Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Gratitude.. BS or truly revolutionary?


Gratitude (thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.) 

Have you heard of it before? It seems like all of a sudden it is everywhere.  Party due to the book 'The Secret, by Rhona Byrne' becoming so popular (if you haven't read it, check it out).

I have practiced it for quite a few years now.  However, I have to admit in the first few years I didn't truly understand it and I wasn't truly grateful for a lot of the stuff I was trying to force myself to believe I was grateful for.  When I look back now I realise it wasn't working for me, how can you be grateful for a job you hate? Or for a relationship you are in which is making you unhappy? No matter how hard you try to be thankful for these situations in your heart, you are not.  Ever have that feeling when you say 'I really do not like my job' and someone reply's 'you should be grateful you have one, many people don't' (The world should in my opinion is horrid but thats another story)... Do you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach? You feel guilt for not being grateful for this job which you hate.  This creates all sorts of negative feelings toward yourself and sometimes others.  So how can this gratutude work if that is the case?

Now I am in a much happier place, life is very good! So I am truly thankful for many of the blessings I have. I now understand gratitude, how and why it works, This is what I am going to share with you today because I know it can help many of you to lead happier, more fulfilled lives.

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude has two components, it's an affirmation of the goodness in the world. Of positivity and benefits we have received.  Not ignoring all the bad but seeing an overall picture that some things are good (this is the part I didn't understand)

The second part is realising where your goodness comes from. Figuring out what you love and like, who and what makes you happy.


The Results speak for themselves

A study done by the university of California were 1000 participants simply wrote in a gratitude journey consistently for just 3 weeks showed astounding results...

Stronger immune systems,lower blood pressure, more joy and pleasure, more forgiving, more outgoing, feeling less lonely and isolated.

According to the university of California gratitude has 5 key benefits...

1. Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present. It magnifies your positive emotions. 
Research on emotion shows that positive emotions wear off quickly. Our emotional systems like newness. They like novelty. They like change. We adapt to positive life circumstances so that before too long, the new car, the new spouse, the new house—they don’t feel so new and exciting anymore. 
But gratitude makes us appreciate the value of something, and when we appreciate the value of something, we extract more benefits from it; we’re less likely to take it for granted. 
2. Gratitude blocks toxic, negative emotions, such as envy, resentment, regret—emotions that can destroy our happiness. 
You cannot feel envious and grateful at the same time. If you’re grateful, you can’t resent someone for having something that you don’t.
There’s even recent evidence, including a 2008 study by psychologist Alex Wood in the Journal of Research in Personality, showing that gratitude can reduce the frequency and duration of episodes of depression. 
Research has also suggested people who have high levels of gratitude have low levels of resentment and envy.

3. Grateful people are more stress resistant
There’s a number of studies showing that in the face of serious trauma, adversity, and suffering, if people have a grateful disposition, they’ll recover more quickly.
4. Grateful people have a higher sense of self-worth
When you’re grateful, you feel that the world is plotting to do you good. Often gratutude is aimed towards a particular person or kind act that person has done for you... the sense that someone else is looking out for you.  You notice relationships, past and present, of people who are responsible for helping you get to where you are right now.

So is gratitude just hocus pocus or is it truly something magical that practicing will make you happier?

Why not try it! For 3 weeks every morning write down or say out loud 5 things or people you are grateful for.

What have you got to loose?
Do you already practice gratitude? How have you found it has helped you?

Ashly xxx

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Pulse Light Clinic // Laser Hair Removal

When Pulse Light Laser hair removal clinic contacted me and asked if I would like to try out laser hair removal I was very excited because I have always wanted to give it a go but never got round to it.

After all who wants to have to shave everyday? Certainly not me.  Considering waxing scares the bajeesus out of me I've really had no other option.  I felt like I was continuously shaving, and I am not even that hairy (honest).

The consultation
So off I went for my consultation.  Excited yet a little aprehensive (I had heard that it hurt).

The staff at the check in desk were lovely and very welcoming, despite me turning up a little late.  I was handed a form to fill in, it was quite extensive with lots of questions like did I use sunbeds or was I wearing self tan?  I didn't quite understand these questions until the lovely therapist explained that it would depend on the light they would use.

So I pulled down my trousers and jumped up on the bed, I felt surprisingly comfortable.  I think because the therapist was so lovely and friendly.

She ran the laser across my skin, it was a strange sensation. A little nippy but nothing too sore, and I have a low pain threshold.  She adviced that I looked at the light as it was working it's magic and that made it even less nippy.

So I pulled up my rousers and that was that. All good... ready for my treatments.

1st Appointment
2 weeks later I went for my first full session which lasted around 10 minutes and felt like nothing had happened.  The only part which felt a little uncomfortable was in a few 'tender parts'. However with the cold air blowing on to my skin at the same time as the laser, I soon felt nothing at all.

