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Live Each Day to the Fullest!

Dr. Stephanie Grant, LCSW, 144th Fighter Wing Director of Psychological Health

Stephanie Grant, PhD, LCSW, 144th Fighter Wing Director of Psychological Health

Fresno Air National Guard Base, Calif. --

Every day we have the opportunity make a difference and live life to the fullest. It is a personal choice to make each day count. Time is limited and once it has passed, we cannot get it back. Here are some ideas for how we can make each day worthwhile. 

Counting our Blessings/ Being Grateful

Being thankful for who we are, what we have, and what we do is the simple act of acknowledging all the good that’s in our life. Given our busy lives, it is easy to forget or fail to recognize all the blessings we have. An attitude of gratitude helps us shift our focus away from negative thoughts, irritations or emotions to reframe our thinking on the positive aspects of our life.  When we appreciate and share gratitude with others we develop and enjoy meaningful and lasting connections with others.

Fostering Creativity/Expressing Yourself
Creativity is something that everyone can practice.  When we take the time to create, we are more relaxed and refreshed.  Fortunately, we don’t have to be a Picasso or Rembrandt to be creative.  There are numerous ways to foster creativity in our lives such as listening to music, planting a garden, fixing cars, playing music, etc.  We can express ourselves through activities that we enjoy.

Seeking Beauty in Everyday Experiences
When we look for beauty in our daily lives, we begin to see it everywhere.  We find it through the music on our smart phones, the scenery from our backyard, and in the expressions of those we love.  Choosing to be intentional about seeking beauty in our everyday lives helps us see it all over the place. What do you find beautiful in your life?  When you look for it, you will find it.  I guarantee it! 

Share a Little Kindness

When we experience the joy of helping others in need, sharing a special moment with those we care about, or exchanging supportive words with a friend, it adds meaning and a sense of purpose to our lives. It also benefits our psychological and physical well-being.

Laugh with Others

We’ve heard it said that laugher is a good medicine.  We all have experienced the joy that laughter can bring to our lives.  When we were children, laughter was as natural as breathing. Sometimes as adults we need reminders about the benefits of laughter and finding humor in our everyday life. Research has demonstrated that laughter is good for our health, it strengthens our immune system, and it reduces our stress.  

Try Something New
Today, there is a plethora of information available to us at our fingertips.  Is there a subject that you have always wanted to learn more about? With the information available to on the internet, you can discover and learn something new every day.  Studies have demonstrated how lifelong learning has a huge impact on our feelings of accomplishment and relevance.

Don’t Forget to Play
It is easy to forget the value of play especially as we get older.  Taking the time to play is a valuable way to connect with simple pleasures and foster positive emotions. It also helps us inspire creative thinking, use our imagination, build are skills, and experiment with different ways of solving problems, which are all important tools we can use each day.

Do What You Love and Love What You Do!
Doing the things we love nourishes and inspires us. When we are passionate and engaged in the activities we love to do, we come alive, and we inspire others to do the same. For every person, the answer to what brings us joy will be unique. Whether we do what we love at our job, in business or during our free time, making time to enjoy those things is what makes life more joyful and fulfilling.

Another way we can think about how to make each day count is to ask ourselves the questions, “If I only had a month left to live, what would I do?” and “Am I spending time doing what truly matters to me?” We each have different things that are important to us, and engaging in those things-- the things we value the most-- will bring us more joy and happiness. When we choose to live a life we love, we will find ourselves in love with the life we’re living.