'The quieter you become the more you can hear.'
It was only last week that I asked myself, 'When did life get so complicated?' I remember sitting in the student union at 18 years old asking myself a similar thing.
'Why is life so hard?'
If you can openly say you've never questioned this yourself, you're a liar. In Zanzibar, one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the opportunity to vist, I questioned how hard life really was.
In a country of ultimate contrast, poverty and paradise within meters of one another, I begin to realise how easy my life was. The commonly used Dubai expression 'first world problems' made my stomach churn as I focused on the endless struggles the people of Zanzibar must face. And yet... I asked a few of the local people a question, 'Are people happy here?' The same answer was given again and again. My driver proposed that 'Yes, everyone is so happy. We are poor, but we love the life we have.'
Wow. I must admit it put me in my place. Why don't we love the life we have? Now, I'm no expert, but through my own personal experience, I've tried to work out the day to day problems that make us forget what we have to be grateful for and what solutions are on offer to bring us back to positivity.
1. Be Purposeful
By creating your own purpose, it becomes easier to stay focused. My personal purpose today was to focus on what mattered. If you ask yourself, 'will this matter in a year?' most often it will not. More often than not, the things that make us so hateful, actually won't even matter in 24 hours. Try to create a new purpose daily or even weekly or monthly, to ensure you have a goal to work towards. Write it down somewhere you will see it, even the screensaver of your phone!
2. Clear your mind
In yoga, the key to truly great practice is remaining present. If we were to apply this to your daily life, how often are you really in the moment? If you live in the past you can become depressed. If you live in the future you can encourage anxiety. Live for now and appreciate every experience. This might mean moving away from all distractions. Shut off your internet for the evening. Go for a walk and appreciate what you have by clearing your mind of all external intrusions.
3. Surround yourself with like minded people
When times are hard, the most appealing option can sometimes be shutting yourself off from the world and hoping the pain will pass. I can promise the pain will pass much faster when around those who love and care for you. Try experiencing new things with your peers and build memories together. Avoid alcohol and go for a juice with an old friend. Set up a gym date with a new colleague. Go on a road trip with a neighbour. Get out there and see the world outside your doorstep!
Zanzibar taught me a lot about my opportunities and freedom. I have no reason not to smile every day. We all have something to be fortunate for. I began to look forward to my return to Dubai. To my incredible job and my options in life. I made a decision to not think negatively about my life when I have so much. I instead insist on becoming grateful and focused on everything I do have.
Our ankles represent strenth and freedom. Please shop our anklet selection to remind yourself of your ability to choose happiness and enjoyment in your own lives.
And of course, don't forget your Happy Yogi Face!