10 Ways to Love Your Life (First Installment)

How to Be Happy, Jackson Bliss, Good Men Project, 10 Ways to be Happy, being in love, couples, joy, happiness

Happiness is always a choice. Jackson Bliss breaks down the first 10 ways to personal happiness

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1. Eat Well: eat lots of local organic veggies, nuts, fruits and whole grains. It’ll make your body feel amazing, help you operate at peak efficiency and also support local farmers, businesses and artisans. When in doubt, make homemade brownies.

2. Big Sleep: set aside eight to nine hours every day. Sleep in on the weekends. Turn your phone off and let go of everything. Remember your dreams.

3. Meditate in your own way: find silence inside your mind. Meditate. Do yoga. Take a long bath. Sit down in the shower. Dance by yourself. Close your eyes in the elevator. Go for a walk with an empty mind.

4. Move your ass: exercise every day. Go for a run. Ride your bike to a park and have a picnic with your boo. Show the world what your momma gave you at the nightclub. Go hiking in the hills. Make love in the afternoon.  Walk everywhere instead of driving. Remember, your body craves movement.

5. Act in Goodness: helping someone is a spiritual act. When you relieve suffering in the world, you activate your goodness and make the world a better place. Volunteer. Make an anonymous donation to a public school. Talk to a homeless mom and buy her lunch. Open the door for a stranger. Buy your sick neighbor some cough drops. Work with kids and show them you believe in them.

6. Practice Gratitude: acknowledge your blessings. Tell someone you appreciate her/him every week. Gratitude is part of the importance of sharing. Say thank you every day. Through your gratitude, you remind yourself of how blessed you are. Through your gratitude, you make the world better.

7. Love (generously, often and deeply):  crush hard on strangers. Fall in love with moments. Smile at people you’ll never see again. Fall deeply in love all over again. Even when you get your heart broken, celebrate your pain and vulnerability and openness and courage. Watch movies and cry. Spend the day holding her/his hand. Say I love you every day of your life. Cuddle like a motherfucker.

8. Laugh insanely: this world can be heartbreaking, so find time everyday to celebrate the small moments in your fractional life. Humor helps you take life less seriously. Humor helps you take life more seriously. Laughter is the way we heal when we see the world in a new way.

9. Travel: make time for the great unknown. The world can be vibrant and strange and insanely beautiful. Read novels and travel often. Try ordering a cappuccino in Florence. Eat an authentic empanada in Buenos Aires or Santiago. Sit at a café in Paris, Seoul or Istanbul. Bike through the streets of Amsterdam. Climb the Bell and Drum Tower in Beijing. Hike the Incan Trail. Ride a rickshaw in Bangkok. Read a book in translation. Visit an elephant sanctuary in Kenya. Repeat.

10. Let go: for everything you aren’t in control of (and for everything you should relinquish control of), learn to let go. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. Forgive others for the pain they’ve caused you. There’s virtue and strength in forgiveness. There’s freedom and beauty in fluidity.  There’s joy and lightness in a world without time.

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image credit: Flickr/Seb Hastien

More articles by Jackson Bliss:

Love is a Strange Song Inside Your Head

One Foot Out the Door

Why Love Doesn’t Have to Make Sense

A Scarcity of Affection among Men

How to Stay in Love

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About Jackson Bliss

Jackson Bliss is the author of The Amnesia of Junebugs, The Ninjas of My Greater Self, Dream Pop Origami + Atlas of Tiny Desires. His essays + short stories have appeared in Tin House, Antioch Review, Kenyon Review, Fiction, Quarterly West, ZYZZYVA, Fiction International, Stand (UK), Huffington Post UK and African American Review, among others. You can find him at www.jacksonbliss.com and on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Halie Hovenga says:

    Powerful advice, Jackson, and beautifully written. I’ve shared it twice and plan to print and save it on the fridge.

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