunlight on your skin, the laughter of a friend, or that you’re just alive. 

Choose Happiness

One of the most remarkable aspects of happiness is that it is ultimately a choice, a conscious decision that one can make regardless of external factors. An article published in Psychology Today explores this at length. It is the ability to appreciate life’s simple pleasures. 

This choice aligns with letting go by accepting what is and being present at the moment. 

However, choosing happiness is not about denying negative emotions or avoiding challenges. It’s about letting go of unnecessary worries about the future or regrets reflecting the past and fully immersing yourself in the present moment.

Feng Shui Is A Mindful Practice To Bring Enjoyment

Feng Shui helps create enjoyable environments.

Unlike other conditions, events, or people, Feng Shui is a way to turn your personal living space into a tool that enhances what you desire. It adds to the creation of enjoyment.

Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese practice that focuses on harmonizing individuals with their surroundings, can significantly enhance mindfulness and enjoyment of life.

While it can be an expansive practice, one of its fundamental and easy-to-implement principles is decluttering. This involves removing excess items and organizing your room or space to allow movement more freely. Decluttering has been known to have profound effects on people’s lives.

By clearing away unnecessary items and organizing your surroundings, you promote a sense of calm and tranquility. This newfound serenity can significantly enhance your ability to enjoy the environment you are in. When you are surrounded by only the things that are essential or bring you joy, you are more likely to appreciate and be present in the moment. This mindfulness brings a deep sense of enjoyment and contentment, making your living or working space a kind of sanctuary where you can relax and unwind.

If you’d like to read more about Feng Shui and decluttering, be sure to check out this article I wrote previously.

Those Over 40 Have An Enjoyment Advantage

Being over 40, there are advantages to enjoying life.

Advancing into the later stages of life, particularly beyond the age of 40, brings with it a profound sense of liberation and contentment not available to younger ages.

One of the primary reasons for this newfound joy is the wealth of wisdom accumulated over the years. 

With age comes experience, and these experiences, whether they are successes or failures, teach valuable life lessons. The ability to draw upon this knowledge helps navigate challenges with a greater sense of calm and perspective. 

Understanding the world deeply is another asset.

Having witnessed societal shifts, technological advancements, and cultural changes, older individuals often have a broader perspective. This understanding means we are less likely to be swayed by trivial matters and are better able to focus on what truly holds significance in life — good relationships, pursuing interests fueled by passion, and contributing meaningfully to the community.

Moreover, by the time many people reach their 40s and beyond, they have a clearer understanding of values, priorities, and aspirations.

This self-awareness allows us to make choices that align with our more authentic selves and let go of societal expectations.

Frankly, as you age, letting go, being in the now, and choosing happiness just gets easier.

Positive Outlook And Positive Living

The better your outlook on life, the more enjoyable it becomes.

In our modern world, where basic survival needs are often met for many, the opportunity to explore the depths of enjoyment has never been greater.

We have the freedom to pursue hobbies, build meaningful relationships, and have the simple pleasures of life. However, challenges such as money-related issues, discrimination, healthcare difficulties, and environmental problems still persist, hindering the enjoyment of life for many.

By cultivating mindfulness, appreciating the present moment, and making conscious choices to let go of unnecessary burdens, you can allow for unlimited enjoyment any time.

Ultimately, the pursuit of enjoyment is not just a personal endeavor; it is a journey. By embracing the present, letting go of what no longer serves you, and choosing happiness despite life’s adversities, you can truly unlock the secret to a life well-lived.

Until the next time, cheers.

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