What Makes You Feel Happy In Life?

cat.jpgI heard one of the best advice today which is: 10% of the things in life we have no control over, but 90% of the things in life we are in control of. There is so much truth in this. How many of us have gotten upset or allowed something that is out of our control to ruin a whole day, week or even year? Perhaps you had an argument with a friend, partner or co-worker or you had an accident (eg. dropped your phone, broke your arm). Although this is out of your control, you allowed negative feelings to build up. It made you end up feeling angry or sad all day, feel stressed and caused you to attract bad things to happen during the day (eg. spilling things on yourself or tripping over the stairs). I’ve definitely allowed things out of my control to build up, which is not healthy in order to live a happy life.

Many of us often feel that life will be happy when… Rather than deciding to be happy now, regardless of the circumstance. Many of us complain from the smallest things, even when we don’t notice it. I say this, because I definitely have periods of time where I realise that I’m having negative thoughts wandering in my mind and allowing it to affect my mood, which is something I really want to avoid as someone who strives to be positive. We blame and complain on things that are often out of our control, rather then let them be. We may worry about things that will very most likely never happen, and if they do happen it’s never as bad as we imagine. For the new week I really want myself and anyone who may stumble across these words, to really think about what makes you happy. You might find that it’s often the simple things in life :)

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

art by Lieke van der Vorst

Growing Up As An Asian In A Western Country

bf35c6a5d2aaf2c206c1ecfcd424fc4f.jpgI was born and raised in New Zealand all my life, before I moved to Australia just under two years ago. I grew up being taught Mandarin and went to a Chinese school every Saturday. Unfortunately I was pretty lazy during those classes, as English was always a language I felt a huge interest with and put more time and effort to learn. I loved reading English literature from Jane Austen to Shakespeare and writing short stories from my wild imagination. However, being a Taiwanese Kiwi I feel a deep respect for my cultural background. Perhaps some fellow Asian sisters (and brothers) can relate to some of these points, if they grew up or moved to a western country at a young age.

When I was younger, many children didn’t understand to respect different cultures. I was told how disgusting my lunch box food filled with red bean buns and asian food looked (might I add they tasted delicious). You will always (inescapably) be asked the question “Where are you from?” even when you respond with “I’m from Auckland.” Racism in our culture is very often seen as black and white. However, Asians are very often seen as the minority that is made to seem okay to be racist towards, teased, joked about or called names. It will never be okay. I cannot tell you the amount of times I was told “Konnichiwa” growing up, even though I am not Japanese, or the amount of times someone will say “你好” when they find out I speak Mandarin.

Growing up in an Asian house hold, yet being raised in a Western school and society, there are definitely certain experiences one will face. I grew up in a predominantly western school, with small groups of minorities (mainly international students). However, I never actually had any close friends who were Asian, simply because there were less Asian people in the country side during that time. It was only when I left home and moved to the city, I realised that the Asian community is far more larger and tight knit than I thought. To some extent I find the teachings in an Asian household is more firm in comparison to Western households. Although, I consider my parents more relaxed, there are aspects that tend to be a lot more strict.

I wrote in a previous post here about how I was placed into ESOL (English for Speakers Of Other Languages), even though I was fluent in English. I was 8 or 9, and I tried to explain to the teacher that I didn’t need it. Thinking back, I can understand it may of been because I was extremely shy and quiet, which can be a quick assumption that I didn’t know any English. Being pretty much one of the only Asians at school, I faced my first lessons looking at images of cats and dogs, and acing every single image. You can be sure I was no longer in ESOL after that first lesson. There were many hints of subtle (and not so subtle) hints of racism throughout my schooling years and even til today. As an Asian brought up in a Western country, I don’t feel fully Asian. It’s difficult to express that feeling.

