How to Enjoy Life More
My number one prescription for enjoying life more is to allow yourself to be as miserable as you really are, whenever you feel that way. If you can allow yourself to be miserable whenever you feel miserable, you will feel a lot better in general.
For one thing, allowing yourself to be miserable when you feel miserable will put a stop to fighting against yourself to feel differently. The energy you use to fight against yourself is then free to be used for other things. Such as noticing that the sun is shining or that a cup of coffee tastes good — things that, ironically, relieve misery.
If you do not tolerate suffering and being miserable very well, however, and you are constantly fighting with yourself and not enjoying being with yourself, I recommend seeing a professional. I am a professional at tolerating emotions, and I know that the more I can tolerate other people’s suffering, the better they do. And, as far as I can tell, people who come to see me have every reason to feel miserable. As I am sure you do too when you do.
Of course, some people devote their entire lives to trying to be happier and have a good life. To me, this is a great idea. We should all do that as much as possible. Unfortunely, most of us have other callings too. Like raising children, or doing work of some kind, both of which are guaranteed to cause suffering. The more you can tolerate suffering, the easier it is to devote your life to a range of activities that hopefully, will give you some return on your investment of attention and culminate in a truly enjoyable life.
There is no real prescription for how much suffering and misery you should, ideally, be able to tolerate. And how much you should put a stop to with salves of any kind. It is a balance that has to be creatively sought after by each person individually — there are no rights or wrongs, no “best” practice, or, to my view, “normal” position. The only criteria you should have for developing your strength and ability to tolerate misery and suffering, is feeling either out of balance or unsatisfied with life. Then, figuring out how to allow yourself to be more comfortable with your misery and suffering will definitely help you enjoy life more.