Updated: Feb 19
...and become happier in life
The world we live in pushes us to be productive and serious. All the time.
Living in Berlin offers the best of both worlds. Some people pursue career development or carry on studying, others pursue creative passions doing what they can, as to not conform to societal standards but to make their dreams come true.
I love the mix — it makes life better. But I also see how serious people are. Smiling is a rarity. It’s so sad to see people on public transport with sour faces agonising over everything.
Yes, we have to take life seriously at times. Be playful. Life is to enjoy at the end of the day, right? Here are three ways how to stop taking life so seriously… it will make you happier:
Laughter is the best medicine
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Laughing is key. I laugh on a daily occasion; it comes naturally to me.
Laughing is like taking a tablet to feel instant joy, releasing all the seriousness and stress away. For example, when I see an old woman get irritated by rowdy people on the train in Berlin, I laugh. (Of course, she doesn’t find it the appropriate reaction, but I do.) Her serious and stubborn response makes me giggle even more and think, “brighten up, lady” because let’s face it, in life:
There is nothing better than a good laugh.
Laugh at things you can’t change and notice how it is better than being serious. If someone isn’t polite, I laugh. I’ve made it a habit to be happy when people are angry because I don’t need that negative energy in my life(!). So stop taking things so seriously and be alive.
Are you so serious that little laughter enters your life? Then make an effort to laugh but don’t fake it! Things are out there waiting for you to have a giggle at (for example, if you trip up or someone else does!). Immunise other’s laughter to take an effect on you by laughing at yourself — it’s that easy to be happier in life and yourself!
You don’t have to be serious all the time; it’s a choice. Laughter heals the severity, sternness and stubbornness that seriousness can overtake in your system because there’s no battle, just a bubble of good vibes. We all want to be happy, so stop being so serious. Laugh out loud and remember to:
Come back to the breath
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”― Amit Ray, Om Chanting and Meditation
Stop taking life so seriously by coming back to your breath — that’s what I do. Breathing has become my best friend at times when I am far from chilled finding adult life hard. (We all do.) When the sight of serious faces overwhelm me on the train, I set aside my phone, plug in my music and breathe.
Taking some deep breaths allows all the stress to flood out of me, unravelling the seriousness I was overwhelmed by and letting it all go. Life is led by the breath; don’t forget it.
Not sure about you, but I question and overthink everything. I’ve become better nowadays by noticing my breath is there and letting it override my emotions by coming to the moment with ease.
As Thomas Oppong advises how a happier life can be achieved by not being so serious, he says:
“End the vicious cycle by aligning yourself to the brighter, and lighter version of yourself.”
The breath allows you to be this brighter and lighter version of yourself. Let the breath lead your life. Being so serious overtakes you — your face, your mind, your body react to the way you feel. This is becoming more clear to us now, navigating wellness to be a mainstream trend. Be it stress or seriousness, there is no need for you to battle with it. Allow it to happen and take a deep breath.
The breath has a power unlike no other, and so does acceptance:
Accept and move on
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” — Lao Tzu
The last and probably most important key to steering away from taking life so seriously is to accept and move on. We get so wound up with how we feel, causing anxiety to take control of our lives. Life is going to happen to you, no matter what. Being so serious about everything makes you tighten up and less easy to connect with.
The more I learn in life how to accept and move on helps me go with the flow. It enables me to stand back and not be so serious because I see life as a game and you just have to give everything a go, without a serious attitude to stop you from enjoying each moment (including the ups and the downs).
When life gets you down, you must get up. To a certain extent, severity holds you back from accepting where you are at. Acceptance is allowing the coming and going of life, rather than trying to control everything.
As Suzanne Kane states:
“Let go of grudges. They’re counter-productive and lessen your joy.”
Life is worth living, after all.
So why don’t you try it out yourself? Stop being so serious and start smiling, laughing, breathing and accepting things in life to become more open and happier.