Page 5: Gratitude

Gratitude underpins happiness. When you’re grateful, you’re appreciating and grateful for what you have right now, sometimes physically (like having a roof over your head, food to eat, money to provide for your family), but most importantly mentally (like feeling loved by your family or partner, being at peace with your body, laughing with your friends). Noticing those things and giving thanks to them – not constantly looking at what you don’t have or what you do want or what might be wrong – will exponentially increase your happiness.

It’s a practice. Nobody is grateful all the time, although some may be more well-practiced than others. When you feel ungrateful, resentful or unlucky, say, it’s about turning your mind in those moments towards what you’re grateful for, what you already have. It’s also about taking quiet moments to yourself and talking yourself through what you’re grateful for, perhaps when you wake up, before you go to bed, on a walk or whatever works for you.

And whilst this shouldn’t be a driving factor of your gratitude, it’s important to realise that someone out here in the world wants exactly what you have. So don’t waste it or take it for granted. Enjoy it, live it, breathe it, and be thankful for it.

Life isn’t so bad


Our life isn’t always as bad as it seems inside our heads. Our opinions and emotions are nurtured by what we know and what we’ve seen. But if you were to look from the outside, what might you see? Would it be a bad life like the one we’ve conjured up in our heads? Or would it be a life to be grateful for? There are others looking in who envy your life, who are wishing for a life like yours, who are perhaps even fighting for it. Take a step back and let’s quit making it out to be so bad. Because it really isn’t. It could be worse. And there’s a lot going for you, for many of us.

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Do not worry about things that haven’t happened


Do not worry about what might be. Don’t worry about things that haven’t happened yet. There’s no way for us to see what our future will look like. It will have ups and downs, but it will be ok in the end. Worry about what might be will only darken what is right in front of you. Especially because it might not even happen. You can battle your problems when they come. Enjoy the time you have now.

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At war with yourself


We punish ourselves for the past. We punish ourselves for things outside our control. We punish ourselves for not fitting the perfect mould. Why do we torture ourselves? We need to stop dwelling on what we cannot change and shouldn’t need to change. We need to start embracing where we’ve been and where we’re going. We need to love who we are and work towards who we want to be. Because it’s going to be pretty awesome. Let’s not dull the sparkle.

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Beating yourself up 


Stop beating yourself up about things that have been and gone. We all make mistakes. The past is dead, so why do we keep bringing it back to life in the present? Why do we keep carrying it on our backs, only to suffer under the weight? We cannot change anything. Nor should we regret anything. Everything is a learning curve; even steps backwards are actually steps forward. Stop living in the past and work on being a better you in the moment you’ve got.

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Don’t live half-heartedly


You owe it to yourself, the world, the power that created you, to live. That means doing your best, expressing gratitude, enjoying yourself, letting go of what hurts you, focusing on the moment, spreading the love, challenging your fears, being yourself. It looks different for everyone but it’s guided by the same principles. Don’t live half-heartedly. Live passionately, enthusiastically, sincerely, generously, and to the fullest.

(Image: jamiewayne.com)