Six Lessons From Winnie The Pooh About Living Our Best Lives
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6 Lessons Young Adults Can Take From Winnie The Pooh About Living Their Best Lives In 2019

Sometimes it's the small things, as small as a little stuffed bear, that make life worth living.

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6 Lessons Young Adults Can Take From Winnie The Pooh About Living Their Best Lives In 2019
DAM

A few weeks ago I finished reading author Benjamin Hoff's book "The Tao of Pooh," and it not only reminded me how much I love Winnie the Pooh, but I also started to think of all the little ways A.A. Milne's lovable bear can teach us about living happier and more fulfilling lives.

In case you haven't read "The Tao of Pooh," Hoff uses A.A. Milne's furry and feathery friends from his "Winnie-the-Pooh" stories to teach the tenets of Taoism, which is an ancient Chinese tradition of philosophy and religious belief. While Taoism is complex and multi-faceted, one of its primary tenets is to live a simpler and more peaceful life. And who better than Winnie the Pooh to teach us about the simple life, am I right?

So, without further ado, here are six other principles to live by for a happier life, à la our favorite bear.

1. Stop and enjoy the little things.

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Of everything that Winnie the Pooh has to teach us, I think this lesson is the easiest to overlook. We're all busy all of the time: our days are filled with work, school, deadlines, appointments, and errands so that by the time the day is over, we are usually too exhausted for anything else. But even in the midst of our packed schedules, we can spend a moment or two to enjoy the little things.

You see, Pooh Bear knows how to enjoy even the smallest of pleasures: even a blustery autumn day playing amongst the leaves brings him the greatest happiness. And even if we can't all move to a magical place like The Hundred Acre Wood, we can still take a moment to notice and enjoy the small beauties around us. Take some time while walking to class to enjoy the sun on your face and the breeze against your skin. Listen to a song you love on your drive to work. Take a few minutes in the morning to really enjoy your coffee. Sing in the shower, smile at a stranger — sometimes it's the small things, as small as a little stuffed bear, that makes life worth living.

2. Love yourself unconditionally.

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I know, self-love is hard. Let's get real: we all have hang-ups about ourselves. We all make mistakes, and experience self-doubt. We all feel uncomfortable in our bodies sometimes. But remember that time when Winnie the Pooh tried to steal some honey from a swarm of angry bees? And you probably remember the last time you did something kind of dumb or embarrassing, right?

Yeah, humans (and bears) mess up sometimes. But the difference between us and good ol' Pooh Bear is that he can shake it off with an "oh, bother" and get on with his day, while our obnoxious human brains insist on playing our personal humiliations on repeat. Pooh never lets his stumbles and falls, or the size of his belly, dictate how much he loves himself on any particular day. Instead, he loves himself all of the time, no matter what! We should all follow Pooh Bear's example and show ourselves a little bit more self-love (and self-compassion), ESPECIALLY on the days when we're feelin' a little rough.

3. Learn to indulge a little.

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Every time I read a new article or study about nutrition, I feel like I become even more confused about what "healthy eating" really means. There is a lot of conflicting science out there that can leave a girl dizzy with wonder about just what the heck she should be feeding her body.

I know a lot of people get caught up in the idea of "clean eating," including myself, but I think it's important to stress balance in the wake of all the fad diets and bad science floating around the internet these days. And, to me, part of balance is being able to indulge in a yummy treat from time to time without guilt.

I mean, look at Winnie the Pooh. Pooh Bear has zero qualms about enjoying jar upon jar of honey. He knows that he loves to eat, that he loves honey, and that it makes him happy, so he enjoys that honey without any shame or worries about whether or not his food is "clean" or is going to add a little extra fluff around his midsection.

Granted, you don't have to eat an entire jar of honey (unless you want to!). And I know that it's probably easier not to worry about nutrition when you're an anthropomorphic bear in a fictional place called The Hundred Acre Wood. Yet we can still look to this adorable little bear when we need some inspiration to enjoy our food without guilt. Life is too short not to enjoy the food that fuels us.

4. Wear whatever you want.

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Speaking of loving ourselves, Winnie the Pooh is THE KING of self-love. If Pooh Bear feels confident enough to go out in a crop top and no pants, then so can you! Okay, so pants might be a good idea (sometimes), but that doesn't mean you can't rock that crop top or bikini that you've been feeling too self-conscious to wear.

Even in the age of body positivity, we are still sold an image of perfection that we are convinced we must live up to in order to be worthy of love, success, and happiness. And in order to continue making money off of us, we are sold an image that is as unattainable as possible.

Instead of letting others tell us what we should look like and how we should feel in the bodies that we're in, let's define that for ourselves. Regardless of shape, size, appearance or health status, we all deserve to love our bodies, feel good about ourselves, and wear whatever the heck we want!

5. Stop caring so much.

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Remember the crop top and no pants? Look at "the bothers" Winnie the Pooh gives to what anyone thinks about him! He's too busy living his best life to care about the opinions of others, and maybe we should all do the same.

Of course, it's important to care sometimes, but we need to choose what we do care about with intention. Our friends and family, our health and mental well-being, and the well-being of other living creatures and the planet deserve "all the bothers." Yet, while I do believe it's important to pay attention to what's going on outside of the small bubbles of our own lives, it's also important to step back sometimes and focus on ourselves. That's not selfish, but vital for our mental and physical health. We can't always carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, so to speak.

Yet, there are definitely other things we should just stop caring about so much. For instance, I think we'd all be better off if we stopped caring so much about what that one girl is posting on her Instagram, or about the guy who cut us off in traffic, or what other people think about the clothes we choose to wear. There are so many awful things going on in the world already, so why care so much about such inconsequential things? I know it's easy to get caught up in little everyday annoyances, but most of us have a lot to be grateful for, so let's focus on all the positivity that does exist in our lives already and push out the stuff that just really doesn't matter in the scheme of things.

6. Surround yourself with great friends.

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Last but not least, surround yourself with amazing friends. It's great to be alone sometimes, but there's really nothing like spending time with people you genuinely enjoy being around and who care about you as much as you care about them. All of Winnie the Pooh's friends — Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga, Roo and Christopher Robin — are incredibly different, but they all care for and support one another, in good times and in bad.

"We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet. Even longer,' Pooh answered."

If you can find those people that you want to spend the rest of your life with, then you will have found true happiness, for there is nothing like being surrounded by those you love.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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