we know that how a woman looks on the outside is a reflection of how she feels on the inside.
When you’re feeling good in your skin, enjoying yourself, and taking pleasure in life—that’s when you look beautiful.
We know that happiness is your best cosmetic, and that a woman who feels wonderful is going to look wonderful.
But life is complicated. It’s not just pleasure and joy all the time. Let’s be real. All of us deal with struggles, and tough stuff, and the ups and downs of life.
Sometimes we’re frustrated with our loved ones, or dealing with a difficult situation at work, or big, hard life stuff comes along and throws us for a curve, or we’re just plain tired.
So how do you take pleasure in life, even when life isn’t going your way?
I’ve been experimenting with this idea, and finding out that I can take pleasure in life and enjoy myself more no matter what is happening on the outside.
It takes some practice, but as I’ve been experimenting, I’ve been kind of amazed at how much I have the power to impact what my daily experience feels like. Just small shifts in perspective can help me enjoy whatever is happening so much more.
Does this mean everything is always totally fabulous and fantastic every minute of every day? Of course not. But it does mean that I can find small ways to take pleasure in life, even when I’m not kicking back on a tropical vacation.
Here are a few of the practices I’ve been experimenting with…
Practice radical acceptance.
This is a big one. It means: whatever is happening in the present moment, your first step is to accept it.
Before you respond to it, or think about it, or figure out what action you want to take, the very first step is acceptance. Now, does that mean I just accept everything that happens passively and don’t respond to it?
Definitely not. Radical acceptance doesn’t mean you stay in a state of acceptance about whatever’s happening—it just means you start there.
For example, instead of immediately reacting to your partner’s behavior by wishing he or she were different, you start by accepting what’s happening in that moment.
Then, from that more relaxed state, you can decide how you want to respond. Perhaps you want to go for a walk to calm down further, or talk things through, or set a boundary, or just go do something that makes you feel good.
It’s the same thing when dealing with challenging moments at work, or at home with your kids or grandkids.
It means we don’t resist life. We accept what life is handing us—and then figure out how we want to respond to it in a way that will bring us the most joy and peace. I find that it’s a lot easier for me to figure out what response will bring me joy, if I start out by accepting what’s happening.
Look for things to appreciate.
Our brains are wired to pay attention to what bothers us.
Back in prehistoric times, we needed that alarm system for our survival. We needed to be extra attuned to whatever was wrong, because then we could get out of danger.
But now, most of the time, we don’t need to continually focus on what’s wrong. We have more room to relax. However, our brains are wired to notice what’s wrong, so it can take some intention to look for what’s right.
For me, I find that it’s a conscious practice. Whatever situation I’m focused on—whether it’s with my partner, my kid, a conference call, or other work obligation—I take a moment to look at what I‘m doing and find what I appreciate about it. It can be anything! Even if it’s tiny. And I practice shifting my focus to that.
It’s amazing! When I do that, whatever might have been bugging me usually drops away. And if it doesn’t, I wind up having more perspective about it and insight into what positive action I can take to change it.
Laugh a lot.
Humor is amazing. It’s an incredible balm for stress—even for real pain. It makes life fun. It connects us. And it’s a deep, reliable source of pleasure.
Try to find ways to cultivate your sense of humor. Whatever your individual sense of humor is—whether it’s goofy or dry or sarcastic or clever or silly—use it to laugh more. Find the things that make you laugh with your loved ones and lean into them. Watch more videos that make you laugh. And look for the humor in everything.
I have a young daughter who’s just recently become sassy and sarcastic. It can get on my nerves if I’m not mindful. But when I take a second to see it with humor, her sarcastic kid antics are often hilarious. And relating to her becomes a lot more pleasurable.
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