People love to complain. It’s often easier to complain than to consider all the things for which we are thankful. However, taking the time to appreciate our blessings leaves us feeling happier, more content and more positive.
If you want, you can try reflecting on your blessings and writing them down every day or as often as you would like.
Here’s a list of free wonders life offers that we often take for granted.
- Knowledge. Thanks to the Internet, information from all over the world is easier to access than ever. However, we often use the Internet for useless tasks that don’t make us smarter or happier. The Internet is an incredible tool, and we should use it wisely. Instead of wasting time looking at memes, watching shows and checking social media sites every five seconds, use the Internet to your advantage. Hone your skills and learn new ones. Be thankful for books. Educate yourself about the world around you, and be thankful for your mentors, teachers and professors.
- Laughter. It’s the best sound in the world. It also feels great to make people laugh, so loosen up, crack a joke once in a while and learn to laugh at yourself. Sometimes it’s good to make fun of yourself, as long as you’re doing so in a healthy way. Laughter is also completely free of charge, and it’s universal across countries, cultures, religions and races. Humor isn’t always universal, but laughter is.
- Written language. Think of all the things we’ve learned from the written word. We’ve learned about history from historical documents, and we’ve learned about scientific findings. Reading the news informs us about what is going on in the world. If we didn’t have written language, we wouldn’t know much. 26 percent of adults around the world are illiterate, and two-third’s of the world’s illiterate adults are women. Education and the ability to read are wonderful gifts.
- Love. The love of significant others, family and friends is one of the best feelings in the world. It also feels great to love others. Sometimes love is difficult, but if you are in a stable, healthy relationship with a significant other, friend or family member, maintaining the love you share is worth facing your hardships together. Let your loved ones know you love and appreciate them through your words and actions, and don’t ever take them for granted. If you do, you might push them away.
- Life. The mere fact we are breathing is an incredible gift. Don’t waste it, and don’t blame others if your life isn’t going well. Think about how you can make your life better today in this moment. Try not to dwell on the past or fret about the future. Don’t feel guilty when you make time to relax by yourself, but work hard. Make the best of each moment. Start now.
- Food. Many people all over the world don’t know where their next meal is coming from. About 17 percent of working Americans don’t have enough to eat. Volunteer and donate food at your local food pantry, and be thankful for the food you eat.
- Nature. Bird songs, fireflies, cricket chirps, fireflies, mountains, water, and the beauty of sunrises and sunsets can relax and refresh you. Spend time outside and soak up fresh air and vitamin D.
- Music. Since music is more accessible now than ever, it’s easy to take for granted. Though we don’t always realize the impact music has on us, we all have that one song that gives us chills every time. We listen to music when we want to feel something, so crank up your happiest tunes and count your blessings.
I collect notebooks like it’s my job, and I have them in all different shapes and sizes. I use them mostly for writing poetry, but there are tons of other amazing uses for notebooks. Even if you don’t enjoy writing, notebooks can still be useful and fun. You can use separate notebooks for different purposes, or you can use one for all your notebook needs.
Here are 14 ways to use a notebook. Some are no-brainers, and others are a bit unconventional.
- Creative writing. Notebooks are excellent places to let your creative juices flow. Fill them with poetry, prose and other creative works. Develop characters, story ideas and plots.
- A complete mess. For all your scribbles, scratches, splotches and spills. This one is not going to be pretty. Use a notebook for all of your messy handwritten reminders, math problems, mental breakdowns and notes to self. You name it. Please, please, please don’t be afraid to get messy.
- Hone your craft. Are you a designer? Create sketches of your fashion, architectural or graphic designs. Are you a writer? Plan out news or feature stories, magazine layouts and story lines. Make your planning as detailed or as messy as you please. No matter what your craft, a notebook will make it a lot easier to put your ideas into action.
- Found objects and exploration. If you find something that inspires you, tape or glue it into a notebook. It can be anything, from a piece of trash to a scrap of fabric to an interesting trinket. Get out and explore. If you seek out interesting things and really look around you, you will be pleasantly surprised.
- Journal. This one is a no-brainer. Write about your day, and try to keep up and write on a daily basis or as often as you would like.
- Discoveries, big and small. If you hear an interesting fact you didn’t know, jot it down. If you notice something walking or driving around that you never noticed before, write about it. We are constantly learning and the world around us is constantly changing, so it’s useful to keep a documentation of growth and change.
- Books to read, movies and shows to watch, music to listen to. I feel like I always have a never-ending list of things I need to read, watch and listen to, and I think most people can relate. The next time someone makes a recommendation, write it down so it won’t slip your mind.
- Prompts. Look up writing prompts online or come up with them yourself. Jot them down so you can remember to come back to them later. Leave plenty of space to write stories, poems and other works inspired by the prompts.
- Uplifting things. Write about the little things that make you smile, and write about what you’re thankful for. This is a great way to foster contentment and positivity.
- Lists. Write about your top 10 favorite movies, TV shows, books, Broadway musicals, songs, musicians, smells, articles of clothing and colors. Write to-do lists and grocery lists. The possibilities are endless.
- Ideas and inspiration. No matter how big or small, your ideas deserve to be recorded. Write them down and expand them over time. Write about a person, place or thing that inspires you. Jot down quotes that motivate and inspire you. Write about other people’s work that inspires you to do your own.
- Planning. Write down your plans for the day, week, month and year. Set goals and do something each day to bring you closer to that goal. If you’d like, create a bullet journal.
- Nature journal. Write about the trees, the ocean, mountains, plants, rocks, sky and insects around you. Create sketches and write descriptions. Notice the beauty and wonder both right outside your front door and when you travel. You can even press and dry plants and leaves and tape them onto the pages.
- Travel journal. Write about all the amazing places you’ve seen and visited and all the food, sights and wonders you experienced there.