3 ways to appreciate your life today

We all have those moments. The kind where everything in our life seems a bit shit and we feel hard-done-by. For some, those thoughts last a few moments, for others it lasts for weeks, or months. It’s not helped by Facebook either, where everyone else’s life seems so much more fun.

But what if I were to tell you that there are ways to help you get over it, ways that will help you to appreciate your life exactly as it is? All it takes is a moment of imagination, to create a scenario in which things are vastly different, worse than they are now – whether it’s a real memory or imagined.

Remember a worse time in your life

Last year I was in a job I hated. Actually, it wasn’t the job that was insufferable, it was the company and their treatment of staff. It was the behavior of one individual in particular, that ground me down in the end.

That was a period in my life where I struggled to get up in the morning. Every day created an internal conflict for me – should I stay, tolerate the intolerable person and hope that sometime in the future I would end up in a position I’d enjoy, in another department? or should I give up, leave and return to freelancing. Eventually, I could stand the job no longer and I quit. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.

So now I’m back to freelancing, and without a doubt things are looking up. I’m earning the same salary as I was when employed, but I’m no longer glued to a desk for the majority of the day, I no longer have to ask to go for a pee (slight exaggeration there but after many years’ freelancing being employed definitely felt constraining) or speed home from my place of employment to avoid being the last parent in the playground to collect her children.

So, whenever I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed due to too much work, or underwhelmed due to too little work (the ebb and flow of freelancing!) or I’m simply having a shite day, I think back to last year when I’d go to work feeling anxious, I’d come home in the afternoon feeling anxious and didn’t sleep properly at night due to feeling anxious. And when I think back to that time, I thank my lucky stars that I had the courage to leave that awful place, and it immediately makes me appreciate my life as it is now – shit days and all.

Imagine life without your spouse/lover/children

There are days when my two boys massively get on my nerves, I won’t lie. And even though I love them to bits, at times I wonder if I’m cut out to be a parent. But then I imagine life without them and immediately I am struck down by a horrible, almost physical wrenching pain in my gut, at the thought of not having them with me. It is an unbearable, unthinkable thought and it immediately makes me appreciate every ball-breaking, whining, moaning, fighting, stubborn, infuriating moment of them. To their surprise, at times like this, I cannot help but grab them and hug them tightly.

Imagine you had an accident

It seems a little morbid but imagine you were the victim in a horrific accident and were paralyzed from the neck down. Your whole life would change in that moment. No longer would you be able to feed yourself, bath yourself, go to the toilet by yourself. No longer would you be able to cook, clean, walk, run, play tennis, do the shopping, kick a ball around with your children, make love, work, write … I could go on but I think you get the picture.

Now doesn’t that make you think? What do you do to appreciate your life today?