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Acceptance is the Key to Happiness

Acceptance. What does is mean and how can it improve your life? Acceptance may seem like a simple idea, but unfortunately many people don't practice it enough in their lives and end up frustrated and constantly in pain or unhappy. I'm going to show you how to use it in your life (and your love life) to improve your state of being and become more relaxed, happier and more grateful! Let's get started.

1. Realize that not everything is going to turn out the way you want it to be. Oftentimes in life things happen and they are opposite of what we want. Sometimes we go out to dinner with our date and we order food that turns out undercooked and not what we expected at all! Other times we have larger challenges in life, we might get sick, get laid off from a job, get divorced or see a loved one going through a difficult time. We did not want these things, but they still happened. Approaching life's disappointments (and even happy moments) through a state of acceptance changes the way we see life. It changes our energy from being resistant, (and remember negative energy feeds off of resistance, so we must be sure to clear ourselves and our surrounding space of negativity) to being accepting. Accepting means we realize things happen that we dislike, but we also know that we can't control everything. When we resist something, it persists! The key is to accept what happens with an open attitude of "Everything that happens is okay." This doesn't mean we don't try to make the situation better, and it certainly doesn't mean we give up, it just means we realize that this is life, the bad and the good, and we must accept it all and live with it joyfully.

2. Even in unhappy times, you must strive to live joyfully. You might be on the couch with a box of Kleenex bawling your eyes out after your last break up, but you have to try and see the silver lining in the clouds. If you watch some people who have been through very difficult times, perhaps illnesses or deaths in the family, they will tell you that they try to live each day to the fullest because they just don't know what tomorrow might bring. Even if you're going through a tough time or can't seem to find your way, put a smile on your face and enjoy every moment of your one and only precious life because you will never have that moment again! Isn't it better then to enjoy it to the fullest (even if its not "perfect" or how you want it to be exactly)?!

3. Give up your ideas surrounding perfection and just enjoy life as it is. Some people need things to be exactly as they want it to be or else they are unhappy and frustrated. But that desire to be in complete control robs you of the very essence of life and happiness. Relinquish your ideas of what you need in your life to be happy, and just make a decision to relax and enjoy your life as it is now! Nothing actually needs to change in your life for you to enjoy it, you only need to change how you think about it! Life will never be perfect, and neither will you. Make a decision today and enjoy every pleasurable moment to the max.

4. Even if a moment isn't your definition of super fun, exciting or happy, extract as much pleasure from it as possible. Eating a slice of your grandmother's blackberry cake? Slow down and enjoy every morsel of that delicious slice of cake! Sitting outside on your porch steps enjoying the breeze with a cup of coffee? Enjoy every second of that experience--the sun's warm rays on your face, the cool crisp breeze running through your hair, the flavor of the coffee beans exploding in your mouth ... enjoy it all!

5. Live in the present. Enjoy the present moment without clouding it with thoughts such as "This shouldn't be ..." "This should have been ... ""If only YOU had ... " "If only I had ..." Give YOURSELF and others a break and let it go!! Let the should haves, must haves, could haves and would haves, go! Focus on enjoying the present moment and just ACCEPT it for what it is! Having recriminating thoughts like this will do nothing to change your situation. Guilt and worry and fear are useless. If you really must change something then get up and do it! Take the necessary actions, but let the negative mind chatter go. You will be happier and so will those around you. People who can't let things go are poison to themselves and to others around them. You must relax and forget about the past and your worries about the future, and just enjoy the present NOW. Not later when things are better, when you're 10 pounds thinner, when your husband has a better paying job, when your kid graduates school, when you aren't broke anymore. You gotta take the good with the bad, and enjoy every moment of your one and only precious life! Smile.

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