Well-being is made up of a few factors: happiness, satisfaction, enjoyment, contentment, engagement, fulfillment and resilience. These factors are all somewhat interlinked. Enjoyment according to the Cambridge dictionary means ‘a feeling of happiness or pleasure’. A number of questions come to mind when thinking about the abstract concept of ‘enjoyment’. What does enjoyment really mean and how does one ‘enjoy’ life? Enjoyment will look different for everyone but why is enjoyment so important to one’s well-being?

Life is fast-paced and we often forget to do things for fun. It is important to think about and reflect on what activities can offer you a break from the mundaneness of life. What activities are accessible to you that can create a sense of enjoyment for you and improve your mood instantly. The enjoyment of life is really important, research says that people who enjoy life are three times more likely to live longer and are at less of a risk of decline in physical functioning.  

John C Maxwell reports that enjoyment is a credible energizer to the human spirit. Hey Happy has some tips for ‘enjoying’ life:

  1. Focus on yourself. Tap into your self-intuition to explore and identify what gives you the most enjoyment. What has given you enjoyment in the past? Experiment with activities that have given you a sense of enjoyment in the past. If the activity doesn’t give you the same outcome, remain curious and open-minded to try different activities that bring back the enjoyment in your life.
  2. Make time to do things that are enjoyable. Most people complain that they do not have time. If enjoyment of life is really important to you, we want to encourage you to block time out in your busy schedule. Block out as much as you would do for something like an important meeting. Track your time and prioritise your well-being. 
  3. Nurture positive relationships. Do activities with people that you enjoy. For example, if you love cooking for friends/family- do this and you will also benefit from the social interaction at the same time.
  4. Extend your community. Join a new group or community which can teach you about other things you enjoy. Find something that stretches you beyond what you were before.
  5. Explore new places. You do not have to grab a passport or money for an international flight. Explore in your neighborhood. These experiences will offer a different perspective, add a healthy dose of inspiration and possibility to one’s life. Keep a bucket list of new things you would want to do. These could even be new experiences that might evoke enjoyment on a new level.
  6. Give back. Make a difference in someone else’s life. The experience could be enjoyable and can give one a sense of meaning and purpose.
  7. Notice the small things that provide even a moment of enjoyment. This awareness could be fostered by developing your own ritual that you ask yourself at the end of each day: “What did I find enjoyable today?”
  8. Have reminders of what you enjoy close by. These reminders can serve as a grounding tool to break a stressful moment and to aspire to enjoy another moment at some point later in your day.

Remember that enjoyment does not involve completely changing your life but rather doing small things every day that contribute to your overall well-being.

written by Jade Janeke. Registered counsellor