Life will never be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be hard all the time. We only get to live one life- and in many ways, life is what you make it.

Do you want your time on this Earth to be doom and gloom all the time? And yes, I know that we can’t avoid the pitfalls along the way or the tragedies that are beyond our control.

However, we can dictate how much of our time and energy we spend focusing on the bad. And we can channel as much of our energy as possible on making life a truly meaningful experience during the time we have here.

Far more of our life that we realize is within our control. And there is an old saying that goes something along the lines of “You cannot always control what is happening to you, but you can control how you react and grow from it.” And I am 100% a firm believer in that. Of course, living a beautiful life means different things to different people.

While some may believe life’s beauty is rooted in money, others may just want to be happy. And while I don’t believe you will find meaning in materials and money, I am here to tell you whatever your dreams are, chase them. With that being said, here are 9 ways to push yourself towards a beautiful life.

1. Understand your reality.

Becoming aware of your reality is one of the important fundamentals of making the changes you want in life. You have to start somewhere, and the first step is understanding and becoming aware of where you are at currently. And don’t use this as an opportunity to be down on yourself. Instead, observe yourself and your present situation without judgment.

2. Set out to understand your purpose.

Every one of us has a purpose. And our purpose is usually rooted somewhere in between our interests and our passions. When you were a child, what did you love doing the most? Before life jaded you, what did you feel drawn to do and know that you would be good at it. It could even be something you have been told you had a gift for but ignored it because you didn’t believe in yourself.

3. Connect with others.

Our connections to others truly define our outlook on life. While trauma responses may try to isolate us or make us withdraw, this is not a productive or healthy way to live your life. Reach out of your comfort zone and truly connect with other people. Keep up with your loved ones and friends. Make new friends. Join groups on social media with people who share similar interests as you, and truly become a part of the conversation.

4. Be grateful.

Gratitude reframes our mind towards positivity, this has been proven in studies. Happiness is all in our perspective, and shifting your mind away from what’s going wrong in your life, towards what is going right, will help you to encourage more good things to come. When we focus on the positive in life- the positive grows and flourishes. Take a moment to sit down and make a gratitude list. You can write every simple little thing that makes you grateful in life, and list additions can be as simple as “I’m thankful for the warmth and beauty of the sun.”

5. Treat yo self.

Seriously though. Life shouldn’t be all work and no play. Take time to embrace the little things that make you happy. Take an off day and go to the park and eat some ice cream. Or, go for a road trip with your favorite person to a new town. Happiness isn’t the big thing that we expect them to be- happiness is found within the fleeting moments of life. And they are what make life beautiful.

6. Learn to let go.

Most of what we worry about in life are things we cannot control. I cannot tell you how many times I have to readjust my mindset because I get bogged down in worry. Practice mindfulness to let go. Sometimes you have to say “It’s not as bad as I believe it is- my mind is getting carried away- I am letting this go and focusing on the present moment.”

7. Forgive yourself.

Sometimes, we set such high expectations for ourselves, and for others, that when we end up disappointed or frustrated at our mistakes we become stuck. Mistakes are part of our path. We cannot change what has already been done. We can only decide how we move forward. Choose to always do better than the last time. And keep moving forward.

8. Enjoy alone time.

Alone time does not equate to loneliness or isolation. Introspection is necessary and so is time alone. These are the moments in which we create meaningful change from within. And it’s impossible to understand yourself if you don’t spend time with yourself.

9. See the beauty in everything.

When I was a child, I would find beauty in the strangest things, at least that is what I was told. I could see a dead tree and somehow see beauty in it. And while I thought that was weird then, this has become a major coping skill for me. When the world seems dull and ugly and lonely, I remember the days when I thought that anything could be seen as beautiful and shift my perspective. There truly is beauty and meaning to be found everywhere, you just have to see it.

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