Whenever I go back to Asia, there are always people who ask me “You’re a foreigner, aren’t you?” I feel it may simply be from my mannerisms and appearance. One thing I do notice is that Asians are less likely to speak loudly about how they feel about something in that moment. Whereas in Western countries, most people are very open on their thoughts, even if they may be negative. Though this may not be for all individuals, but it’s definitely one of the cultural differences I’ve noticed. When I was in high school, I had a teacher who used my “being an Asian”, as an excuse for my grammatical mistakes in English class. Bearing in mind English was one of my favourite classes, it seemed unfair that when my Kiwi friends had grammar mistakes, they were simply written in red pen with the teachers corrections.

When I visited guest’s homes, I was surprised as a young girl that some people wore shoes inside the house. It’s a custom in Taiwan (and many other Asian cultures) to provide slippers for guests. In many Asian cultures, we call our elders Auntie or Uncle as a sign of respect. It is extremely rare to call an elder by their first name. Respecting the elders is heavily taught from a young age. Another thing I learned was how high my tolerance for spicy food was. I grew up in a household where at least one or two dishes each night would have spices in them. I noticed that in Western countries, some people have a very low tolerance for spicy food, which is only natural because they aren’t brought up having spicy Asian food everyday.

Asians are hugely under represented or absent from the media. I do hope this can change, but at the present time it is still extremely slow. Having subtitles on was a huge habit from a young age. It was because my parents did it ever since they arrived in New Zealand, and that was one of the ways they learned English. I remember sleeping over at a friends house, and before bed time she would always say “I love you” to her Mum. At the time, it felt strange to me, because (as some people may be able to relate), in Asian culture many people are less likely to say I love you to their parents. After being long distance from my parents for years, I try to say it more often.

Since living in Australia, I realised how much people love to tan. I’ve always been the sort of person that doesn’t like to expose my skin to the sun. This means I tend to wear a lot more long sleeved clothing. That was always a personal decision, but I do feel in some ways that Asian fashion is more cute, whereas Western fashion shows more cleavage and low cut tops. This example is purely from looking at current online stores. I am someone that loves cute things, but this aspect is far more normal and accepted in Asia. Whereas in Western countries, some parts of it can seem childish. You don’t normally see a woman carrying a Hello Kitty bag in the city, but it’s completely normal in Asia.

Whenever I go back to Taiwan, I feel the reverse feeling of being surrounded by Asians and feeling surprised or noticing whenever I see a western person. Western children are raised to be independent as soon as they leave home, whereas I noticed some Asian children will have their tuition paid until they graduate and find a job. This isn’t everyone, because I know for myself that I left home at 16 and had to learn a huge level of independence. As touched on before, the ideal of beauty is definitely very different. I was raised to always wear sunscreen. My fellow classmates would be lying on the grass beside me as I sat in the shade, and they’d talk about getting their legs more tanned. I think in Asia there is an emphasis on good skincare and keeping the body healthy and young as possible.

If I got good grades in class, my parents would usually answer with one word, which was “Good.” That was enough for me to feel satisfied. However, I noticed some of my fellow Kiwi classmates were often paid money or treated by their parents if they could reach a certain grade. Taking a lot of photos is completely normal in Asia. Whereas in Western countries it may seem strange to whip out the phone to take a photo of everything. I am not used to it, because I rarely take photos. I noticed whenever I go back to Asia I start taking a lot more photos. It may also be because I really want to document those moments, since I don’t get to see my family very often. Of course all of these things I’ve mentioned are from my personal experience. Everyone will have a different experience!

What was your experience like growing up in a Western country as an Asian?

Art by Maggie Chiang (I chose this illustration because it reminded me of the days being surrounded by nature in the country side, beach, farms, forests, rolling hills and mountains in New Zealand).

People Come & Go In Our Lives For A Reason

d766c90c0bfbddd713fba1e3f1ca379f.jpgI believe that everything happens for a reason. It could be difficult to believe that if you had a traumatic experience, if you had a bad past relationship or if you were deeply hurt by someone. There is a reason why people come and go (or stay) in our lives. When I reflect back on the people I have met over the course of my life, I realise that no matter what the relationship was like with the person, I learned something from it. It’s very common for people to ask others, how someone is doing and what they’re up to now, as I’ve come to realise. But it’s rare that they truly care, and more often they just want to gossip about it. They will talk about things that they know the details of about two sentences of. I say this because I only have a very very small amount of people I talk to in my life, who know what I’m going through. It shows that often the people we will have a long term (or life time) relationship with, are the ones who truly care.

