Life | Be Grateful

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*Blows dust off blog*

2014 is 34 days old and yet here I am, only just putting finger tips to keyboard. It's taken some time to figure out, but I want this to be the year that my blog changes direction: less about things and more about things that matter. My passion for writing is stronger than ever, and that means exploring new subject matter, becoming inspired again, and feeling like I'm doing something that contributes more to the world than just recommending a new shade of lipstick (not that a new lipstick can't make you feel great: it's some of the best medicine there is).

So, today's post is about gratitude. Watching this TED talk earlier gave me an amazing insight: that in choosing to be grateful, we put ourselves on a fast track to happiness. Yet how many of us practice gratitude with any frequency (beyond saying 'thank you' for the things others do for us) and how often are we truly grateful for the things we have? I know that I spend a good portion of my time getting stressed about the things that concern me, or the things I haven't yet achieved, so my challenge is to start acknowledging where I am, and why it's a great place to be. Here are a few tips from a range of sensible people (only one of them is from me!) to help get you started:

1. Every day, write down something that you are grateful for. Read it after a month and realise that there are a lot of wonderful things in your life

2. Be mindful. Take a few moments every day to stop and appreciate what's going on, whether it be a peak of sunshine on an otherwise grey day, or the feeling of finishing work on a Friday evening

3. Stay in touch. Speak to your friends and loved ones often, and listen as much as you talk. Always send birthday cards: texts aren't nearly as much fun to receive

4. Do something good. Volunteer your time for a good cause, give to charity (even if it's just donating some old clothes), or go and help your friend put up their latest Ikea purchase

What are you grateful for today? 

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