10 things in life to start appreciating + photos from my life

With everything that’s going on in the world today and the prevalence of all that negative news in our lives, sometimes it’s easy to start feeling down. When the weight of the world has got me down, I find that reflecting on my own life and on how great I’ve got it can help me cheer up and look on the bright side a bit more. No matter what’s going on in your life, there’s always room for more positivity and for more appreciating what you’ve got. While a positive outlook can by no means completely fix major life problems, sometimes examining your life and finding a new appreciation for the things you may have overlooked can provide some much needed perspective.

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Check out the photos below for a little peek into my world and my list of 10 things that are worth appreciating in my life. These are just some examples of what I’ve been reflecting on lately and I’d love to know what you appreciate! Leave me a comment when you’re done reading with some of the things you appreciate most in your own life!

1. The outdoors

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

I love going for walks in the woods that are around my campus. I’ve explored quite a bit and there are some really cool paths with spots that are the perfect places to just be outside and think.

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

I love this picture because it reminds me of a really busy but really productive and awesome day. I had to get up at 7:00 a.m. that day and I put on sunscreen and spent most of the day outside. I was promoting my school’s Study in DC program so I had to be high energy, but it was easy when I was spending time in the sunshine and talking about a program I loved.

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

My school has been around for so long that there are seemingly endless hidden and forgotten spots around campus to discover. This abandoned amphitheatre is tucked away right near the amphitheatre we currently use and it’s one of my favorite spots to explore (and to make friends take photos of me!)

2. Cute animals

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

My school’s proximity to Colonial Williamsburg is awesome for a lot of reasons, but one of my favorites is the lambs that are born every spring! They are indescribably cute and it’s such a great stress reliever to go for a walk and go see the sheep. Of course, I also stop to pet every cute dog along the way. Cute animals always make me smile and I’m lucky enough to see tons of them every day.

3. Good selfies

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

The power of natural light + a good hair day is really amazing when you need a confidence boost. Taking a good selfie isn’t crucial or really that important in life at all, but if you’re having trouble with your self image, being able to take a picture and say “oh wow, I look pretty good!” can provide you with that little boost of confidence you’re searching for. I took these a few days after a tough breakup and even though it may sound silly, they honestly helped me move forward in a really positive way. Self confidence is important, but it can be tough to come by so in my opinion, if something as harmless as a selfie can help then you should definitely pull up Snapchat and selfie away.

4. Supportive family

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Not everybody is blessed with a family who supports or cares about them, so I know how lucky I am to have such a great immediate and extended family. My parents are always there for me, whether I’m confused about how to void a check, need to vent, or want them to read one of my newspaper articles. My two younger sisters are some of the most important people in my life and I know they’ll always be there to proofread my applications, tell me the latest Dance Moms gossip, and send me extremely niche memes that nobody else will appreciate.

5. Favorite places

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

My family has been going to Walt Disney World on a regular basis ever since I was in kindergarten. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve visited and it truly is my happy place. If I’m ever feeling down, I can count on looking through pictures of Disney World to cheer me up.

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Whatever your happy place is, focus on really deeply appreciating that place the next time you’re there. I’d also suggest finding some Instagram or Tumblr accounts that feature pictures of your favorite place. When pictures of your happy places are popping up in your social media feeds on a regular basis, you’re sure to smile just a little bit more every day.

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

I’m lucky enough to have spent so many months of my life in Disney, most especially time around the holidays. Although I’m sad that the Osbourne Lights aren’t in the parks at Christmastime anymore (and no photos can really do justice to how spectacular they are), I am so happy that I’ve gotten to see them in person. Knowing that things change so frequently really makes me appreciate every moment I spend in my favorite place.

6. Amazing friends

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

I’d seriously be nowhere without my friends. I can’t include pictures of everybody important to me in this post but these people are some of the most wonderful in my life. My friends from The Flat Hat have seen me at my highest highs and at my lowest lows and if you have best friends like them, I sure hope you appreciate them! Friends who are there for you through thick and thin are so important to have, especially when life keeps on throwing you curveballs.

