Don’t take life too seriously

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Personal Development | 23 comments

Life is serious and taking it too seriously robs you of happiness, fun and productivity. A solemn outlook increases stress, squanders creativity and innovation, and stifles progress. If you’re reading this blog I hope these are not qualities you want in your life!

I was a terribly serious child, with a serious case of perfectionism. When other children played and laughed, I worried over problems that were out of my control. Even the smallest of issues needed to be carefully considered and intently studied. I focused so much on everything that was wrong that I lost sight of everything that was right, and I was deeply unhappy.

Learning to love life and myself was an amazing and challenging journey. Today my life is far from perfect, and yet I am happier, healthier, and more prosperous than ever before. A significant influence in creating this change was learning not to take life so seriously.

So let’s get on to the good stuff, here are some of my best ideas to adjust your perspective, have a little fun, and love the life you have today!

Be fun.
Smile. Laugh. Skip, hop, and run. Do something you truly love and have fun doing it!

Be entertained.
Read a comic. Tell an amusing anecdote. Share your most embarrassing story. Laugh at yourself, and with others.

Be unpredictable.
Give yourself a little room for spontaneity! Do something unexpected. Take a different route. Order a different drink. Do something unplanned.

Be flexible.
Write your to do list in pencil. Reassess your progress and adjust your goals halfway through the day. Embrace the unexpected.

Be responsible for and to yourself.
Don’t take on all the world’s problems because you can’t change them anyway. You can change yourself, and being the person you want to be, and being responsible for yourself, and to yourself, is the best way to affect progress.

Be positive.
Refrain from criticism, negativity and judgement. A positive attitude is contagious and freeing.

Be grateful.
A grateful attitude will help you celebrate the good things in life, and mitigate everything else.

Be human.
Unless you’re a hero in an epic tale, your actions rarely determine the fate of the world. You can make mistakes, fall down, and pick yourself up again. Mistakes are okay!

Be patient.
Everyone else is human, too. Give others a little room to learn and grow in their own time, and their own way.

Be yourself.
Embrace your quirks and foibles. Be perfectly imperfect. Accept and love yourself as you are in this moment!

have fun

I love your comments! What are your favorite tips to stop taking life too seriously?

Image courtesy of aleeed.


  1. I am going on a snowball retreat with high schoolers and the theme is “Don’t take yourself too seriously”. I am going to share your story and suggestions with the students at a sunrise sharing session. I think what you said is fantastic and will be understood by teens! Thanks!


  2. Hey,

    This is such a wonderful post!

    I feel life does get too serious at times; it is up to us as to how easy we make it to be!

    I have always been too harsh on myself and that has been tough. Being nicer to oneself and loving oneself is probably a great way to soothe things out and make it much more better!

    • I’m so grateful for your comments, Hajra!

      I, too, am guilty of being hard on myself in addition to being overly serious. Thankfully these are both habits I’ve replaced with more positive and self-loving behaviors. With self-love, self-care and a little fun I am better able to deal with difficult situations, reduce stress, and be more effective in all that I do.

      Good luck on your journey to being nicer to yourself and loving you as you are. You deserve it!


  3. Love this advice. One of the most powerful pieces of advice I was ever given was “Don’t take anything personally” (From don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements”). It works, though.

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us, my friend.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Steve!

      It took me a long time to stop taking other people’s thoughts, words and actions personally, and I’m so much happier since I gave up that bad habit! What a relief to be responsible for and to myself, instead of trying to be responsible for and to everyone else.

      I’m so grateful to have met you. Have an awesome day!


  4. Hi Chrysta.
    This is a great post and something that we know but too often fail to actually do. Obviously adult life brings with it certain responsibilities and what not, but life is still supposed to be fun. It is all about perspective and most of us have a whacked one! I am getting better at not taking myself and everything else so seriously. All of your tips were great ones and I am especially an advocate of flexibility and refraining from negative speak.

    • Thanks for your comment, Kelli!

      I absolutely agree as adults we often forget to life can be fun! Or we suffer from thinking only our personal life can be fun and work has to be work. I like to sprinkle in a little fun wherever I can! I also like to keep life in perspective by recognizing which situations are truly urgent and serious and which situations are not. In my experience most situations are far less serious than I think they are!

      Thanks again for commenting! Have a grateful day!


  5. I know I could stand to be a bit more positive, a bit more spontaneous, and I need to get a lot better at taking changes and just going with them rather than letting them cripple me.
    hope 2012 brings some big outlook changes.

    • Thanks for your comment, Lyddie!

      I used to be so inflexible and change scared the bees out of me! Making progress towards a more relaxed and peaceful life has improved my happiness ten-fold. Many of us have difficulty adjusting to change. I still sometimes freeze up at first and slowly relax into new opportunities as they come into my life.

      I hope your year is as great as you want it to be! Have a grateful day!


  6. Hey Chrysta,
    Wish you a very happy new year.
    At one point or the other, I think most of us have taken life very seriously. However it is a great idea to loosen up and let life be as it is. Being positive is very important because it gives us strength to handle pressures of life without giving in .
    Also if we are running a business, being patient till we get the success is extremely important.
    I really enjoyed reading all the points and in my opinion it is a great yet simple guide to living a great life

    • Thank you for your awesome comment, Ashvini!

      I agree patience is key to success, and it’s difficult to be patient while taking life too seriously. In my experience when I take life too seriously I place a much larger importance on situations than they deserve.

      Thanks again for commenting. Always lovely to see you!


  7. Ah Chrysta, I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy being a kid more… I can imagine you being so serious though. Aren’t you glad you finally realized what’s really important in life?

