The #1 Key to Living a Happy Life – Here and Now!

Different people may have different recipes for happiness- however some ingredients never change. One key ingredient to living a fulfilling happy life, filled with passion, is learning to live in the present!

Life has a way of feeling pretty mundane at times. It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of getting up, going to work, running errands and taking care of the family only to fall into bed at night exhausted knowing you have to do it all over again tomorrow.

And that’s if your life is fairly stable. If your days are full of obstacles and hurdles, such as sicknesses and financial issues, sometimes you wish for the mundane. It’s energy-sucking to have a life loaded with drama; one that keeps you chained to negative thoughts and feelings.

What can you do so that you’re excited to get out of bed in the morning? How do you switch your life from one that is just okay to one that is happy and deeply satisfying? Just ask my friend, whom I will call Ingrid.

Ingrid’s Story

portrait of a beautiful young woman in the autumnal city

Ingrid had created a pretty good life for herself. She made decent money in a field that she enjoyed and was working her way to the top of her career ladder. She had a husband that cherished and adored her and children that respected and loved her. On paper, she had the perfect life.

But, despite the fact that Ingrid had everything that she thought that she had ever wanted, a great job and loving family, she still wasn’t experiencing the level of happiness that she envisioned. She was content, but not excited. Her life was complete but lacked passion. She was living her dream, yet she felt emotionless and empty.

In her quest to find happiness, Ingrid tried a number of things. She joined clubs and organizations looking for something to spark her inner spirit. She spent countless hours reading books and articles by others who appeared to be living the lives of their dreams; taking in their lessons and learning all they were willing to share.

She searched and searched for her happiness but continued to come up empty-handed. For a period of time, she thought there was something wrong with her because she had no real reason to not be happy, she just wasn’t. Yet, she wasn’t unhappy either, so what was she?

Just when she believed that life was what it was and it was never going to change, Ingrid came across the one piece of information that made all the difference in the world. In fact, it was so simple she had originally passed over the notion without giving it too much thought. But, she was game to try anything so she gave it a shot and what she discovered shocked her…

The key to living a happy life

young beautiful woman siting on bench in park

Ingrid didn’t discover some ancient hidden secret or some crazy happiness potion. But, what she did discover is that there is one thing you can do to increase your level of happiness that doesn’t take a lot of time or energy and won’t cost you a thing. What is it?

In order to be happy in your life, no matter what the conditions, you have to be present. You must be fully engaged in the moment to be able to experience things to their maximum. In other words, you have to be involved, mind, body and spirit.

Think of a child who is engrossed in a video game. He tunes out the entire world around him and concentrates solely on what is happening on the video screen. In fact, he is so focused that the game becomes real to him. He is truly the character he is controlling and that is his universe.

Pay attention to his level of passion. He is most likely very animated and easily excited because he is so engrossed into the moment. Even though it’s just a game, it is his reality because it has his complete attention.

Let go of the past and future

portrait of a pretty young woman wearing a house dress and holding iron

To be fully engaged and present, like the young boy and his video game, you have to let go of the past. You can’t go back and change something that has already happened. You can’t reword the way you said something to someone else, nor can you change the way you behaved. The only thing you can do is accept it for what it is, forgive yourself if necessary, and move on.

You also have to let the future release its hold on you as well. Sure, it’s normal and natural to have concerns about what lies ahead, but if you dwell on it too much, you’re not allowing yourself to stay in the only frame of time you can control – the here and now.

Concentrate on the tasks, events and occasions as they occur. Let them dominate all your senses, from sight to sound to touch. Take them in fully and completely and let them saturate you. Don’t let your mind be one place and your body be someplace else.

When you notice that you are feeling some negative emotions, whether they be stress, fear or worry, ask yourself what you’re thinking about. Chances are good that you’re either reliving some past event or questioning some future occurrence. Either way, you’re robbing yourself of enjoying right where you are today.

Agree to let the thoughts wander from your mind and return to whatever you’re doing at this moment in time. The best way to make this happen?

Treat whatever you’re doing as if it is the first time you’ve ever done it, even if you’re doing something you’ve done a million times before. For example, if you’re washing the dishes, pay attention to how the soapy water makes your hands feel all warm and soft. Watch the bubbles as they cascade around the sink and occasionally float into the air. Look at each dish or piece of silverware and appreciate it for the beauty it holds.

When you live in the present, nothing gets taken for granted. You can truly enjoy everything because you’re not overlooking its unique characteristics and charm. You see it for the beauty it holds and gain a new respect for it.

If you’re fully engaged in what is happening right here and now and let go of the past and future, like Ingrid, you’ll feel a level of excitement and energy you may have thought was lost for good. You’ll live with passion and wake up every day wondering what great new thing you’ll ‘discover’ next.

Give it a try. What do you have to lose, other than a mundane, unsatisfying or drama-filled life?

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

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