Tag Archives: Positive

Happiness is not a Destination

19 Sep

What makes us happy?

Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky conducted an experiment on “The How of Happiness” and the results are truly fascinating.

According to Lyubomirsky, 50% of our happiness comes from our genes.

Only 10% of our happiness is made up of – (get prepared to be blown away) – external factors, such as money, the weather, our job, the car we drive, the clothes we wear…

And the remaining 40% of our happiness is determined by…..our attitude and our behaviour in the face of each situation in our lives.

Isn’t t funny, how we all think that a job, a house, a car, a dress, or a party will change our lives from miserable to joyful? Isn’t it strange, how we believe that a salary, a title, a brand will transform our lives from Hell to Heaven?

The “things” we believe so important for our happiness actually only make up a very small percentage of it.

The rest comes from the inside – how we choose to feel, how we choose to react, how we choose to think.

We cannot always change the circumstances in our life, but what Lyubomirsky has proved is that it is enough to change our attitude to these circumstances in order to transform our lives for the better.

As Louise Hay says:

“When we cannot change a situation, we must begin to change the way we view it.”

Today, I am Grateful for…

8 Feb

A good night’s sleep.

Morning jam, morning biscuits.

Living in a place where it is not stressful to do shopping.

A refreshing walk in the rain.

Being surrounded by kind, thoughtful and open people.

A clean home.

Receiving a wonderful e-mail from a friend.

Laughter.

Gratitude


What are you grateful for today?

Wait, hold that thought. Go get a gorgeous notebook, some colourful pens and set aside ten minutes to write.

To write your daily gratitudes.

Gratitude Prayer

We all have things to be grateful for. But they often go unnoticed, overshadowed by all the negative things that happen in our day. If we start paying attention and appreciating all of the good things that happen to us – however small they may be – our vision of our daily life transforms. By recognising and focusing on the positive, we improve our mood, our health and our energy.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
~ Melody Beady

Some days, we may only have one or two things to note in our gratitude journal; other days, we may fill two pages. But there is always something to be grateful for, even on the greyest of days.

So go on, start that gratitude journal.

Gratitude Journal

I was inspired to start my own gratitude journal after reading SeaSweetie’s Pages.

Liebster Blog Award

5 Dec

Dear Friends,

There is a wonderful piece of news that Iwould like to share with you.

I have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by StrawberryIndigo, whose blog My Life in Color always reminds us of the important things in life. The Liebster Blog Award is given to a blog with less than 200 followers who deserve a little more recognition.

This is my first blog award and you cannot imagine my joy! StrawberryIndigo accompanied her nomination with the following words: “I have been reading your blog and I think highly of it. You send such a beautiful message. I enjoy your writing and your positiveness”. It is these words that make this nomination so special.

I started Love Out Loud with the wish to share positive messages and ideas with others. I made one rule for the blog: to only share positive things. This is because I wanted to create something that would always remind me that no matter how many negative or frustrating elements there are in our day, we can always find something positive to express.

In Love Out Loud I speak from the heart. I do not have any ‘goal’ for my blog, apart from writing about things that inspire or help me in everyday life. The Liebster Blog Award nomination means a lot to me, because it makes me see that the beauty and wonders that I find in life are also appreciated by the people with whom I share them. It makes me see that we can share and give so much by simply being ourselves.

My blog has taught me a lot, but it is also my fellow bloggers who have been a huge source of joy and inspiration for the past eleven months. Books and newspapers couldn’t teach me half of the things that I have learnt from you. By reading about your values, dreams and fears, I have learnt more about life than by reading any philosophy manual.

I am extremely grateful to have discovered many wonderful people through the blogosphere. I may not know your name, your nationality, your hair colour or the sound of your voice, but I can assure you that your blog has brought HUGE changes into my life.

The rules of the Liebster Blog Award state that I in turn must nominate 5 blogs with less than 200 hundred followers for the award. Here are my nominations:

http://expressyouareself.wordpress.com/

Reflections on life and how to bring honesty, fulfilment and joy into our own.

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http://fearasacompass.wordpress.com/

Every post makes me stop and sigh. Wow, what wisdom!

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http://rewritinglife.net/

A sophisticated writer with a unique and captivating voice.

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http://jeangreyphoenix.wordpress.com/

A beautiful mix of photos, videos, quotes and thought-provoking reflections.

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http://cinquefoille.blogspot.com/

Each post fills me with hope, comfort and love.

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Thank you to all fellow bloggers for your eternal inspiration!

Happiness Project – Week 1

10 Nov

It’s been one week since the start of my happiness project. I am proud (and happy!) to say that I managed to do 9 of the 15 activities on my list:

1) (Go for a walk every day)

I went for a walk every day. However, some of these walks were simply to get from A to B, whereas others were evening walks specifically to calm down and clear the mind. I realised just what a positive effect the latter have on my state of mind and my ability to wind down at the end of the day.

2) (Wake up at the same time every day)

I started waking up earlier. Much earlier. So early that my working day was finished by 1pm. And this is thanks to the fact that I…

3) (Go to bed before midnight, or preferably at 11pm)

Went to bed before midnight. Once I even went to bed at 10pm! On other days I managed 11.30.

5) (Do some sport every day)

I did sport…but only three times in the week. I danced in my living room, blasting Britney Spears and Black Eyed Peas music (into my headphones). I felt like I shook out all of the negative energy that had been building up in me over the past few weeks. I also did one yoga practice and went to one dance class. It’s a good start, but I feel like I need more.