    As for me, I never took life that serious. I grew up as a very sheltered child. Looking back, it was a good thing. I had a blast as a kid and I remember when we moved to a new addition when I was eight. My Dad picked us up from school and drove us to the new house. We all ran inside, checked the house out and then I told them I would be back later. I went up and down the street knocking on doors asking if they had any girls my age I could play with. I met two that afternoon.

    As you probably know, I always have a smile on my face and am telling everyone hello every place I go. I especially love chatting with people when I’m in the store looking at greeting cards or when I’m in the checkout lane. I think everyone should just lighten up more and enjoy the moment that you are in. It’s the only one we’re promised.

    Thanks for sharing these tips, I have a feeling others will find them extremely helpful.

    Have a wonderful day Chrysta!

    • Thanks for your comment, Adrienne! I apologize for the delay in responding to you; I have been dealing with a family emergency this weekend. One of my dogs is very sick and it’s been a very exhausting weekend.

      Thanks for sharing more about your childhood experience with me. It makes me happy to hear that you had a happy childhood- as it should be! I can just imagine what you looked like going door-to-door asking for new friends. :)

      I love that you are friendly everywhere you go and I agree, we could all make good use of a lighter and brighter outlook on life. Sometimes a perfect stranger is the perfect person to make me smile unexpectedly. It’s always a wonderful surprise when someone is friendly and kind for no particular reason.

      Thanks again for your awesome comment! Have a great day!


  8. Chrysta, aloha. What a great post. In thinking about it, Chrysta, I wold imagine that your desire to be in control of something in your life led to your perfectionism. Well, Chrysta, to my way of thinking, you have created a masterpiece in your makeover project of yourself. Congratulations.

    Chrysta, though I rarely start taking life too seriously, if I do, all I need to do is watch my cat. She simply is and thoroughly enjoys life. Watching her and petting her makes me feel good. She always makes me smile and life.

    Where we lived there are quite anumber of feral cats as well that we feed. Thus, whether we go on walks or look out on our lanai, we will have cat encounters of the most wonderful kind. When you watch their antics, how can you possibly take life too seriously?

    Chrysta, wishing you a year filled with exciting projects, interesting people, vibrant health, happiness in your heart and abundance in all that matters to you. Hauoli Makahiki Hou. Janet

    • Thank you for your awesome comment, Janet!

      You are absolutely right about my past perfectionism coming from the desire to control and predict my environment in childhood. I mistakenly thought I could avoid the pain and suffering so prevalent in my family by having absolute control of myself and the family situation. Of course that didn’t work, and perfectionism made me far less happy in the long run.

      I am so grateful I learned to let go and not take life so seriously! Even when I deal with a serious situation, being able to detach from the situation helps me be mindful of solutions instead of attaching myself to discomfort, frustration and anger serious situations often cause.

      Animals are a wonderful teacher of this lesson. They live in the moment and don’t make assumptions or take responsibility for situations. They experience and move on. I see this in my dogs and my cats every day. What a wonderful example they are to me!

      Janet, I’m so grateful I met you in 2011, and I look forward to continuing our friendship in 2012!


  9. Chrysta
    thank you for writing that post, i needed it
    i take life so seriously (more than needed) and so i sometimes put extra load over my shoulders
    i will try to apply your advice, thank you again :)

    • Thank you for your comment, Farouk! I apologize for the delay in responding to you; I have been dealing with a family emergency.

      Although I now enjoy a lighter and happier life, I always appreciate the reminder to take life a little less seriously. I believe it is human nature to take on too much, or put too much on others. Maintaining balance in life is a work in progress!

      I hope some of these suggestions work for you as they have for me! Have a grateful day!


  10. Great post! I sometimes have trouble relaxing at home because I feel like I need to be continually productive. It’s so hard to put the computer down sometimes. So I like the reminders about just letting go and figuring out how to be your best, relaxed, happy self. Productivity really isn’t everything!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Katie! Again, I apologize for my delayed reply. My dog has been very ill and we’ve been at the emergency hospital every day.

      I have heard that we either prefer rest or action, and I’m on the action side. I enjoy keeping busy, making progress and living a full life! However, since I also enjoy my sanity, I know it’s important to rest, too.

      Even when I am productive, it is important for me not to put too much emphasis on results by making the outcome of my actions more important than my motivation and intent. When I do focus on the outcome, I am usually viewing the situation from a very serious and severe perspective. Letting go of the outcome helps me live an easier and happier life.

      Oh, and I experience fewer disappointments when I focus on doing the right thing over things happening the way I want them to. :)

      Have a grateful day!


  11. Hi Chrysta,

    Thanks for the tips. I especially like the idea of writing my to-do list in pencil!

    A Happy New Year to you when it arrives.

    • Hamish, I am grateful for your comment! I apologize for the delay in responding; I have been dealing with a family emergency.

      I am happy to hear you enjoyed this post and may give some of these tips a try! I write almost everything in pencil because it is easily corrected should I determine the need for adjustment. It’s a very freeing feeling.

      Happy New Year! Have a grateful day!


  12. I love the word FOIBLES!
    You make some great points here.
    I like to compliment strangers just for the joy of it – I don’t stop and have a conversation but walking past in the grocery store maybe just a “love your shoes!” can make someone smile unexpectedly. Who knows what their day has been like? (I’ve been known to pay double tolls on the highway just to treat the car behind me, too. It totally amuses me!)

    • Hi Wendy! Thanks for your comment! I love the word foibles, too. It’s fun to say, fun to spell- what isn’t fun about it?

      Complementing strangers is so much fun because it’s always so unexpected. I’m a big fan of complementing anyone and everyone because we’re all awesome in our own way!

      I also love the idea of paying it forward! I feel great when I do it and I find any troubles or serious thoughts seem to take a backseat to the rush of doing something nice for someone else. Awww.. yeah!

      Thanks again for your comment! I look forward to meeting you at BlissDom! :)


Leave a Comment