People come and go in our lives, but this happens in a lot of other aspects of our lives. These include jobs, material possessions, familiarity, new places and such. The lessons we learn from mistakes, experiences, people, new things and memories. When we are young, it’s natural to have different friendship groups especially because we change so much during those years. A common example in the way people come and go, is the way we interact and see everyone everyday at school. The day when everyone leaves the nest, people tend to only keep in contact with those that also put in the effort, time and care for. That is when you will learn that many friends interact with others out of convenience and other friendships last through distance and time.

The people who come may be in your life at that time to help you through a period of struggle or share joyful moments together. They may be someone who shows you their true colours, and teaches you the importance of surrounding yourself with those with similar values. Everyone will share different advice, but it’s the choice and ability to choose the one that is beneficial to yourself. The wonderful thing about meeting new people, is the way that we are all just strangers walking by. There is so much to discover and get to know from a person when we take the time. The encounters we have can often teach us something about the person or about ourselves. We discover more about how our mind works and how someone else may see the world.

The people who go may go naturally or through different reasons. Perhaps it may of developed into a toxic relationship, other times someone may be moving away and sometimes it’s simply that time to go separate ways. We won’t be best friends with every person in our lives, and every relationship will have its ups and downs. It’s like a chapter beautifully closing and other times it’s a chapter of your life that is much needed. People are living their own life, they’re moving and changing and sometimes two people cannot move the same direction together. It means that they must go away on their separate paths. An example is a beautiful friend I met last year. She was always there to show that she cared, listened and we shared lovely conversations together. But, over time we simply moved on with our own lives.

The people who stay are very often those such as our family and those who we share an emotional connection with over the years. They are people we place our trust and love with. Long term relationships grow over time, because both individuals experience the ups and downs of life’s roller coaster.Even through the tough times, they stick together and make the effort and time to make it work. Life is a journey, not a destination. Time will always keep going and we have to move with it. We’ve all experienced good and bad relationships with people, but a few things I find very important in a positive friendship is to have trust, similar values, the ability to make time, being a good listener, understanding without judgment and sharing joy for the small things.

art by Lieke van der Vorst

You Are Such A Beautiful Person

44575b227cc69deaa4d5cb3adb21674f.jpgWe see the world differently through our own eyes everyday. I feel like there is this part of myself, that wishes I could tell anyone who has ever felt alone, left out, worthless, ugly, hurt or question what their purpose in life is, I wish I could tell them how beautiful they are as a person. Not in the superficial way. Not in the surface leveled way, but the kind of goodness that goes far far deeper. I truly believe every person is born with goodness in their heart, and every person has the ability to be kind to others. There is a certain beauty we all have that is so different, and that’s what makes us who we are. You are capable of so much more than you know. We all share the same thing in that we were all born into this world, and we will all die on this Earth. I hope this can speak to anyone, on their best days and on their worse days.

You are beautiful through your kindness and heart. It radiates warmth and light into others life and brings a smile to their face.

You are beautiful the way you smile and the way you cry. Your honesty in expressing your emotions, and feeling the raw feelings straight from your heart is beautiful.

You are beautiful the way you respect your body and feed your soul with good words. Your mind and body is thankful for the kind words and good food.

You are beautiful for sharing love in this world. For helping other people and praying for those in need. For not judging but opening your heart to try understand.

You are beautiful with your bare face in the morning. Your inner self shines through and your personality surpasses any physical beauty.

You are beautiful for treating those as your friend. You do not feel better or higher than the person beside you, but you treat them as your neighbour.

You are beautiful because even when you face failure, you keep trying. Life is not perfect, but you always keep trying and you pick up your feet even when you fall down. You learn from the mistakes to keep improving.

