5 Ways to Love Life More

Lately I've had such an incredible love for life and an ever-present bursting feeling of joy in my heart. I wake up so incredibly excited for the day, and that's been such an amazing feeling. It wasn't until a couple of days ago, when my mom pointed it out some of the old books on my shelf, that I realized how pessimistic I used to be. My bookshelf is filled with books like "The Happiness Project," "The Positive Dog" (don't judge me) and "A Short Guide to a Happy Life." Long story short, I just didn't love life in the past. I had moments of pure joy, moments of grand happiness, moments where I was completely content, but a lot of the time I also let myself see the worst in situations, let my mood be affected by mundane bumps in the road and let what other's thought of me completely decide my happiness.

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I was trying to explain this amazing happiness I feel every day to my mom and could hardly put it into words. But every morning, when I step out the door at 6AM to run I feel like my heart is just going to burst. I honestly get some weird looks from other runners because I can't help but smile like a dork the whole way.

I just love everything these days. I love the place I've come to on my fitness journey, I love how running never fails to fill me with joy, I love the beautiful place I live, I love the close and goofy relationship I have with my parents, I love the strong and empowering friends I have in my life, I love the strong relationship I've created with God, I love the places my major is taking me, I'm IN LOVE with blogging and sharing my passions. I feel like everything has finally fit together perfectly.

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I no longer feel like my happiness is in the hands of others, and that's a really really empowering feeling. After a very tough school year with many ups and downs, I finally feel at peace with my life and I'm excited to see where that leads me.

I realize there is no quick way to reach this sort of elated feeling of happiness, but I thought I would share a few ways to get you on the right path:

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  1. Find your passions and do what you love: Ever since I really focused my energy on blogging, fitness and health my life has completely changed. I really dove into these passions even further this summer and it has been incredible. When you're doing what you love, you can't help but feel excited every day. I get so excited when I wake up because I know it's another day that I get to run my heart out, to keep working towards goals in the gym, to find inspiration for the blog, to write about what I love, to educate myself on health and to connect with others that share these passions. There's no better feeling that knowing your purpose and being focused on working towards fulfilling that purpose every day.

  2. Surround yourself with uplifting and positive people: This goes back to my "Power of Saying No" post. In order to be truly happy, you must have happy people in your life that build you up, support you and genuinely care about you. After I rid my life of many toxic relationships, and learned to say no to friendships and people that didn't serve my life in a positive way, I automatically felt a change in my outlook on life. I feel so blessed to have the friends and family that I do, and they constantly fill me up with joy. I finally have a group of friends who I feel 100% comfortable being myself around (even if that means being in my dorky blue cheetah robe... Mo you get me ;) ), who I know will drop anything if I need help or advice, who will let me ugly cry, who will put me in my place when I need it, who will support me no matter what and who will show me how much they love me every single day. It's difficult to be truly happy when those around you don't exude happiness and don't treat you the way you deserve.

  3. Be kind to others: One of the most amazing things I've come to learn is that there is no way to feel unhappy after you show kindness to others. This may mean giving food to a homeless individual, this may mean simply complimenting the barista's nails at Starbucks, this may even mean just smiling and saying good morning to another runner as you pass by. You've heard it before, but I'll say it again- everyone has their own journey and everyone is going through something that we don't know about, so it is SO important to always be kind no matter what. I have really worked on trying to be a light in other's lives and it has made me a genuinely kinder person. I just want to spread the joy I feel to everyone around me. If I like someone's outfit/hairstyle/baby (I swear I'm not creepy, I just really like babies lol), I tell them. If a customer is rude to me at work, I ask about their day because it may be exactly what they need. Spread kindness and you'll start to see this kindness come back to you!

  4. Find beauty and excitement in the ordinary: So many people wait around for magnificent things to happen in life to make them happy. They're always waiting for Friday, waiting for summer vacation (then it's halfway done and they're impatiently waiting for the next school year to start), waiting for a big trip, waiting for the next fun party... But why keep waiting for things when amazing things happen every. single. day. Try to open your eyes and truly see and experience everything around you. Notice the beautiful sunrises and sunsets even if you see them every day, savor your morning cup of coffee, get excited about cooking dinner, turn up your favorite song extra loud when it comes on the radio. Don't let the days slip by simply because it doesn't seem "special."

  5. Be confident: This is HUGE. I finally learned to just not give a damn what other people think of me and it's been so freeing. I used to be really shy about the blog and especially hated taking photos for it in public (now, with my amazing mom behind the camera, it's SO fun doing photo shoots, even if that's in the middle of the farmers market!). Constantly caring what other's think of you is like placing your happiness in the hands of those people. Be confident in who you are and you'll notice a world of difference. :)

With these 5 tips, I hope you find yourself loving life a bit more every day. :)

"I began to realize how important it was to be enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good." - Roald Dahl 

XO nat