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Do you remember a time when you accomplished something you had been working for a long time but suddenly you didn’t feel like celebrating it? We spend so much of our lives working towards different goals that at the time of great accomplishments we may be blown away by the feeling of emptiness or worrying about being able to fully enjoy our success. Moments like this can be for example a graduation or a big project at work.

However, it is possible to strengthen the experience of joy. Here are few tips on how to enjoy and appreciate the happy moments of life instead of already thinking the next step.

Stop and be present

Give in for a moment, don’t run or over-think. Take a deep breath and delve into the details of the cheerful moments noticing the different sounds, smells and body sensations as if you would experience them for the first time.

We remember better the moments when we are present with all our senses. It is nice to take a couple of pictures and videos as reminders to yourself, but if your mind is focused on what the situation looks like in the pictures and not on how it feels to be in the situation, the peak moments can pass too quickly. So, ask someone else to be a photographer and just focus on the present.

Shared joy is double joy

Celebrate success with the people you love the most. Gather those friends around you who are expressing their joy loudly and encouraging one another to express their joy by words, deeds, dance and laughter. Create new shared memories and perhaps agree to do something unprecedented to celebrate success.

Be grateful

As harsh as it sounds no happiness can last forever. When you remember this, it is easier to give yourself permission to enjoy the joyful moments. It is also good to pause for a moment to appreciate how fortunate you are to have this kind of joy and to thank – in your mind and personally – all the people who have given their helping hand on this journey.

Learning to appreciate the good moments of life can be hard but it will definitely be worth it. The research shows that gratitude is proven to be healthy. Grateful people stay healthier and live longer than those who are stuck with negative things. Gratitude lowers blood pressure and improves resistance and sleep quality. Grateful people are more kind to themselves and to each other.

Vilhelmiina Välimäki is a Clinical Psychologist at Willingness Clinic. She works both with children and adults. You can contact her on vilhelmiina@willingness.com.mt or on 79291817