7) (Buy myself something pretty to wear)

I went to a special clothes sale where I bought myself some very nice skirts and dresses for a very nice price. I haven’t worn any of them yet (still in the wash!), but it feels nice to have renewed my wardrobe a bit.

10) (Go to a new place in the city every week)

I went to an art gallery, to which I had wanted to go for months. It’s only a fifteen minute walk away from my home, so it was about time that I finally got there! Although I didn’t find the exhibition particularly interesting, I enjoyed looking through the gallery catalogue and finding out about various artists and photographers. It made me want to take photos, draw and create.

11) (Try a new recipe every week)

Today I tried a new recipe for a healthy cake. Half of it is already eaten! I also revisited a recipe that I hadn’t done for over a year. It reminded me that I love cooking; I love giving myself a whole afternoon to make something, to create something that will bring happiness to the ones I love and to learn something new. My cooking sessions are also accompanied by music and singing; today I discovered two singers that will definitely go onto my playlist.

12) (Buy a juice making machine, and drink fresh fruit juice at least three times a week)

Although I did not buy a juice-making machine or make fresh fruit juice, I did eat fruit every day, which I haven’t done for a long while. I immediately felt, and tasted, the magic of natural vitamins. I could feel my body rejoicing in having received this healthy energy.

14) (Go to one new social event a week – alone)

I went to a singing class. I met friendly and open people, I had a lot of fun and I sang out loud on my own in front of a group of strangers! I was enjoying myself so much that I didn’t even care about being out of tune and off beat. The singing class filled me with loads of positive energy and I realised that music is a sort of meditation for me: while singing or playing an instrument I am so concentrated on my activity that I forget everything else. I lose track of time, my mind clears of all thoughts and I simply let go.

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Aims for week 2:

-Do not make ‘other people’ and excuse for not doing any of the set activities on a given day – there is always a way to make time for the things we would like to do.

 -Meditate. What’s holding me back from doing sport, considering I used to do dance, aerobics, yoga and jogging regularly? Why do I feel guilty giving myself the opportunity to do something I enjoy? Why do I resist setting aside time to pamper myself? I know I want to sing and continue learning to play the guitar…so why do I not take the step to do so?

I leave you with an awesome song that I listened to quite a few times this week. I think you’ll understand why it’s part of my ‘happy’ playlist.

 

Week 2 of my Happiness Project starts now! (Oops, it’s already past my bedtime!).

Lessons Learnt During Lent

24 Apr

Fourty days of Lent have gone by, which for me means the end of a fourty day vegan and alcohol-free diet. Whilst my normal diet includes regular meals with meat, dairy products and wine, lent in the Christian Orthodox tradition involves giving up animal products, alcohol, cigarettes and all other ‘unhealthy’ products (and habits) for fourty days. This is intended to be a detox for the body that creates a detox for the soul. Although I have not felt any major spiritual changes by limiting what I eat, there are several things that I learnt thanks to my fast that will no doubt have a positive effect in the long-term…

No Exceptions: by the second week of lent I was already thinking “And what if I was to have just a small glass of wine tonight? It won’t do any harm; I won’t really break the fast because I won’t do it often”. Luckily, I didn’t take action on this thought, because it passed through my mind at least twice a week. Had I listened to it the first few times, I would have ended up not fasting at all! If we

There are few things that we truly need

set out to do something, we cannot allow ourselves to make exceptions (except for reasons such as health, of course), because these will prevent us achieving our goal.

Making an extra effort is worth it: seeing as I couldn’t eat anything that is a ‘quick-fix’, such as sandwiches, pizzas or ready-meals, which all contain meat or dairy products, I always had to make an effort to prepare my meals. Even in the hungriest of states, when I wanted to devour everything in sight, I made real meals; this took more time, but my food was healthier and tastier.

It’s easier than it seems: once past the starting period, new habits become second nature. Fear tells us that what we want to do is hard or even impossible. Yet once we get started, we realise that we are more than capable of doing this.

The right to say ‘no’: it is easy to say “Oh, go on then”, when someone offers us a cake when we’re dieting, a cigarette when we’re giving up smoking or a drink when we’re cutting out alcohol. In most cases, we say ‘yes’ because we’re scared that the other person will judge us negatively or consider us ‘boring’. By saying ‘no’ in such situations, we are being honest and respectful to ourselves. Fearing other people’s judgment will cause us to live life by other people’s rules.

Fun Without Alcohol: yes, we can have fun without alcohol. Yes, we can enjoy an evening out without alcohol. Yes, we can relax without alcohol. Yes, we can enjoy a meal without wine. Yes, we can chat, laugh, joke and dance without alcohol. For some, this is obvious; for others, this is ridiculous. Either way, it is true.

We CAN have fun without alcohol...

Do you need what you want?: most of our consumption is for pleasure, not for necessity. There are few things that we truly need, all the rest are things we want.

Limitation Increases Appreciation: today, in Western society, the majority of people live in abundance, where they can have almost everything they want at any time. There is a huge choice of food, clothes, entertainment etc., and we rarely have to restrict ourselves in our consumption. By limiting myself in my range of food, I was able to appreciate the special meals more: a dinner in a restaurant (which made a difference to the classic meals I was making at home), a non-alcoholic cocktail (with more taste than the water I was drinking all week) and, of course, the Easter meal which included delicious meats, wine and creamy deserts. When we constantly spoil ourselves, we no longer get any pleasure from pleasure. Living more simply makes special occasions all the more special.

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I wish you all a Happy Easter and a beautiful spring!