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How to Love Life

Three Parts:Loving Life in the MomentUsing Long-Term Physical SolutionsUsing Long-Term Mental Solutions

Loving life is one of the most important changes you can make to have a healthier and happier life. It doesn't mean that you won't have hard times, or times that you're upset, but having your default be love of your life, will make it easier to cope when times get hard. See step 1 to get started loving your life!

Part 1
Loving Life in the Moment

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    Let go of the outcome. One of the biggest changes to make is to let go of trying to control the outcome of every situation. Realize that the absolutely only thing you can control is your reaction to a situation, you rarely (if ever) can control the situation itself. The need for control is rooted in fear, and if you're acting from a place of fear, you are absolutely not loving life.[1]
    • Ask yourself what you're afraid of if you relinquish the need to control the outcome of a given situation. As an example, if you feel your girlfriend forgetting the wine for a big evening is going to ruin the evening, question that assumption. Will it actually be ruined? It could be that your attitude will actually ruin the evening, rather than the lack of wine.
    • For example: if you're just embarking on a relationship (or just looking), it's fine to plan ahead for where you'd like to see the relationship go, as long as you remain open to the ways in which it won't be anything like how you planned.
    • Another example is if you have a health issue (of any kind). Instead of holding a constant anger about the situation, remember that you can't control the health issue (although you can do things to help or make it worse), you can only control how you act about the situation.
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    Be flexible. This doesn't mean that you can twist your body into a pretzel shape, this means that you are open to different possibilities. It ties in with letting go of the need to control the outcome, because if you aren't acting in a flexible manner towards life, you're going to come up against something that will break you.[2]
    • Question your thoughts and words. Look at what you're thinking and saying (especially if it has to do with why you can't do something). You'll start to notice the places where you're most rigid in your thinking and your actions and you'll be able to work on softening those areas.
    • Change up your regular routine. They don't have to be big changes, but doing something a little different each day keeps you on your toes, even if it's something as simple as taking a different route to work each day, or stopping at a different coffee shop occasionally.
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    Face your problems. Everyone has problems, big or small. Ignoring or avoiding them only makes them get bigger and bigger until they've taken over your life. You don't have to face them all at once, but dealing with things as they arise, rather than waiting, will help your long-term ability to love life, because problems won't be building up.
    • Focus on finding a solution to the problem, rather than focusing on the problem itself. For example, if you're having a problem with your roommate, instead of focusing the problem itself and building it up, focus on what both of you need to do to make the living situation work.
    • Ask yourself whether a problem is actually a problem. Sometimes you build something up into a problem without realizing why. For example: if making telephone calls makes you anxious, ask yourself why that is. Forcing yourself to come up with a reason for something that seems nonsensical can actually help you release the anxiety around what you feel is a problem.
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    Take a time-out. Sometimes the thing you need the most to get re-energized and life-loving is to take a break from everything. This means taking a little time to pamper yourself, or simply to give yourself some much needed rest.
    • Take a warm bath and put on an audiobook or music to listen to so your mind doesn't focus on all the things that might be worrying you.
    • Let yourself do nothing but day-dream for awhile. Maybe you take the bus to work or school everyday. Use this time to zone-out and catch up on imagination time, something that's important for your overall health and productivity.
    • Do something fun. This can be anything, big or small (anywhere from reading a book you love to going on vacation), as long as it is something that allows you to take a break from everything.

Part 2
Using Long-Term Physical Solutions

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    Laugh. People are always saying that laughter is the best medicine and strangely enough, it is something that can greatly help your health and your mood. Laughing helps increase your blood flow, heightens your immune response, help relaxation and sleep. It can even help lower blood sugar levels.[3]
    • Put on your favorite comedy, or take a youtube break, if you're feeling stressed. The laughter will help you lower your stress levels.
    • Get together with your friends and reminisce about your favorite, ridiculous moments. Laughing with others helps you feel supported and cultivates a more positive attitude.
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    Maintain your health. Your health has such a huge influence on your emotions and your attitudes about things. It can be really hard to love life when you've got the flu or even a really bad cold. Doing everything you can to maintain your health will help your attitude towards life.
    • Exercise releases chemicals that boost your mood, help to fight depression, and help your sleep patterns. Even getting only a small amount of exercise each day is beneficial. So take a walk, go for a run, do some yoga, or even just put on some music and dance![4]
    • Drink lots of water. Water is necessary for your health. Getting dehydrated can make you less able to function and feel bad. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water each day (try to avoid drinks that are high in sugar or caffeine, since these can dehydrate you). Optimally, shoot for half your body weight in Ounces. (Example: if you weigh 150lbs., aim for at least 75oz. of water.)
    • Eat a balanced diet. Avoid sugar and processed foods as much as possible (the occasional indulgence is fine!). Stick to eating lots of fruits and vegetables and protein, or good carbohydrates (like brown rice, quinoa, whole grains, oats).
    • Get enough sleep. Getting enough sleep helps boost your immune system, helps to deal with depression and sickness. The optimum amount of sleep is 8-9 hours each night and if you can't do that, try to take a nap sometime during the day.
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    Step outside your comfort zone. To love life you need to be willing to try out new things and to challenge yourself to do things that may make you nervous. Part of loving life and being happy is to not be ruled by fear, which will suffocate you in unhappiness.
    • Start small, especially if you have a lot of anxiety about doing new things. Take up knitting or cooking in the privacy of your own home. You learn a lot from YouTube tutorials on the subject and you'll be learning a useful skill.
    • The more you try new things and get outside your comfort zone, the easier it will be to do so. It takes practice to deal with your fear of trying new things.
    • Don't punish yourself if you end up not being able to do something (like skydiving, or or traveling somewhere far away by yourself). There will always be things that you can't or won't be able to do. That's okay! Try something else instead.
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    Sing. Singing, especially in a group, releases chemicals (endorphins and oxytocin) that make us feel good and happy and help to lower stress. Group singing lets you feel bonded to other people and part of a community, which is an added support system that can help you feel safe and which alleviates depression and loneliness. [5]
    • Look around your city or town to see if there's a community singing group that you can join. If not, think about starting one. You can even do it just with your friends and you can sing any songs you want!
    • Singing alone is also beneficial, since it helps regulate your breathing in the same way that yoga does, and is a good way to relax.
    • You might be thinking, "but I can't sing." You don't have to be the next Katy Perry to enjoy singing. If you don't want to sing in front of other people because you think you're not good enough, then shut your bedroom door and sing quietly to yourself.
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    Help others. This means using your time, your energy, and/or your money to help other people. When you practice philanthropy, you'll find yourself gaining a sense of perspective and of purpose. Philanthropy can also help reduce your stress and anxiety, while giving you a chance to connect with other people.[6]
    • Find a local soup kitchen, or shelter to volunteer at. Make a point to volunteer at least once a month (or even once a week). There are lots of different kinds of shelters (battered women's shelters, family shelters, even animal shelters).
    • Doing something as simple as helping a family member or friend can be an act of philanthropy. You could take someone to a doctor's appointment, or help someone move into a new apartment. You could make your family a meal (if that's something you don't usually do), or offer to wash your parents' car.

