As a caregiver, the idea of being lighthearted might seem impossible. Maybe even a little foolish. But the truth is, a dose of lightheartedness can provide a protective shield against the slings and arrows of everyday life.

At its best, lightheartedness might even provide a wise path to enlightenment, peace and contentment.

What Is Being Lighthearted?

What do we mean when we say, “Being lighthearted”?

Most people likely think of a lighthearted person as someone who is “happy go lucky.” That’s the first definition of the world, according to Merriam Webster, which reports that those who are lighthearted are “free from care, anxiety, or seriousness.”

But it’s the second definition that might prove most useful to caregivers: “cheerfully optimistic and hopeful.” Merriam Webster even includes a quote from H.J. Forman to provide the word some context:

“They can be lighthearted in the midst of misery.”

Other Definitions

Sometimes, it’s helpful to step outside of western culture to get a different view on issues such as the definition of a world like “lighthearted.” For example, in Eastern philosophies such as Buddhism, it’s not believed that being lighthearted means having an absence of caring. Rather, they believe that cares and stress co-exist along with cheerful feelings and joy.

Looking at it that way, being light hearted begins to make more sense. Even in the most stressful time, it’s possible to find moments of joy and feeling carefree.

In a passage quoted by Psychology Today, lightheartedness is defined as the state that balances feelings of seriousness and caring with a feeling of “lightness and fun.” It keeps people from swerving too far in one direction – becoming too serious-minded or becoming too superficial.

Practicing Lightheartedness

How can you reach a state of being lighthearted? One proven method for millions of people is meditation.

By taking time each day to sit calmly, clear your thoughts and focus on things that bring you joy, you can make each day that much better by bringing some carefree moments into them. Meditation also has been known to lower blood pressure and reduce feelings of anxiety.

Even Inc. magazine, aimed at serious business people, recommends that people spend more time mediating and smiling. If they think that can help take the stress out of the average executive, just think what it can do for you! In the end, lightheartedness is about balance, finding a place between complete seriousness and being utterly carefree. It’s about controlling your emotions rather than letting them get the better of you. In this sense, trying to be more lighthearted is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.