How to Not Take Life Too Seriously

Are you a worry-wart? A constant planner? Someone who always sets goals and works your butt off to achieve them? If so, it is time you learn how to not take life too seriously. I was once just like you and still am on some days. Recently I realized that while these qualities are sometimes great, they can also be destructive to your happiness.

Life’s a game, all you have to do, is know how to play it. – Anonymous

First Off Let’s Talk About Why:

This won’t take long. The reason that you should not take life too seriously is because:

1. It makes you miserable - which is not the purpose of this crazy thing called life. Much less is misery a good way to live.

2. It ruins your health - the stress and anxiety involved in taking life very seriously will indeed make it seriously short.

3. It takes too much energy - if you are busy trying to accomplish, accomplish, accomplish, then when will you have time or energy to exert towards the things in life that really matter?

Here’s How You Save Your Serious Self:

1. Know there’s no yesterday and no tomorrow - It is extremely important to digest this statement. The only day you will ever live is today, try your hardest to live yesterday or tomorrow and prepare to watch yourself fail. There really is no obstacle when living for today that you cannot overcome.

When you start to think about the future (I am extreme guilty of this), it is very easy to blow things out of proportion. How many times has something actually worked out exactly the way you had expected? Less than 1 out of 10 for me.

And research shows that we cannot trust our memory to give us accurate facts of the past. This is because when thinking of the past our brains are genetically engineered to fill in missing gaps. Ironically these gaps are altered by the way we currently feel, not the way we felt in that past moment. So live for today only and stop stressing so much about your perceived future or murky past!

Not Taking Life Too Seriously
Image copyright Esparta Palma – Flickr.com

2. Realize that you are not an immortal - No matter how hard you bust your toosh to make those booku bucks, realize that you will die. You are not Dracula. The money, fame, success or whatever it is that you’re killing yourself everyday to get more of – will not come with you to the underworld. When you are lying on your deathbed will you be happy thinking about how much of “fill-in-the-blank” that you have obtained?

I can’t answer that, but for me I’d be extremely disappointed in obtaining more of anything over happy memories and moments with myself, family, and friends. Once again it comes down to living happily today for most days of your existence.

There really is no end goal, though you might feel like you are working toward some kind of finish line, once you get there you will realize another end goal will replace it. So back off a bit and enjoy the day to day. If you are someone who is always wishing time away in excitement for some future date (living for Friday?), I have news for you… the only true end date is your date with Mr. Grim Reaper.

Don’t take life too seriously… no one gets out alive anyway – from a bathroom wall at King Street Station, Seattle, WA

3. Tell yourself it’s okay to have fun - Maybe this one is just a personal lesson I learned, but if you feel a weird sense of guilt when having fun realize you are wrong! I always used to feel like if I wasn’t working or doing something productive then I was wasting my time.

Well the opposite was actually the truth, what’s the point in all the hard work and productivity? Isn’t it to create more free or fun time in the future? Those moments that you are having fun are the moments that you should feel proud of. Everyone measures success differently, but I believe the person who has had more fun and happy times is the most successful.

I could keep on going but that would require me to take this post and my life way too seriously!

Did I Leave Out Any Other Good Points?

The best way to learn is from each other and I know there is a wealth of knowledge within each of you. Please share any pointers you have in the comments below!

Here are some other posts you may like:

Treat Depression Naturally By Adding These 6 Behaviors Into Your Life

How to Have Fun and Be Happy Doing Anything

Gratitude Journal as a Tool to Increase Happiness

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About TJ Chasteen

Hi! I'm TJ the creator of How-toBeHappy.com. I believe that nothing is more important than living a life full of daily happiness. That is my mission - I help my followers (and myself) design a life that easily produces happy moments everyday.

Comments

  1. chris tadina says:

    the more we know [i.e. "growing up"], the harder it is to wrap our heads around words of wisdom such as yours. most of us live in an incredibly secular world, where we are more or less divorced from our real desires and such and are occupied by the material world with all of its “treasures and perils.” the mind is the most powerful entity in the human universe, but it exists in a paradigm that encourages us to forgo its potential in exchange for comfort and a false sense of security. in spite of that notion, that comfort and false sense of security have become more important than our own sense of fulfillment and purpose. we as a society have given more power to inanimate objects and ideas [which have no bearing on real existence or meaning] than our own selves….

    so where does that leave us? i can’t help but think about the refrain from The Dead Kennedy’s “Riot,” where Jello Biafra sings, “tomorrow you’re homeless, tonight it’s a blast!” sure, that’s blowing things out of a polar proportion, but in this insensitive, inhuman world that we have created, those lyrics present a sober reality. of course, we can’t throw the baby out of the bathwater, but your light treatise kind of suggests we do…. now, based on what you and others have written, i feel like i take myself and life too seriously even though i don’t [according to said advise/affirmation]. perhaps there’s some of those words of wisdom that i haven’t quite taken on yet. of course, this new leaf is really easier said than done, but nothing starts until one foot is in front of the other. if only we lived in a different kind of world/reality. maybe if a critical mass of us started taking life “less seriously,” that world/reality/paradigm might exist for us one day. i don’t know how much you’ve helped me right now, but i do hope that your writing here helps someone else in a big way. i’m glad you are happy TJ, and i hope to enjoy that true state one day myself. namaste.

    • TJ says:

      Hi Chris,

      First off thank you for the extremely insightful commit. I do agree that this world has created a tendency for people to aim their ambitions towards achieving those things in which they think will increase their happiness. Like you said material items – a bigger car, house, saving account, etc.

      But I also believe if one chooses they can learn to ignore these outside signals and seek joy in developing a peaceful mindset full of gratitude – which gives them a happier existence then those who constantly chase “wants”.

      Being aware that this sense of security is indeed false has already put you one step ahead of the crowd. I listened to “Riot” (thanks for the analogy) and that message isn’t necessarily the one this post is trying to promote.

      I don’t mean that we should all just throw our hands up and be completely irresponsible. I just mean don’t be the polar opposite like I once was. Don’t spend 80 hours a week working and avoiding your family because you think there will be time to make it up to them in the future.

      I think it is best that we simply try to incorporate more living for the moment than living for a fake future which will never arise. That means enjoy sitting on the sofa with your dog while your doing it, or enjoy the hot shower in the morning before work instead of thinking about work and not really being present during that time which could have brought you a bit of happiness.

      I do appreciate your kind wishes and hope you find an answer in your own pursuit of happiness.

      Best,
      TJ

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