Over the next few days I noticed what looked like ingrown hairs, the therapist told me to exfolaite so thats what I did and after a couple of days they all went.

Now it is 3 weeks later and I can not believe the difference already, there is so much less hair.  Instead of having to shave everyday I am now down to about once every 3 days.  And that is after my first session! I have 3 more to go and I am pretty sure that I will be as smooth as smooth can be, I can't wait!

Check back for updates!!

Ashly xxx

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Wildfox Sweater

 
What I wore
Hat // H & M
Sweater // Wildfox Plaid Knit
Trousers // New Look Coated Leggings
Boots // Chanel
Ashly xxx

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Work out Wear on the High Street

Nothing makes me want to hit the gym faster than new work out gear!! Some high street shops have a great selection, nice bright colours and good prices.  Some of my favourites are H & M, Victoria's Secret and Primark.  I do think high street shops are missing a trick not stocking funky work out gear... after all isn't this the year we saw the rise of the #gymselfie

Neon Pink Yoga Cowl Hoody £8 // Primark
Skinny Jogger £7 // Primark

Where do you get your workout wardrobe?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Procrastination killing your success?


There is no bigger killer of success than procrastination or lack of motivation.  You make lists but don't complete them.  There just seems to be so much to do before you can get round to your actual task... sound familiar?

The sad truth is, if you don't have motivation all you will ever have are dreams and goals with no successful outcome and you will continue to procrastinate.

In the past I have found it difficult to motivate myself.  Whether it is getting up in the morning to workout when you just wanna turn that darn alarm off and get back under those warm covers, or something as seemingly simple as writing an email.   It appears procrastination is everywhere at times.

So here are some fantastic ways I use to motivate myself that always work!!

1. Work out why? Have vision

You have to know WHY you are doing something.  What is your motivation? What will you gain from completing your task/goal.  This is necessary for the times when you really want to give up. Remind yourself of this why, it will spur you on.  Be as specific as possible with your 'why'.  This is where the vision comes in.

Create a vision board (use pinterest if you like) put on there what you want the outcome of your task/goal to be.  Want to loose weight? add pictures of the bodies you aspire to have, the food you want to eat, the clothes you will wear.  Want to have a successful business? Pin pictures of the car you want, the home, the holidays you will go on.  It is all about being specific, what colour of bikini will you wear? What colour will your new car be?

Put pictures up around the house to remind yourself of your vision.  When I feel really low, I simply work on my 'vision boards'.  This always gets me excited and motivated again.

Visualisation is no joke when it comes to success and motivation.  How many times have you heard somebody successful talking about how they imagined themselves in the position they are now years previously? When Jim Carey was broke and a 'nobody' he would visualise himself getting acting roles.  He even wrote himself a cheque for $10,000,000 for 'acting services rendered', he dated it thankgiving 1995 and put it in his wallet and kept it there.  Just before that date he got the role in Dumb and Dumber and found out he was going to make $10,000,000.

2. Be Positive  

"Research shows happiness increases productivity and makes you more successful"
 So lets get happy! Sit down with a pad of paper and take 15 minutes to make a list of 10 successes in your life, big or small.  It can be anything from winning a race at your school sports day to getting a new job.  Whatever it is, the thought you create when remembering the event will trigger positive feelings.

When you wake up in the morning try listing (in your head or on paper) 5 people you are grateful for in your life.  Try playing an upbeat song that makes you jump up and dance around. 

Think about it... what is going to make you want to get up and get on with your day, thinking about how you've done nothing and you are a waste of space or being positive and feeling like you are on the right track?

3. Feel the Fear & do it anyway!

Are you procrastinating because you are afraid? Maybe you are afraid to fail or afraid to succeed. Either way fear is something that holds everyone back at one time or another.

I see many quotes about not being afraid, but the truth is fear is always going to be there. So instead of trying 'not to be scared' which I believe is virtually impossible, or waiting until you are 'not afraid' anymore.  You have to feel the fear and do it anyway.  Understand that anything new will probably make you feel anxious, nervous or afraid but you can't let that stop you.

After all nothing great was ever accomplished from staying within our comfort zones.  If you feel nervous or afraid, that is a good thing! It means you are growing, that you are stretching yourself!  So go out there and just get it done!!!

I hope this helped a little. 
I would love to hear any tips on how you motivate yourself

Ashly x

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Street Style // 1


What I wore
Trainers // Diesel
Jeans // H & M
Tee // Zoe Karssen
Jacket // Second Female
Bag // Chanel Shopper Tote
Bracelet // Necklace from Accessorize
Rings // accessorize
Nail polish // Barry M Berry Cosmo & Dutchess

Meet my best buddy Samyouel
Trainers // Converse
Jeans // H & M (oooh matchies)
Bag // Zara
Shirt // Vintage Ralph Lauren
Jacket // Vintage from Rokit

Photography by Sid Scott
Follow Sid on instagram

Ashly xxx