Life is serious. We have children to raise and bills to pay. Jobs to get to and cars that break down along the way. Plus, many of us were raised by parents who assured us we would rue the day we became adults and to enjoy our youth as long as possible because worry lay just ahead of us.
Here’s the dirty little secret: life doesn’t have to be so stressful and serious all the time. Sure, we still have to pay the mortgage on time, but that doesn’t mean adulthood has to be all work and no play.
Let’s lighten the tone here and discuss not only why you should lighten up but also share some tips for doing so.
- Man plans, God laughs. Ever heard that saying? Of course, what it means is we can make all the plans we want, but there’s no predicting the vagaries of life, for good and ill. It’s helpful to have a roadmap for how we want to live our lives, but don’t get so locked in you can’t roll with the punches when the inevitable change comes along.
- Your misery is a win for the bad guys. Fact is, there are always those miserable people who want to see you fail, who revel in others’ misfortunes. Don’t give them that pleasure.
- Laugh, and the world laughs with you . . . Cry, and you cry alone. Of course, we are all going to have times in which we have a right to be upset, but people who show a positive face to the world get better feedback, have more friends, and create a pattern of happiness within. Most of us would rather be around those who are pleasant than the Debbie Downers of the world.
- Accentuate the positive. Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking has sold over 20 million copies and for good reason. You can train your brain to be more upbeat about life with simple life hacks: start each day by writing down three good things in your life, be it a good cup of coffee for which you are grateful, your spouse, or even a sunny day.
- Don’t afraid to be goofy. Sing karaoke. Dance in the grocery store. Wear silly socks or a fancy hat. Just like the little things in life can break us if we let them, adding a touch of whimsy to our daily life can be a saving grace.
Finally, social media is a great way to keep up with friends, but it can also have a negative effect on our well-being. Don’t let carefully curated feeds convince you everyone else’s life is perfect. In other words, don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.
Go ahead. Wear a wacky t-shirt. Drink a fruity drink. Sing in the rain and embarrass your kids – it’s good for you.