Have you ever taken the time to stop for a moment and appreciate who your are, what you have achieved and the life you live? Sure, you probably had a few stumbles and made a couple of mistakes, but this only helped you to learn more about yourself and actually improve everything about you.
For a lot of people it is difficult to appreciate what they have and it is hard to be satisfied with life as it is right here, right now. We as a society have been programmed to constantly chase the next big thing and crave and lust after the newest ‘I-just-have-to-have-this-gadget’. The interesting thing is that – at least for the most part – everything we have today, was once a dream we had, so how come we can’t appreciate what we have and aren’t ever satisfied with the status quo?
Unfortunately a lot of us forget to appreciate life and all the things that are happening right now and only focus on the things that we don’t have and with this focus on lack, only make the problem bigger and more significant.
Here are our TOP 10 ways to start to appreciate life just a little bit more and appreciate what we have today.
#1 Notice the Little Things
Make it a point to notice the little things in life. Maybe your partner took out the trash or did your laundry, maybe the person who makes your coffee in the morning remembers how you take it, maybe the person in the subway noticed that you are tired and offered you their seat. It’s the little things that make life just a tiny bit better, so notice them and appreciate them. Be grateful and say thank you when someone smiles at you just to make your day better.
#2 Notice the Big Things
Celebrate your wins and accomplishments. You’ve worked hard to finish your project, you stuck to the plan of eating healthy and exercising consistently and lost 10 pounds, you aced a presentation, that you were worried about. Whatever it is that you put your heart and soul in and achieved, don’t just mark it as checked on your to-do list, but go out and celebrate. You deserve it.
#3 Keep Moving Forward
We all have to deal with challenges and obstacles at times and when we have to deal with failure, it can be difficult to remember all the accomplishments we have been able to achieve. Start an accomplishment log of all your wins, big and small, today and whenever time gets tough, read about your achievements, they will instantly make you feel better and motivate you to keep moving forward, which will allow you to appreciate life more.
#4 Give Forward
While adopting an attitude of gratitude is a surefire way to appreciate life, you can appreciate it even more if you pay the gifts forward that you have been given. Take a moment and reflect on your top three strengths. Once you’ve identified your top three strengths, figure out how you can put them to good use to help others and make their life just a little bit better. Remember, giving is always better than receiving and if you can selflessly help another you will appreciate life a lot more.
#5 Be Present
The best way to appreciate life more is to be present and live in this very moment. Become aware of all the miracles that occur all around you. Stop for a moment and don’t ruminate in the past or worry about the future, instead, pay attention and marvel at the wonders of this very moment. Take a walk in the park and literally take the time to smell the roses and listen to the chirping of the birds. It will get you out of your stresses and troubles of the day and will allow you to appreciate life more.
#6 Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
It is in our human nature to compare ourselves to those who have more, but if you look at what they have achieved, compared to where you are and envy their house or car, you allow yourself to ruin your mood. Don’t beat yourself up over certain things that you don’t have, instead focus on the beautiful things that you do have and all your achievements. There is no point in comparing yourself to others, it only diminishes yourself and eliminates your chances of happiness. Everybody has a different story and path, appreciate where you are right now and only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday. Have you learned something? Have you grown?
#7 Treat Yourself
We are not talking about indulging in a guilt-free sugary treat like a donut or cake. Whenever you achieve a goal or accomplish something that you’ve been working hard on, reward yourself with something you truly enjoy. Whether that’s a day at the spa, spending time with family or friends, taking an art class or going to the movies. Make sure that you treat yourself on a regular basis and appreciating life will be much easier to achieve.
#8 Let Go of Negativity
Negativity won’t serve you in any way whatsoever. If you are serious about happiness and appreciation in life, you have to let go of anger, hatred or any other negative emotion or feeling that only weighs heavily on your mind and drives you internally crazy. It is almost impossible to appreciate life if you are consumed with negative energy. We know it’s not easy, but it is detrimental to your happiness and well-being and your ability to appreciate life more.
Even if you don’t feel like it, put a smile on your face. Research shows that if you smile a genuine smile, you have the ability to pull yourself out of a funk and sadness, making yourself happier in life. While it sounds like such an easy, simple thing to do, it is an essential part of living a life of appreciation for the little things. Every day, look into the mirror and smile for 20 minutes while you think about all the good things and wonderful people in your life and appreciate the life that you have been blessed to live.
#10 Love Unconditionally
As much as you can, love without any expectations or judgment. Allow the person of your affection the freedom to express themselves, their emotions, feelings and thoughts as well as the way they respond to you in their own way. If you love unconditionally, you create the space to freely express yourself as well, you can be who you are and together you can appreciate the beautiful life you live.
We can all get caught up in the frantic pace of life and forget how lucky we are to live this amazing life we are living. If you want to improve your life and feel more happy and satisfied, count your blessings and realize how rich this very moment is. Sure, we are all striving to reach new goals and move forward, but appreciating life as it is right now is essential to reach even greater heights.
STOP AND TAKE THE TIME TO SMELL THE ROSES
Joschi & Monika