Unusually, this week's lovely list features just two posts. That's not to say that all of the other posts I read were not enjoyable - far from it - but simply that these two stood out for me and really made me think about life and happiness.
Do you make a conscious effort to be happy every day? Do you wake up in the morning and focus on the positives of the hours that lie ahead? I have never looked for the silver linings in life; I am the one to dwell, fret and stress over every tiny thing that might lead to something negative, and, as silly as it sounds, it can be difficult to allow myself to be happy without worrying about something. This post on how to choose happiness has this week allowed me to consider that there might be a different way. It explores the idea that if you wake up every morning with a determination to be happy, truly happy, then you will be. Sounds simple, doesn't it?
Sometimes we can get so stuck into a routine of dreading every Monday morning and every seemingly stressful situation that we convince ourselves it will be awful, when more often than not the result is far less terrifying. I'm guilty of following this toxic cycle in a number of aspects of my life, and reading this article made me question what on earth I have been doing it for. Surely if there's a chance to be happy we should clutch it and not force the feeling of dread upon ourselves? While the theory is all well and good, I know putting it into practice will not come easily. But I've already noticed a shift, a slight movement in the right direction. I'm really trying to choose happiness at every opportunity.
The second post on today's lovely list has reaffirmed my belief that dieting is just not the way forward. While eating healthily and seasonally are both important to me and my way of life, I don't believe that depriving yourself of the things you truly enjoy (the things that make you happy) is worth it. Life is too short, as this post on why we should ditch the diets and love our bodies instead makes clear. If I want to go out and eat a chocolate brownie, I will do. And I'm not about to feel guilty about it just because everyone else is surviving on water and celery all January long.
If I am going to wake every day and choose happiness, well then I'm going to have to choose some wonderful foods as well. Surely what's important is what's on the inside rather than the desperate desire for the 'perfect' body? There's no such thing, for a start.
Life is supposed to be joyful, it's supposed to be about laughter and smiles and doing what you love, so why wait? I hope these posts inspire you as they have done for me. Let's ditch the diets and choose happiness together!
Eleanor is obsessed with stories. She writes for a number of online spaces including This is Your Kingdom, edits Creative Countryside, curates #aseasonalyear and teaches at Chalk House. In addition, she is currently studying for an MA in Creative Non-Fiction Writing. You'll find her roving the fields of the Lincolnshire Wolds or planning her next rural adventure.