In the past, I often wondered what it would be like to feel happy, wild, and free.
I fantasized about living in Europe, writing in cafes like Hemingway or even moving to Hawaii and wearing nothing but sarongs and flip flops all day. But in truth, these fantasies were empty.
I knew in my gut that fantasies of escape would not bring me authentic happiness or true freedom. Maybe at the onset, but in the end trying to create happiness, wild moments, or freedom outside of myself can only ever be temporary. Meanwhile, I’m left facing whatever is still present within me.
When I attune to the simple things that give me joy, my body and spirit ignites. I feel truly alive and wildly happy. I feel free of the heavier burdens, beliefs, and complicated constructs that kept me stuck by focusing only on the “storms” within me.
Here are 10 simple tips to live happy, wild, and free:
- Write out a short list of the simple things that give you pleasure.
Keep them in the front of your consciousness and make sure you engage with them at least a few times a week. As you do these things, stay present and mindful of the joy they bring you.
For example, I love eating a fresh juicy nectarine on a summer’s afternoon, and meditating in the morning after a fresh brewed cup of tea, and taking a walk and window-shopping.
What are some of your simple things?
- Get moving.
Maybe you like the openness and relaxation you feel after a yoga class, or the sweat and wild release of spinning. You may enjoy seeing your dog run happily in circles as you throw balls at the park.
Whatever movement inspires you, do it and observe the happiness and freedom it brings. Also, take a short walk after having a meal. This not only helps with digestion, but also instantly relieves any heavy feelings.
- Eat light.
Support your body, mind, and spirit with simple meals. Eating light helps us to feel lighter and also increases our concentration, digestion, energy levels, and productivity.
As a mindfulness practice, I put my eating utensil down between each bite and wait to pick it up again until I’ve completely swallowed my food. It takes 20 minutes for us to digest a meal, so I know if I eat slowly for 20 minutes, I will feel completely satisfied without having to eat large portions.
- Take a cold shower.
Waking up in the morning and taking a cold shower revives and wildly awakens the senses. Here are some benefits of cold showers.
- Improve circulation
- Relieve depression
- Keep skin and hair healthy
- Increase testosterone and fertility
- Increase energy and well-being
- Talk less and, when you do talk, have noble conversation.
When you hang out with your friends and loved ones, learn to love the spaces in the conversation. Listen more to someone’s tone as they share, rather than thinking about how you’re going to respond.
Pay attention to what happens to your energy when you talk less, and how much happier you feel as you conserve more energy. Plus, you’ll love the simple intimacy of your relationships as you increase presence and heart-centered listening.
- Get 10 minutes of sun a day.
With sunscreen, there are benefits to getting sun. Well-documented research shows there is a relationship between low vitamin D levels and poor health, such as frail bones, multiple sclerosis, and prostate cancer. We need vitamin D!
Also, light hitting your skin, not just your eyes, helps reverse seasonal affective disorder. Here comes the sun! Let the sunshine in . . .
- Turn off the TV.
Rather than watch TV, use your time more mindfully. Read, walk, meet friends, or join an evening group or class. Use your time to connect to others and yourself. Or do something different, spontaneous, and wild!
Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, there are so many ways to express yourself creatively. Cook with a loved one, dance in your living room, sing in the car, journal without editing or crossing out, or learn a new joke.
Be happy, wild, and free as you express yourself more creatively!
- Enjoy nature.
Find the nature that surrounds you—really see it. Observe yourself as you witness nature and appreciate its growth and timing.
If you feel like things are going too slow, too fast, or you aren’t really sure of where you’re going, remember there is a natural timing for everything, and all the roads are taking you to the right place at the right time.
Ask yourself, “How can I compare nature’s experience to my life? How am I just like the wild flower that is growing on the path?”
- Know the simple truth.
With enthusiasm and confidence, state what you know to be true about your authentic self. Ask yourself, “What is true about myself right now in this moment?”
For example, I am enough, I am worthy, I am good, I am loved, I have what I need, or I am a success.
State this affirmation out loud a few times to embody the essence of who you really are in this very moment. Take it in. Believe this and feel free.
Keeping your focus on the simplest things offers an immediate experience of abundant joy.
Wishing you more simplicity in your life and days filled with lightness, movement, and sunshine!