What do you really enjoy? Ice cream? Tennis? Your child?
Chances are, there are a lot of things in life that you enjoy most of the time, and find frustrating at times. If you have a child or play a sport, you can probably think of times when they weren’t so enjoyable – the thought of them was more fun than the reality in those times. Thankfully, especially where a loved one is concerned, they usually make themselves enjoyable most of the time!
It’s easy to enjoy things that please you, and not so easy to enjoy them when they’re not pleasing. Using this happiness tool will help you whether the object of your attention is pleasing you or not pleasing you – it’s not the “fault” of the ice cream or the tennis or the child or whatever. Enjoyment lives inside your head, and here’s how to get the most enjoyment out of your life.
First, make a list of three things you really enjoy, and get set to amp up your enjoyment of them.
Using the ice cream example, you might really enjoy a big bowl of ice cream each night after dinner, like my father-in-law always did. But don’t just dish up, eat up and clean up – really enjoy that ice cream. Here are some steps you could take to help you enjoy it even more:
- Think about the ice cream during the day, especially at times when you feel stressed. Let the anticipation of the cold deliciousness put a little smile on your lips.
- When you’re ready for ice cream, don’t just plop yourself on the couch, carton and spoon in hand, and mindlessly eat while watching your favorite show. Pick your favorite bowl – maybe even one you only use on special occasions – and serve yourself something pretty. Garnish the ice cream, like it would be garnished in a restaurant, with your favorite toppings, and maybe some whipped cream.
- Savor every bite. If you used this ice cream break as incentive during the day to get you through stressful times, reflect on how those irritations turned out. Chances are, even if they’re not completely resolved, you are able to put them into better perspective, so they don’t bother you so much.
Create three steps to all three of the things you put on your “enjoy” list, and if one of the things on your list isn’t a thing, but a person, this is especially powerful. Let’s take the “child” example.
- Think about how much you wanted that child – how you anticipated the birth, had fun picking out names and creating the perfect baby’s room, and how your friends and family shared your excitement.
- Think about how their laughter makes you feel. Maybe even keep a picture of them laughing with all of their body in a place where you see it often.
- When you’re with that child, even when (s)he is being less than enjoyable in the moment, look beyond the behavior and see their heart. See how much you love that child, and how much that child loves you, too. Just this simple shift in your feelings will often settle down a misbehaving child.
Now, what do you really enjoy, and how will you amp up that enjoyment? Can you imagine how much happier you be when you use this happiness tool? I’d love to hear about how you get to ultimate enjoyment. Please post your thoughts to my Facebook page, and share this article with the person you thought of as you read it. Have a happy day!