How To Make Life A Lot More Enjoyable And Less Painful

Woman with her eyes closed relaxed in the wind

How to make your life a lot more enjoyable and less painful I thought I knew what enjoyable it was until I sat down and wrote down what I did every day.

As I sit down to write this on my mac, I start to face the startling truth about exploring this topic.

I honestly don’t believe my life is that enjoyable right now – though I wish it were. It’s true; you can make your life as you want it to be – and always quit the things you don’t like doing to start experiencing more joy and happiness. I’m not opposed to this realisation at all. But what about the things that are outside of your control, that play at your heartstrings?

For instance:

  • A sick child, the parent or a loved one
  • Someone you love is dying
  • The pandemic, closures and losses
  • You have an illness that’s befallen you
  • You lost possessions, business or home & are starting from scratch

I’m sure there are many more that I haven’t even mentioned here.

But, no matter what it is, life’s endless setbacks hurt. And sometimes, they hurt very badly. I didn’t know pain like this until my mum developed pancreatic cancer. After that, everything stopped for me, and I felt like I had transitioned onto another plane.

I can’t even describe how it felt – apart from having the mat pulled out from under me. But, then, before you get a chance to become aware of what’s happening, you fall flat on your bum – and it hurts. It’s not enjoyable when your need to work co-insides with your heartfelt wants to be with the person that may not be around tomorrow.

As much as I try not to think about this, I can’t help but allow it to linger in my thoughts daily. When sitting in front of my computer in lockdown, managing my workflow daily, I sometimes stop and look outside my window. The sun is shining, and it’s a crispy cold winter day.


Sometimes I catch a fellow neighbour walking their dog or taking a mid-morning stroll. Here I am, staring – wishing and wanting one of those people walking to be me.

Then those thoughts come rushing into my head like: “You have a child to look after, bills, repayments and planning your retirement. Now is not the time to daydream, and it’s time to work hard and make things happen.” Does anyone else feel themselves being pulled back into reality like a puppet on strings – and you’re living out a performance that isn’t your own?

I’ve been listening to Jay Shetty’s book – Think Like a Monk.

There is one exercise that took me to another place far beyond my imagination. Since it was a visualisation exercise, I had the most fun with this one.

It helped me imagine a place where I wasn’t feeling pain in my heart. Instead, all I felt was love, the sun’s warmth on my skin, and the taste of saltwater. I was visualising myself in Santorini – my favourite place on earth.

The sunsets and rises are the most magnificent spectacles I’ve ever seen. I was walking on the beach, hearing all the kids play, seeing people lying in the warm sun., the waves crashing, and the feeling of the sun healing my body. Then, I see beautiful cobblestone homes in the distance, stark white contrasting against the blue sky.

Wow, was it beautiful? At that moment, I felt instant peace, serenity and warmth. I forgot it all for a while. During that subtle moment, I realised these things:

One. Being hard on myself is like belittling my own heart.

We are the hardest and harshest critics of ourselves. Whatever goes wrong in our lives has us instantly pointing the finger in the mirror. I can’t do everything to everyone – and that can be hard for a woman to come to terms with finally. But, when we set our expectations of ourselves that high, we end up failing and beating ourselves up.

There is no need to do all the things, the be-all and do everything for other people. It’s ok to do one thing for you, even if it means sacrificing time spent with others. We each deserve a single piece of us at least once a day.

Two. I worry, yet I can’t control the thing.

I’m structured by routine and like to have it all planned out as best as I can. However, some days it seems that multiple items are yet to get ticked off, which can get out of control.

It can stress anyone out – but it’s one of my weakest points. Sometimes I have to let go – wholeheartedly. You waste time and energy that could have been used more constructively. It can be challenging, but the weight starts lifting off your shoulders. After that, it will all be ok.

Three. The great expectation

I’m wholeheartedly guilty of this one. I always believe this or that should happen – mainly because that’s what I do for others.

But realistically, it just leads to disappointments. I have often wondered how not to expect something back. The art of helping and giving nourishes your soul and heart in the process. The other person’s role is one that receivers – and that’s where it ends. Whether or not they acknowledge you is none of your business. You should recognise yourself in love and kindness because it feels good & your benefit. Again, that’s where it ends.

Four. Do more of what you love.

It’s probably the only thing that gives me the most happiness – and I bet you feel the same too. We all enjoy different things – but they all have one thing in common. When we are in the “zone” doing what we love, something shifts in us, and we get lost in it, and everything around us disappears.

It can be in a creative or intellectual pursuit. For me, it’s writing. Lately, I’ve had no intention of writing, and the thing I usually start with on a blank screen, shifts to a completely different topic. The art of writing is about bringing from the inside out those wonderful untold experiences we all have.

What’s lurking within us is unknown to even ourselves. Writing is a great way to express the untold.

Five. Assume the best in others.

Although people can be real ratbags – we’re all human at the end of the day. Each of us experiences a range of emotions at one given time, and we are all within reason to express them as we wish – perhaps it’s harder for some than others.

What I have experienced is that we should give forgiveness to anyone for acting up. I am no angel too, and I know I’ve fired up on many occasions.

It’s super important to also forgive yourself for letting those emotions rip out of place. The best thing to do is continue being warm yet allow the other person space and comfort to reach their conclusions. You don’t need to point out to them and trust that they will come to you when the time is right.

Six. It’s only this moment right now.

All we have is the moment we’re in now: no past or future. One has gone, and one is to come. How do we enjoy the moment? By experiencing it in its whole, without thinking, we must go somewhere, do something or be with someone. We are allowing the glory or despair of that moment to come and then pass.

That’s all – no judgement, it just is what it is These can be as successful or challenging as we want them to be. I struggle with points one and two & six a lot – but because of mum’s condition, for my own sake, I’ve forgiven myself a lot. When we sit and worry about someone we love and when death comes about, we ruin the only chance to experience that one moment with them. That moment right now is all we have – and it will never come back again. So allowing yourself to let go in the moment is one of the hardest things I’ve tried to do. And I work on it every day.

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