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Six Steps to Loving Your Life

How much do you actually love your life?

This might be the first time you have been asked this question, but you probably should really be asking yourself this every day. Our decisions and choices create the world we inhabit. It is possible, if you aren't focusing on where it's all headed, that you can find yourself in some places you never actually intended to go. While there really are no overnight fixes, there are a few steps you can take to start your journey of getting back on track to loving your life.

1. Prioritize

In order to love our lives we should be spending a lot of our time and energy on things that mean the most to us. Yet often, we make decisions and agree to things that take away our time as well as our energy.

For you to move forward, it may be well to begin by thinking about what the top 3 priorities in your life actually are. If you answer family, creativity, and adventure, for example then it would be difficult to live a life where you are doing little more than mundane, repetitive tasks, and losing out on important time with your loved ones. Does your life, your work, your home, actually reflect you and those things you hold dear?

Take your diary in hand and be in charge of your schedule.

Bring what you value the most into what you do. If you adore cooking and you work in an office, bring home-made snacks to work for people to enjoy. For those who are lacking family time, see if you can manage to free more non-negotiable time to spend with your children and spouse each week. Start with little beginnings. Spend an extra hour every now and then on those things that are important to you. Make your time suit your needs.

2. Manage Expectations

So often people are swamped in misery simply because their lives are really not meeting their expectations. It could be that your companion isn't the fairy tale soul mate you always fantasized about. Perhaps your job isn't the career that you thought it would be when you were younger. It could be that you are living week to week at an age when you thought you would be financially more secure.

There is no need to reduce your expectations of a happy, satisfying life. But in these scenarios it can be helpful to sit down and figure out whether unhappiness is the result of a situation that isn't working for you, or if you are comparing your life with a fantasy. Accepting people, jobs and life for what they are at this moment can be a healing experience for many. Your companion, husband or wife may not be the perfect soul mate you dreamed about - but comparing them to someone else will simply make you both unhappy.

3. Count What's There - Not What's Missing

Remind yourself about all those things that are great in your life. What does your partner do better than anyone else? What does your job provide you that you've stayed in it all this time? What made you choose this job in the first place? Some of the best things in life are not the strategies that come to fruition, but the surprises along the route.

4. Take Time Out

Even if your life is fantastic, everyone needs a break every now and then. You may have a job you love or have a wonderful family, but too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Fatigue can set in, you begin to feel depleted, resentful, and wonder about changing your situation. Maybe nothing is wrong with your situation - you just need to step back and take a breather.

Research shows that people acquire much more benefit before their holiday than during or after the holiday. This has led researchers to suggest that anticipation of a holiday is as important as the holiday itself. Plan and schedule regular vacations, break up your annual leave to several shorter holidays scattered throughout the year, and get regular mini-breaks such as a night out with friends, weekend camping trips to get a change of scenery, and taking time to just be by yourself and do practically nothing.

Time spent alone is beneficial for mental and emotional well-being. Take more control over your daily schedule and plan for regular alone time. Take yourself on a date to a restaurant, read a book, go for a run, or embark on an adventure.

5. Find Your Passion

Experiencing passion is an important part of living a contented and meaningful life. Inject passion into every day, even weekdays as you work and don't feel particularly passionate. If you look hard enough, you will always find some aspect to be passionate about.

When passion is lacking, it might be re-ignited by your favorite meal, taking a course, or a night out with friends. Passion can stem from anywhere - it may be reading, creativity, helping others, playing sports, your friends, or visiting neighbouring countries. Passion can come from something really modest, like making a dish. There is no right or wrong. Notice that evoke true excitement from within you, and also notice what kind of person inspires you.

What famous or notable person do you most wish you could be like? This might be the first step in realizing how to live the life you love. If you genuinely aren't sure what your passions are, start with a fresh slate and learn something new.

Take a course in something you're interested in learning; visit a new city; experiment with exotic dishes; start meeting new people, or check online and start following blogs on any subjects that interest you. Many of the world's finest chefs, writers, artists, designers, architects, athletes, innovators and entrepeneurs blog often about their thoughts, ideas and advice.

6. Learn to Love Yourself

Finding a life you love is only possible if you are able to love yourself. This does not mean arrogance or denying that you've got faults. Loving yourself is about being your own best friend, a person who accepts you on both good days, and bad days when things don't go to plan.

Accept your flaws and shortcomings, but resolve to look after yourself well. You deserve to be loved and treated well, not only by yourself but also by others. You deserve a decent life that makes you happy. Not because you are perfect, but because you are flawed and human, and even though you may struggle at times, you still deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion.

This isn't always straightforward. We don't always learn to be good to ourselves while growing up. It is a skill that grows as time passes, and will keep on growing stronger provided we work at it. And the greater amount of love we give to ourself, the less we will need to run around fixing troubles or struggling to find solutions. Loving your life can become a habit.

After all, foster an 'attitude of gratitude' for the gift that is your life, and for anything there is in it. It may not be perfect, but it's your own -- and now is the time to live it.

About Author Peter James Field :

Peter Field is one of the leading British hypno-psychotherapists and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Health. Click for information on his <a href="" target="_blank">hypnotherapy in Birmingham</a> and London practices. He is the author of the best selling <a href="" target="_blank">book on hypnotherapy</a> 'The Chi of Change'.

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Article Added on Thursday, August 21, 2014
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