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Everybody knows that in college, the people you live with can become some of your closest friends. What I didn’t realize was that as an RA, a number of my residents would become my best friends. While I started out as just their RA, I eventually took on more of a big sister role, and I was so excited when we really moved into best friends territory. Never discount any group of people because you seriously never know where your best friends may come from!

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

One of my favorite people at school is somebody I never thought I would have counted as a friend when I first got there. Christian is a cashier at my favorite dining hall and while he is friendly and incredibly kind to everyone (and even won a national customer service award for being so awesome!), by the end of last year we had become friends. From sharing cute dog photos to each other’s Facebook walls to taking matching backwards baseball cap photos, talking to Christian became one of the highlights of every day for me. Coming in to college, I never would have thought that I’d become friends with someone just by seeing them every day at dinner, but there were a lot of days I could not have gotten through without that nightly conversation with Christian, and it just goes to show you shouldn’t make assumptions about where you’ll find some of the most amazing friends!

7. Accidental twinning

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Accidentally dressing similarly to one of your friends is such a silly little joy but it never fails to make me smile! My friend Heather and I both wore floral tops and jean shorts and appreciating that little friendship connection honestly took a day from average to great.

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

When my pal Leonor and I both wore patterned maxi dresses and oversized denim jackets, we had to take a picture because what are the odds?! I love taking pictures when I accidentally match my friends because not only does it save that happy memory of that moment of surprise when we realized we matched, but it also helps ensure I take pictures with my friends more, which is always a good thing!

8. When people do nice things for me

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

When people do nice things for me, I tend to be a little over-appreciative and maybe thank them one too many times. But this is because I am generally so thankful when people go out of their way to do nice things that they weren’t obligated to do. My boyfriend Brendan took this photo for my Instagram so that I’d have social media content to promote my blog with and it was so nice of him to do that when he had work to be working on too. It’s important to remember to thank people when they do nice things for you and make your life easier.

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Every week at our staff meeting, my RA staff gives out the “U Rock Award.” The person who was awarded last week gives it to a new person the next week in order to recognize someone that rocks to them. The week that I got the award, Kristina, who was a hugely important mentor to me, gave it to me because she said she really appreciated how authentic and open I am with people. That really meant a lot to me because it’s something that I’ve been consciously working on in the past year. I love the “U Rock Award” because passing it out every week ensures that we are constantly appreciating each other and the little kindnesses people show us every day,

9. Great opportunities

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

This May and June, I worked as a substitute teacher in my hometown while I was home for summer break. I started out just doing this for extra money, but after working in various schools in the county, I discovered that I absolutely adored teaching. This realization made me question all of my life plans, which was super stressful but ended up turning out great. I applied and was accepted to my school’s Masters of Education program so after my senior year, I’ll be spending a year in grad school and then eventually pursuing a career as an elementary school teacher! This never would have happened without my substitute teaching experience and I’m so happy that I’ve been given these opportunities.

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

After school let out, I obviously couldn’t substitute teach any more. I ended up scoring a job as a nanny for a wonderful eight-year-old boy (he actually took this photo of me at the Manassas Battlefield, which is much better photography than I could do when I was eight!). It ended up not just being a job, but helped me form some really wonderful connections. His family really took me in and made me feel like I was part of the family. His mom offered to write me recommendation letters in the future and they asked for my campus address to send me mail. You never know where a job may lead and it’s so awesome to find employers who are kind and really care about you as more than just an employee.

10. Things that make me laugh

Life's stress makes it easy to overlook some of the best things. Try appreciating instead of ignoring, starting with these 10 examples. | 10 THINGS IN LIFE TO START APPRECIATING | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

One of the little things I appreciate most in life is laughter. It’s so nice to just spend time with friends talking and laughing about ridiculous stuff — days like that never fail to be amazing. I saw this sign with absolutely no context on a door in Virginia Beach and oh, man I could barely stop laughing long enough to take this photo. Laughter is a boundless resource and I’m so glad to have so many wonderful people and opportunities in my life to make me laugh.

 

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the everyday stress and craziness of life, but it’s important to take time out to think about the everyday wonders as well. My gratitude journal usually helps me with this, but it never hurts to flip through the photos on my phone and think about all the things I have to be grateful for.

{What are the often overlooked joys in life that you appreciate most? Tell me about your life’s little wonders in the comments!}