Why So Serious? The Key to Life May Just Be to Lighten Up — Here’s How

Posted by GreaterGoodness

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Chaos. Often it seems the more serious we are, the closer we get to that frightening word. Which doesn’t make much sense, does it? But sometimes loosening our grip is the key to keeping everything in balance.

There are times in life when we have to let loose, lighten up and have a laugh, especially at ourselves. Here are 5 creative ways to get your lightness back!

1) Take a walk down memory lane.

Before we dive into how, check out these two pictures…

Matt McMillain va ABC News

Matt McMillain via ABC News

and…

Matt McMillain via ABC News

Matt McMillain via ABC News

You don’t have to do it like the McMillain brothers. But believe it or not, recreating history has some awesome emotional benefits. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Find an old photograph of a happy you. It doesn’t matter if the photograph was from five years ago, twenty, or fifty. Just two requirements here: 1) it’s an old photograph, and 2) you’re happy in it.

Step 2: Recreate that photograph. No need to be precise. Just do your best and invite those closest to you to participate — friends, siblings, spouses, children, neighbors, strangers, whomever.

Step 3: Take the photo.

Step 4: Compare the photos. What’s different between them? What’s the same? How much have you changed? How far have you come to be where you’re at today?

Just because we can’t go back in time doesn’t mean we should forget our past, or  regret it. Instead, let’s embrace it. Have fun with it. Be proud of what has changed and what has stayed the same.

Lighten Up Lesson #1: Your past is not to be feared.


2) Make eye contact.

reasons to smile

Ever notice how often we walk with our eyes down? We stare at the sidewalk as if it were a wonder of the world. But what would we see if we looked up?

We’d see strangers. We’d make connections. And we’d be happier. Try this simple exercise:

Step 1: Look up.

Step 2: Lock eyes with a stranger.

Step 3: Smile.

Step 4: Say, “Hello.”

Step 5: Continue walking.

Sure, maybe every now and then your greeting won’t be returned, but too often we don’t give strangers enough credit. They can have a great impact on our day — and we on theirs!

Lighten Up Lesson #2: Trust in the idea of reciprocity.


3) Let your child dress you.

Moms everywhere: Have you ever considered letting your child choose your clothes for the day?

If you answered yes: How awesome was it?

If you answered no: What are you waiting for!?

Recently, editor and entrepreneur Summer Bellessa took to Instagram to show how her three-year-old son, Rockwell, styled her.

Having a rough Monday? I let my toddler dress me for a week. These pictures should bring a smile to your face. Link in profile. #Monday #motherhood @babble #fashion #blogger

A photo posted by Summer Bellessa (@summerbellessa) on

It didn’t stop there though…

“Are these close enough?” Said @rockwellbellessa when he was picking out my clothes this week. See the full article, and more pictures in the profile link. #motherhood @babble A photo posted by Summer Bellessa (@summerbellessa) on

And finally, on Rockwell’s last day…

If you liked my #toddlerstylist post, you can follow the link in my profile to see a video of us doing one more day of letting @rockwellbellessa dress me. This might be the craziest outfit yet: two skirts, one dress, three necklaces, gold shoes. I get a few funny looks in the video… #motherhood #youtube #ontheblog #fashion #instastyle #whatiwore

A photo posted by Summer Bellessa (@summerbellessa) on

Among other things, Summer said she and Rockwell’s experience was great for them both. Not only was she able to see the way Rockwell’s mind worked, but she found herself smiling much more often, even hours after the fact. Why? Because she wasn’t taking herself so seriously.

That’s a trap that too often we fall into — taking ourselves too seriously. Sometimes, we just need to own our goofiness!

Lighten Up Lesson #3: Embrace your goofiness!


4) Live at your own speed.

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You don’t have to drive your car everywhere. You don’t have to take the highway. You can walk. You can run. You can skip. You can ride a bicycle.

There are lots of ways to get from Point A to Point B, and just because everyone else is sprinting doesn’t mean that you can’t jog. At what speed would you like to live your life?

Lighten Up Lesson #4: Speed is a preference, not a requirement.


5) Stop buying the finished product.

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More often than not, the nearest shopping center is a hop, skip and a jump away. And because of convenience, we go there for everything. We then return home, put it all away, and sit back down on the couch.

True, life can be busy, but choosing not to take the easy way out can be extremely rewarding. Making time for hands-on projects that teach you new skills is an important growth opportunity and a chance to connect with your loved ones.

It takes time, and yes, you’ll probably make mistakes. But that is beyond awesome. Laugh at those mistakes, embrace those imperfections and notice the lessons they teach.

Lighten Up Lesson #5: Your life is not a finished product.

So tell us, how do you keep your life light?

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