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  • Writer's pictureDianne Morocho

How to live a Happy Life

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

**Title: Living a Happy Life in the Moment with Intention: A Guide**


In today's fast-paced world, everyone has a to-do list a mile long. Schedules are impossible filled with too many activities and chances are they aren't with things that you love to do but with things you think that you have to do to make everyone around you happy. It's

easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of daily life and forget to enjoy the present moment. We often find ourselves dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, which can rob us of the joy and fulfillment that can be found in the here and now. But living a happy life in the moment with intention is not only possible but also incredibly rewarding. Here, we'll explore a guide to help you do just that, with a focus on what to do and what not to do. It has taken me half my life to learn this. Like most people, I had a turning point. A point where you have done all that you can do, you are broken, you have nothing left to give. When you overcome some of the hardest times, it's when you learn to live in the present times. I was always overwhelmed and worried. Worrying about making enough money, worrying about what if ...someone got it ... what if I couldn't work and had to live off of my savings. I had an endless what-if list. I think it came from being responsible for everyone and everything my entire life. When I moved to Ecuador I was at a turning point. I had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and had a wrist surgery 10 days earlier and I was seriously evaluating my life. My work life and what it meant not to be able to keep up the pace I had all my life. I was more than worried, scared, and anxious. Unfortunately, things just got worse and that's another subject that I will address later. I had to do some serious reevaluation of my life, and this is what I did.

1. **Practice Mindfulness:** Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment, observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. It helps you appreciate the beauty of the present and reduces anxiety about the past or future. Especially when your new culture doesn't exactly have the same values and mindset that North Americans have.


2. **Cultivate Gratitude:** Regularly take time to acknowledge the things you're grateful for. This simple practice can shift your focus from what you lack to what you have, fostering happiness. I appreciate the small things now, things that I didn't notice before I was to be focused on work, making money, the what ifs of life. Now I notice everything the birds singing in the morning, I make time to watch the sunset every night. I really see things that I didn't really notice or see before. Now I don't want to miss any of it.


3. **Set Clear Intentions:** Determine what matters most to you and set clear intentions for how you want to live your life. Align your actions with these intentions to create a sense of purpose. Now I focus on the people who are really important to me. Really listening to what they have to say. Celebrating them. Experiencing life with them.


4. **Embrace Life's Imperfections: ** Accept that life is filled with ups and downs. Embrace the imperfections, as they are a part of the rich tapestry of existence. Let's face it... there is a lot of disappointment and expectations in life. We have an idea of how our life is supposed to go or how we want it to go. Life has a way of showing up and humbling us sometimes. I now realize some people come to a crossroads in your life. They decide if they want to continue the journey of experiencing life with you or not. You don't control that. I have learned to accept it.


5. **Savor Simple Pleasures:** Pay attention to the small joys in life, like a warm cup of tea, a walk in the park, or a conversation with a loved one. These moments often hold profound happiness. You learn that the small things are really the big things. Life isn't made all made up of big profound moments but more of a lot of small moments. Its all about learning to cherish those.


6. **Connect with Others:** Nurture your relationships. Spending quality time with loved ones fosters a sense of belonging and connection that contributes significantly to happiness.


7. **Take Care of Your Health:** Prioritize physical and mental well-being through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stress management. When you feel good physically, it's easier to enjoy the moment. I used to think that the world would actually stop, or I had personally failed if I took a day off of work. Now i realize if my body is telling me to rest then its best for me if I listen.


8. **Engage in Passion Projects:** Pursue hobbies and interests that bring you joy and a sense of fulfillment. Doing what you love can be a powerful way to live in the moment. Now I take a lot of pictures, watch a lot of sunsets and basically enjoy all my moments. I truly dance like no one is watching and sing like no one is listening.


**What Not to Do:**


1. **Dwell on the Past:** Constantly ruminating on past mistakes or missed opportunities can lead to unhappiness. Acknowledge the past, but don't let it overshadow your present. You can't change it so why dwell on it and give it that energy?


2. **Worry Excessively About the Future:** While planning for the future is important, excessive worry about what might happen can prevent you from fully enjoying today. The turning point for me in this is when my father died at 55 years old of small cell lung cancer. He always said, " When I retire, I'm going to "...... that time never came. The end of his life was filled with chemotherapy, doctors' visits and a long list of regrets.


3. **Compare Yourself to Others:** Comparing yourself to others can lead to envy and dissatisfaction. Focus on your own journey and what makes you unique. Special you are... you don't need to compare yourself to others. Everyone's journey is different.


4. **Hold onto Resentment ** Holding grudges and harboring resentment only weighs you down. Learn to forgive and let go, freeing yourself from negative emotions. I don't do it. It's not who I am, and it greatly detracts from the freedom of enjoying my life. You control no one's actions only how you respond to it.


5. **Overload Your Schedule:** Busyness can prevent you from being present. Avoid overcommitting and create space in your schedule for relaxation and reflection. I no longer do things that I don't want to do just to make others happy. I don't feel the need. Not to say I don't do things for others because I do. I just control my schedule better.


6. **Neglect Self-Care:** Ignoring your physical and mental health can lead to unhappiness. Prioritize self-care to ensure you're in the best possible state to enjoy the moment. I don't allow others to stress me out with their agendas. I don't try to nurture relationships that don't mentally serve me. Healthy relationships flow.


7. **Seek External Validation:** Relying on external validation for your happiness can be fleeting and unsatisfying. Instead, cultivate self-acceptance and internal validation. I did not have healthy parent child relationships. I was a people pleaser all my life .. I learned to let that go and how to have healthy positive relationships by loving myself first and honoring me


8. **Live on Autopilot:** Many people go through life on autopilot, going through the motions without intention. Make a conscious effort to engage with life actively. Be present, don't rush through your life. Whatever you are doing in that moment really be present for it.


Living a happy life in the moment with intention is a lifelong journey, but it's one that's worth embarking on. By incorporating these do's and avoiding the don'ts, you can create a fulfilling and joyous existence, where each moment is cherished, and happiness is a constant companion. Remember, the key to a happy life lies in your ability to be fully present and intentional in all that you do. Learn to choose wisely in your relationships. One close friendship is worth more than a million and will bring you more happiness than a million superficial ones.


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