You are beautiful in your honesty and faith. Self belief and truth are two beautiful characteristics. When you believe in yourself, you can do anything you set your mind to. You don’t build the walls in your mind that stop you in life.

You are beautiful when you help others without expecting anything in return. You help because you truly care from the bottom of your heart. You have good intentions.

You are beautiful because you are compassionate. Compassion makes us human. You have empathy and sensitivity towards others.

You are beautiful because of your abilities and intelligence. You are amazing in your own ways, with more potential than you give yourself credit for. You are so beautiful through your intelligence and wisdom.

If you are the sort of person who tells yourself that you are not beautiful, I really pray that you could try tell yourself once a day in the mirror, and say “I’m a beautiful person.” because you really are. Everyone is going through their own struggles in life and living their daily challenges. We are all walking on the Earth on our own journey. When I tell you you are a beautiful person, I hope you can understand that your beauty comes straight from your heart. Your experiences make you stronger, and the strive to live a positive life and bring light into the world makes you such a beautiful person!

photo via

Traditional Love Vs Hookup Culture

la-boum.jpgCall me old fashion, but I truly believe that dating someone should be because you can see yourself marrying the person. If someone is going to play games with you, lead you the wrong direction, not see you in their future or leave you confused, then it’s not really worth it. I’ve never really understood the concept of people who say “I’m not looking for anything serious”, people who sleep around or those who casually date from person to person. I do not believe the ‘getting it out of your system’ way of thinking, that many guys (and girls) have. The one truth is this: no matter how attractive someone is, that is ultimately just the icing on the cake. The main ingredient is their whole personality. Yet, this is often forgotten in our visual world. We live in the generation of instant gratification, but love definitely takes time to grow and grow.

I’m sure many people still feel the same, in terms of having an old fashioned lookout of love. As someone who was in a long distance relationship, I feel that it taught me a lot, in terms of trust, communication, commitment and love. It’s scary to think that divorce is so common compared to the days when it was hugely frowned upon during our parents age. The fault that is often misunderstood is that love shouldn’t be hard work. It’s easy to paint the pictures in films that love is something that makes all the pieces of the puzzle fall together. It ultimately does, but it takes a lot of hard work and positive changes from both sides. I do want to address that I don’t think there is one perfect person for us in the world. I don’t believe in soul mates. But I feel that the hookup culture causes more damage to ones self.

It’s too often that love is summarised into a ‘good time’. This is heavily promoted to the millennials, which builds a superficial idea of love.  Hookup culture only encourages  a shallow kind of love that revolves around sex. It doesn’t touch on intimacy, time to get to know someone and building a healthy connection with love. Similar to my thoughts that you absolutely don’t need to drink or go to the club in order to have fun. I believe in valuing traditional love, in the sense that we don’t sell our heart away to people we hardly know. As someone who comes from a divorced family, I strongly believe that relationships are so important in solidifying a strong connection with someone. I don’t think divorce is normal or healthy, but sadly it has become more common in society today.There are unrealistic expectations of marriage and relationships, that causes relationships to fall apart in our generation.

As a Christian I feel that it’s not morally right to sleep around. Our bodies deserve much more respect than that. More than ever we are exposed to films and music that are about sex. The music on the radio, in the cafe, on the car or at the supermarket. The idea of Happily ever after is part of the issue of having high expectations. Marriage doesn’t mean all the problems in the world will magically disappear. It means trying to work them out together. It means changing each other and yourself for the better. There is a reality that needs to be met in knowing you will go through the roller-coasters of life together. I don’t necessarily believe you have to wait until marriage to have sex, but I do strongly believe that love should be with someone you love not lust.

People are not objects. Emotional connection is the most important part of any relationship. The hookup culture doesn’t address that, it swipes it past. Another part is the access to technology that makes many people feel that there are more people to meet. This encourages cheating. That’s how I really feel, because people compare others and it can also cause people to become more shallow. If you ever looked at a celebrity, and thought the person is one of the most beautiful person you’ve seen, then it comes as a surprise if they have a divorce. That is one example that in the end, personality and our inner self surpasses any kind of physicality.

