Today I’ve got a little something different for you – a guest post! I’ve been following the lovely Peta for a while now and one of the many things I love about her, is her approach to life. No matter what happens, she always manages to see the lessons and the brighter moments.
Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but if you take the time to be grateful when there IS sunshine and rainbows, I think this makes a hell of a difference.
When I saw Peta tweeting about wanting to guest post I knew I wanted to introduce you to her and her wonderful blog. She is a fellow cat lover who sees light, opportunity and hope everywhere she turns. I’ll let her tell you more…
(All photography by Peta)
“You’re either born with it, or you’re not” I’m told when someone notices my optimism for life. I don’t believe that’s the case at all.
Some of us are slightly more inclined to see the glass as half full, probably due to our upbringing and nurture in childhood as well as our particular life circumstances at any given time. However I’d say positivity is a skill you hone, it’s something that needs constant practise – much like those brilliant at a certain sport, they don’t become fantastic sports women and men by chance.
Those with an enthusiastic outlook on life are often thought of as lucky, rarely experiencing tough times or hardships – which is totally wrong – every single one of us is going through something.
We’ve all had to jump over life hurdles, we’ve all fallen down, brushed ourselves off and got on with life, we’ve all been a mess on the kitchen floor at some point or another.
As my Grandad has always told me, it’s not about the mistakes you make or the trouble you get into, it’s about how you fix things and how you deal with the obstacles in life.
Positivity isn’t a switch you can flick, I can’t give you a magic formula to becoming a cheerful, optimistic person. It’s teeny tiny little actions, done each day which slowly but surely get you there. If there were a formula though, I think it’s look something like this:
Mindfulness + Gratitude = Positivity.
Am I always happy, cheerful and content? Absolutely not, I have days where I just want to hide under the duvet all day and face absolutely nobody, apart from my four cats of course. But, those days are few and far between and if nothing else, they show me the contrast of what my life could be like every day – see what I did there? That positive spin!
There are times when a silver lining is so bloody hard to find, if not impossible. I’m not saying that everything and anything can be turned into a positive, because it really can’t.
There are situations and circumstances where we have to hurt and feel to process the pain and upset around us.
First off I’m going to give you a few examples of things that have happened lately that could have sent me into a downward spiral, but after a moment of panic and surprise, I found the silver lining in the situation.
Does this mean I drew a line in the sand and moved on? No, not at all, but it gave me a comforting thought to think about throughout the situation.
Arthur Cat being poorly and having to be rushed to the vets
The silver lining: Thank goodness I noticed he wasn’t quite hisself so early on in the day, the vet explained that we had avoided him becoming very poorly and caught an infection incredibly early on. He was home by midday with medication and back to his usual self the very next day!
Breaking one of my favourite mugs
The silver lining: It gave me an excuse to buy a new favourite mug, which is even prettier, and lovelier and so very much more me.
Hitting my head and having concussion
The silver lining: It made me slow down, rest and take care of myself catching up on some very much needed sleep.
A rainy day when I had planned for weeks in advance to take lots of photos for my blog
The silver lining: Yay! I get to snuggle under a blanket and stay at home and tick some tasks off my to do list.
Earlier I mentioned there are some teeny tiny little actions you can take each day to increase your optimism levels, here are some of the things I have found to work well.
Write a list of three things that have brightened your day on a regular basis
Be it in the morning, afternoon or evening, whenever is best for you. At first it may be tough to come up with three, but you’ll soon see it gets easier with practise.
In doing so, we’re opening our mind up to little happy moments – things like enjoying a reaaaaallly good cup of tea, or cuddling your favourite fur-baby.
Write a happy things of the week letter, post or even caption for Instagram
Each and every Wednesday I write a Wonderful Wednesday post, totting up the little things that have brought me joy in the week so far.
There are quite a few of us that partake in this weekly ritual on a Wednesday and reading their posts always pops a huge smile on my face.
Take time to open your eyes and look out for things that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside
Being busy is what we’re all good at, multitasking is our generation’s Thing. Instead of listening to music, whilst scrolling through instagram as you walk to work, why not pop your phone in your pocket, and look around at all the lovely things going on.
Check in with yourself each day, scan your mind – how are you feeling?
If you’re feeling annoyed, angry, sad etc. ask yourself why? How can you change that?
In times of tragedy, look closely, there are always people helping and doing amazing things
The news is often full of horrendous breaking stories, we can so easily get caught up in the negativity but if you look closely, even at the worst of times, you’ll see people doing their very best for others.
Do something that fills your heart and soul each and every day
It might be having a quiet cup of tea on your doorstep, wrapped in layers breathing in some fresh air. It may be spending ten minutes reading or giving your house a quick tidy up before going to work.
It might be putting on makeup or eating something really yummy. Whatever it is that fills your heart, do your best to make time for it each day. This will often change, so go with whatever your interested in at the time. It’s not selfish, when you feel content, you have the ability to make those around you tap into their own happiness by way of inspiration.
Read happy words
For example I adore The Happy Newspaper’s instagram as well as cruising Pinterest for lovely quotes which resonate with my idea of happiness. E.g Happiness is a cup of tea and a cat on your lap… have I mentioned cats and tea enough in this post yet?!
Be it to watch a show on Netflix, have a bath, take a nap. We all need to check out more often in this world of continual tech usage. We’re never off, we’re never even on power saving mode. So pop your own power saving mode on and take some time for yourself, you’ll soon be able to tap into a happy mindset again.
Your happy place? Where is your happy place?
Have a good think – now go there more often. It’s as simple as that.
Make a long list of things that make you feel fuzzy inside
No matter how big or small these things are make a list, now pop that list on your wall. Whenever you notice you’re feeling blue, look at the list and do something from it.
Unfollow or mute those who don’t bring you joy online
We are ever so susceptible when we’re browsing the ‘gram and scrolling through Twitter.
Check in with the three basics
Have you slept enough? Have you eaten yummy food? Are you thirsty?
Grab your phone camera or your camera and take photos, not for anything in particular, just take photos of things that make you smile
My camera roll is full of garden photos and the cats. Stopping for five minutes and looking for those moments to snap always makes me think positively and puts me in a great mindset.
Surround yourself with optimistic buddies, smiles are contagious, as are cheerful thoughts
I hope you’ve found these tips useful, I’d love to know what you do to boost your positivity.
Sending lots of love and cat cuddles your way,
Thank you so much Peta – so many great tips in there!
If you fancy writing a guest post for Blue Jay of Happiness, pop me an email and we can chat: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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