Part 3
Using Long-Term Mental Solutions

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    Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness means being in the moment instead of racing ahead towards the future or being mired in the past, two things that make it hard to focus on loving life and being happy.[7]
    • Do one action mindfully. This could be something as simple as eating your dinner, or sitting down to do your homework. Notice things like the taste of whatever you're eating and what the texture is like. Is it crunchy? Is it hot? Is it salty? Don't place a value judgment on it, like it's too hot, or it tastes gross, because that will have you focus on the negative, rather than being neutral.
    • Take 20 minutes every day and practice breathing mindfully. Draw in breath for a certain number of counts (say, 4 counts) and then release it for two extra counts (say, 6 counts). Watch your belly rise and fall as you breathe deeply. If your mind starts to wander, simply draw it back to the counting.
    • Take a 5 minute break. If you have a short period between classes or during your work hours, take a moment to look out of the window instead of immediately going to check your phone or your email. Notice what it looks like outside, what the weather is doing, what color the sky is. Again, don't assign value judgments to the things that you're noticing.
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    Practice gratitude. being grateful and practicing gratitude means that you celebrate the things that have happened in your life, taking nothing for granted and valuing your experiences. Practicing gratitude can help you feel better about life and about yourself and can help you feel happier.[8]
    • Maintain a gratitude journal, where you record the things that you're grateful for (like having a roof over your head and food to eat, or having your health), note people that you're grateful for and the kindnesses that you've experienced.
    • Notice the small things. The small things are really what make your life either so much easier or so much harder. Focus on things like the warmth of your jacket on a cold winter day, or eating a delicious cupcake, or something nice someone said to you.
    • Discuss what you're grateful for. Talk to a trusted family member, friend, or therapist about the things that you're grateful for. This will help you to remember the good things about your day and decrease your awareness or focus on the more difficult things.
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    Set achievable goals for yourself. You can set and work towards big, long-term goals, but make sure that you set smaller goals that you can achieve more quickly. This will help you feel accomplished and remind you that you can do things!
    • Make a goal to clean your room or house once a month. You can put on some music and sing along as you work and you'll feel incredibly accomplished and neat once you've finished.
    • Don't beat yourself up if you can't accomplish something, or can't accomplish it in the time frame you wanted. Instead, ask yourself what you learned from the experience and what you might do different next time. Framing it as a learning experience rather than a failure will help keep you more productive and happier.
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    Think positively. Negative thoughts are bad for both your mind and your body and they can color the way you perceive everything. Now having stray negative thoughts is completely normal, but dwelling on them is not healthy. You'll want to focus on the positive, rather than the negative if you want to love life.[9]
    • Don't let your negative thoughts linger. When they pop up, acknowledge them and let them go. For example if a thought pops up saying "I'm ugly" say to yourself "I'm having a thought that I'm ugly. Is this a useful thought?" and let it go.
    • Don't focus on the past or the future too much. Obsessing over the things that have gone wrong in previous moments won't help you to live fully in the moment you're in. Likewise, worrying about what the future will bring, or simply looking forward only to the future, will keep you from being here and now. If you find your thoughts skittering backwards and forwards, draw attention to something in the moment: a tree, your breath, the rain against the window.
    • Whatever is happening, remember this, too, shall pass. You won't always be stuck in a traffic jam, just as you won't always have fantastic light karma. Reminding yourself that these situations are only momentary, will help you let go of them more easily.


  • Make sure that you take care of yourself. Being self-less and utterly at the beck and call of everyone around you, isn't going to make you happy. Helping people is fantastic, but make sure you take time to help yourself, too.
  • If your doubting something, just think, what's the worst that can happen. But don't do anything illegal or that will get you into serious trouble.
  • Whatever happens know that there is always someone who is facing worse than you.


  • Don't let others put you down. When someone else feels the need to say something negative to you, it's their problem, not yours.
  • The only one who is going to take care of you is you.
  • You are going to have bad days, or days where you're sad and nothing you do will shake you out of it. That's okay! Everyone has those kind of days. Take care of yourself and let them pass.

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