Traditional dating still exists, but it’s the rise of social media dating that has died down the meaning of traditional love. Many people fear rejection which is why the hookup culture is the easy way to keep it casual without any risk of taking things more seriously. A while ago I wrote about if girls and guys can be just friends. It’s complicated, because it’s something that really depends on each individual, but sometimes one half might develop invisible feelings for the other person. Other times it is a sibling relationship from both sides and the last part is when feelings get in the way. It usually means both sides fall in love with their best friend, which I feel is one of the healthy ways of entering a relationship (by being friends first).

One of the biggest factor of a relationship is Communication. It’s not really a secret, but it’s often forgotten. Through technology, communication can be misconceived. Too many spend time wondering should they text back now or later, and playing around rather than having open conversations. Long distance relationship really taught me the feeling of not worrying or stressing about waiting for your other half to reply, because you understand that you are both living your own lives. Hookup culture encourages a lonely self. Many people are treated more like an option, rather than someone who is important. I believe it leads onto more heartbreak, because you are treating yourself with no opportunity for something real.

Let’s put value in traditional love instead of encouraging and popularising unhealthy relationships and the wrong idea of having a good time. It’s better to give your heart to someone who feels the same.

What are your thoughts on the hookup culture?

art by Yelena Bryksenkova

20 Things That Give Me 90’s Childhood Nostalgia

alice_wonderland_still.jpgFor those who were born in the last few years of the 20th century, there are small things that instantly make one think of the 90’s. How times have changed. A little while ago I posted a photo that I saw (below), which made me realise how thankful I am for many aspects of my childhood. The amount of time spent outdoors, growing up on a farm and the lack of technology in the hands of children. The ongoing feeling that the youth today are less innocent compare to when we were children, simply because of the rise of technology and access to everything. I remember a denim jacket with sheep skin on the inside that I had. I wore it to death during primary school, until the colour was tragically fading. Many of the things I mention are sort of between the 90’s and the beginning of the 20’s, because I was born in the mid-90’s.

I am grateful for this. Although, I am still considered young, growing up in the 90's meant there were still giant computers that we only used to play solitaire. It meant video tapes and watching movies as a family. Phones were still far more bulky and had buttons you needed to click to type your words. We spent most of our childhood on the farm, beach, park and running in the backyard. We took hundreds of photos on cameras and had dozens of photo albums. Sometimes it makes me a little sad to see little babies already playing with phones or young kids on social media. However, today I am grateful for technology allowing me to keep in contact with my family/friends, Google everything and allow me to express myself through writing. Regram @melanie_griffith57 #gratitudediary

A photo posted by Katie Kuo (@katiekuo96) on

p56YoaGXlqWX.jpg1. 小丸子. 

I grew up with many Video Tapes of Chinese Dubbed 小丸子, which is originally a Japanese animated show called: Chibi Maruko-chan. At the time it was my only access to Mandarin spoken cartoons. This gives me huge nostalgia, because during that time I had a hair cut exactly with the fringe and short hair for many years. It’s one of those animations that I distinctly remember.

1990sTV.jpg2.Big Computer, Radios, Phones & TV’s.

 Everything was far bigger compared to the thin iPods and Apple Computers we have today. As a child we had our big television for as long as I can remember. Computers were far slower, Phones were bulky, often with an antenna and a loud dialing sound. Most digital electronics weren’t  wireless.

belle.jpg3. 90’s Movies. 

The Lion King, Forrest Gump, Beauty and the Beast, Matilda, Men in Black, Toy Story, Mulan, Hercules,  Princess Mononoke,  The Little Mermaid, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Sleepless in Seattle and watching nearly every Disney film. I feel most people can relate to having a cupboard, storage section or shelf especially for video tapes.

S_Club_Sunshine_(Album_Cover).jpg4. Spice Girls & S Club 7. 

