It has been a really, really upsetting world in recent months. In the UK alone there has been a number of terror attacks, tragedies and happenings that simply cannot be explained or understood.
Whilst I have not been caught up in any of these happenings, I know I am not alone when I say it has affected me deeply. I have watched the news in horror; a sick feeling sweeping over me; a deep compassion for those who have been affected and a guilt for then carrying on with my day to day life as if nothing has happened.
Posting cheery Instagram pictures of flowers or my renovation have seemed somewhat ghastly, but the truth is I want to see those cheery images more than ever when bad things are going on all around. And rightly or wrongly, when these bad things are happening I feel more than ever the need to live each and every day to the full and to remind myself just how lucky I am to not only be living, but to be living unharmed and unscathed and to be living the life I am.
I know this is a bit more of a serious post to normal, but it is something I have felt so strongly since my Grandma passed away (from a freak accident aged 80, healthy, strong and full life) and I really came to understand that you never know what is around the corner.
So today I am sharing how I approach living life to the full and feeling grateful for what I have. I hope this will help you push away the insignificant challenges of life and grasp your own life and happiness by the horns!
How I approach gratitude and living life to the full
She built the life she dreamed of
When I was 16 things weren’t going so well for me. I realised I was at a crossroads…..and only I could chose what direction my life went in. I thought long and hard about the life I wanted for myself. I didn’t know quite how I would get there and I certainly didn’t get it right the whole way, but I understood at the time that largely I had control over how it was going to turn out. Although it sounds cheesy to say out loud, I chose happiness and every decision I have made along the way has supported that. A boyfriend that made me unhappy – see ya! A job that made me cry – bye bye! A hobby that I love – Hi there blogging *waves*! A beautiful house to live in – working my ass off every single day to create it.
It wasn’t always easy to make the right decision and they certainly weren’t made straight away, but within time I realised what needed to be done to achieve the bigger picture.
If you aren’t happy with something in your life, can you change it? Do you complain about it but do nothing to resolve it? Take action!
I chose happiness and every decision along the way supports that
I find that being positive automatically brings about gratitude. I have always had a positive outlook in life and been someone who believes that life is what you make of it. I know that sometimes the challenge is way too hard to be positive about, but often we let the minutiae of life drag us down. Life isn’t easy, but sometimes it is too easy to see only the negative and not the massive positives in every day situations. When something starts to bother me I try to rationalise it – is it really a problem? Do more good things outweigh this bad thing? The answer is almost always yes.
Don’t put things off
It is so easy to say ‘one day I’ll do this’….or ‘one day i’ll do that’ and never get round to doing it. I am guilty of this in many ways but on the whole I try not to put things off to a day that never comes. Travel is important to me as is living in a home I feel proud of (and my husband feels the same) so we work hard to make these things happen.
Be grateful every day
Every day I think of the things I am grateful for. I do it quietly in my own thoughts, often when I am driving or just before I fall asleep. Many people keep a gratitude journal and jot down their thoughts. Either way, the thing is to actively spend time thinking of the good things you have in life. It can be as serious as living in a world where there is plenty when people are facing starvation or as trivial as not getting stuck in traffic on the way home.
Enjoy life’s little luxuries
On one hand, when you realise how lucky you are to have running water and an NHS free at the point of contact it seems trivial to want to spend £40 on a fancy-pants candle, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t love the little luxuries in life. Whatever your luxury is, don’t feel guilty about it but relish it. If a gorgeous perfume cheers your day whenever you spritz it on, get spritzing. It if is a daily bubble bath, then get that baby running. If it chain-buying all of the peonies whilst they are in season – get buying! Your life is yours and you shouldn’t feel guilty about enjoying it…which brings me to my final point…
Don’t feel guilty
This is possibly the hardest one. I realised one day that I can’t feel guilty for pursuing my own happiness. I would never put my own happiness at the expense of someone else’s, but I know that no one else will put my happiness first. We each have to follow our own paths and not feel guilty for occasionally saying no to doing something you don’t want to to, to choosing to surround yourself with people that lift you up (not drag you down) and asking for help when you need it.
What’s your thoughts on gratitude? Do you have any different practises on how to be thankful and live your life to the full? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Shop this post
Gratitude Journal form Kikki. K (read my post 11 life rules I learned from Kristina Karlsson, founder of Kikki. K)
Gorgeous scent Sens (which reminds me of my wedding) from Diptyqye
Devine Sevin soap from my favourite boutique Hero