Back in the day when the radio player was a big ol’ thing, my Sister and I used to play different CD tracks and sing a long with them. It seems so long ago, but it feels somewhat nostalgic when thinking back to the popular songs in the 90’s. You’re likely to of heard something from Green Day, Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, The Cranberries, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, Britney Spears, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, U2, Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys and the list goes on.

images.jpg5. Birthday Parties with Fairy Bread & Sponge Cakes. 

Fairy Bread is a popular party food in New Zealand and Australia. They are surprisingly good. My mother used to make a Sponge cake every single year in the shape of a heart since we were born. Birthday parties always had chips, club sandwiches and sweets.

670px-User-Completed-Image-Fold-Paper-Into-a-Secret-Note-Square-2016.05.09- Folded messages to my friends. 

My sister and I used to do this often, and over the years the pieces of papers built into a collection of drawings, stories and random games. During classes, I would write messages or draw stories to my friends. Other times it was if we needed to say something without the teacher hearing. Today, it’s quicker for most people to text, but hand written notes is definitely something I miss.

18erxsvcmmwzdjpg.jpg7. Playing random games. 

It made me smile how many random games that we used to play back in the day. It seems hilarious that so many people also played them too. I didn’t know Mash was a popular game, because it was something I only knew that I played with my sister. As well as the paper folding into a fortune teller, and placing colours and numbers until you reach who you will marry or how many children you will have.

72a5a299e43f4d5e2e7eb56311012467.jpg8. Gel Pens. 

You can probably guess most of my diaries as a 6 year old were filled with gel pens (especially the gold one interestingly enough). It smudged easily, especially when using it in class. There were various other little things that were popular during that time, such as Beanie Babies.

enhanced-buzz-11914-1334856640-16.jpg9. MP3 Player. 

I still remember when MP3 players only showed the song playing, and you had to keep clicking next to reach a song you wanted to listen to. Some days I miss the feeling of clicking a button, rather than typing on a touch screen.


old-vcr-tape-14691133.jpg10. When the Video Tape or Recording Tape tangles. 

I still remember when the tape lags or has a problem, and most of the time it’s because the tape is tangled or caught. Sometimes it’s easy to fix by rolling the white circles and other times it can cause the whole tape to tangle.

15360708433_b00fb7b107.jpg11. Bubble Dragon, Solitaire, Tetris & Pac Man. 

This game player is very similar to the one I had as a child. It’s amazing how much the times have changed and what we use to entertain ourselves throughout the years are so very different to what children use to entertain themselves today. The only time I ever used the computer was to play solitaire or Bubble Dragon.

img.gif12. Slinkies, Silly Putty & Scoobies.

Slinkies were perfect if you lived in a house with stairs. Silly putty was one of those things you bought to create into a bouncy ball, and it would get a little dirty and messy over time. You could also get ones that glowed in the dark. I remember spending my free time to make Scoobies. These were especially popular in the early 20’s. A lot of girls liked to swap them or put them on their bags and pencil cases.

toymain.jpg13. Water Fights & Baking. 

Going to friends house meant water fights with water guns, or if you had balloons you would fill them up with water at the tap. Baking also reminds me of my childhood, because there was so much of it.

90s-fashion-the-90s-6330936-350-263.jpg14. Bright Coloured Fashion & Baggy Clothing. 

There was a lot of checkered and floral prints, baggy pants, big trench coats, denim jeans and jackets, bigger hairstyles, colourful accessories and there was something simpler and sometimes mismatched about 90s fashion that made it appealing and memorable. When I look back at older photos, it’s interesting to see the way fashion moves.

11dab8a30a7b5e56286ca53d09613013.jpg15. Colouring In Books & Drawing Packs.

We had a blue and a red Pokemon drawing packs filled with felt pens, crayons and coloured pencils. It looked like a mini suitcase, with a big Pikachu on it. When I was around 4 or 5, the airplanes often provided kids packs that had colouring  books. The other few times I remember using colouring in books were in kindergarten, going to a family friends house or being given one as a gift from someone. They were always on the familiar recyclable grainy paper.

whereswally.jpg16. Roald Dahl, Winnie The Pooh & Where’s Wally Books.

Trips to the library often meant at least one Roald Dahl book would be borrowed. We had the A.A. Milne stories of Winnie the Pooh and Where’s Wally books in English and Mandarin. Other familiar books included The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales in Mandarin.

xr3i.jpg17. Old Cars.

The first car I remember growing up with was a dark red one, similar to the one in the image. Many cars in the 90’s had the similar shape. There’s something about it that feels nostalgic when you see an old car. It’s not often that you see one.

cdpile3.jpg18. Taking Pictures from Cameras & Piles of Photo Albums.

This image shows CD albums, but this was pretty much a reflection of the Photo Albums we had. There were boxes of photos of baby photos and childhood photos.

download.jpg19. Knocking on neighbours doors to hang out.

Rather than sending a text, most of the time we would just drop by the neighbours house to ask if the kids are free to play. Most of the time it was a Friday afternoon, and we would just walk around the neighbourhood, go on an adventure or play with toys. This was during the years we were living in a suburb. It was a very simple time.

Hello_Kitty_Sticker_set_2.jpg20. Snail Mail, Trading Stickers & Car Ride Music. 

I remember writing letters to send to friends and the classic music on the radio and CD player. Most people don’t know that I collected stickers when I was little. At school we would trade stickers, which sort of started my semi-obsession with Hello Kitty (semi is an understatement).

What is something that reminds you of the 90’s?

Five Acts Of Self Love For A Positive Day

6734dac4bc01ba45d8ea999c867f852e.jpgThis blog post is in collaboration with the lovely Elly-Grace from Dancing In Violent Fields. Check out her blog post 5 Random Acts of Kindness here! Self love is the ultimate way we are able to have a more peaceful world. One can only love others, when they love and embrace themselves. We’ve all felt the words that may pop inside of our heads on a bad hair day or when we look at ourselves in the mirror and notice a perceived flaw. We are also far less likely to judge others, if we are comfortable in our own skin. Self love is the true act of love we need, especially in the age of the selfie.

An example of bad self talk is the many years I spent being conscious of my crooked teeth. This small thing made me feel really negative about my self image. Most of the time, people don’t even notice or they truly couldn’t care less, but there’s something about our biggest insecurities that seem to be magnified in our mind. After going through the roller-coasters of the ups and downs with my relationship with my own body image and my inner self, I learned some key things that are really important to incorporate into daily life in order to live a more well balanced life.

1. Exercise. Whether it’s a 10 minute walk outside or a long session at the gym, exercise is a really great way to show your body love. Your body needs movement to keep it strong and healthy. It also makes your mood feel uplifted and feel a better sense of self image as well as feeling more self confident in your own skin.

2. Think Good Thoughts. Positive self talk is the key to feeling happy. It’s easy to think negative aspects of yourself throughout the day, rather than showering yourself with kind words. Making a habit of waking up with a positive thought, has a huge influence on whether you will have a good or bad day. A good mindset sets a good day ahead.

3. Eat healthy foods and drink water. Last year, my body was so dehydrated that I ended up going to the doctors twice. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to drink enough water. I wrote a little more about it here. Eating healthy foods affects your body and mind, your overall health and your mood.

4. Embrace your hobbies. Whether it’s pressing dead leaves onto paper or playing a musical instrument, it’s important to do whatever sets your soul on fire each day. I like to think of it as refueling your tank (for want of a better example).

5. Enjoy doing nothing. This might sound a little boring or perhaps you might wonder what to do. Laugh at a funny video, write in your journal or just day dream. Being able to be in your own company and do absolutely nothing, allows you time in your own thoughts and time to reflect on the positive moments during a day.

About Dancing In Violent Fields

Dancing In Violent Fields is a lifestyle and travel blog for souls seeking inspiration. Elly-Grace is usually daydreaming about a Greek Summer so she writes as a means of escape. She often struggles between the need for travel money and the battle of wanting to spend money on coffee dates.

Blog: www.dancinginviolentfields.com

Instagram: @dancinginviolentfields

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art by Yelena Bryksenkova