“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar
I never really understood what being grateful truly means until I read the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne.
Even if I say “thank you” often in the past, it felt a bit superficial and routine. Saying “thank you” was one of the many things I learned in my early childhood especially when people give me something.
But there’s more to these two words when you say it like you really mean it.
When was the last time you were truly grateful about something? What was it that you were grateful about?
When I started reading The Secret, I got excited. Every book I read is an adventure waiting for me to uncover and this one is no exception.
One of the things you need to do while reading this book is to write 10 things you’re grateful for each day and re-read each one. I must admit that some days I really have to think harder. But there are also days where 10 things are not enough, because there’s more to be grateful for.
And this is how my gratitude journal “journey” has started. The first few days were fine, then the days where I had to think harder came. After I finished the book, I found it easy to look for things I’m grateful for.
I could tell the difference in my self and in my life when I keep a gratitude journal that I write daily and when I don’t. Over the years, I have busy days and life got to me so I missed writing in my gratitude journal. But today, I will try my best to write daily and commit to living a more grateful life.
Here’s how Gratitude has changed my life:
More positive outlook in life
I’m a happy person. Growing up, I’m always that kid with a smile on her face. I laugh out loud. But like everyone else, I also have bluer days. But the great thing of knowing and applying gratitude in living my life is I don’t wallow myself in sadness or pity. Although sometimes I do but being grateful have made me a person who expects something great to happen in her life every day.
I still have negative thoughts. But I no longer believe or hang out with them for a long time. I just let them come and go.
I became happier and less stressed
Stress is something almost all of us have experienced. I worry. A lot. But worrying doesn’t get me anywhere. It’s true that it just robs you off of your happiness in the present moment. When you start to live with gratitude in your life, you become more present and therefore you enjoy each moment you’re in.
It’s a constant choice to be present at all times because as human as we are, we like to think. I like to think. And overthink. When you start to overthink, you start to worry. Anxiety kicks in and you’re stressed. When you’re in this state, try to notice the things around you. What are the things you’re grateful for right now?
It made me appreciate what I have
I’m no Princess but my dad always made sure our basic needs are met. I’m truly grateful that I have a father who is a good provider. And a family who supports each other. Looking back, there are so many things I should be grateful for. I was able to eat three meals (and sometimes more) in a day, I had a comfy bed, I had toys, I was able to play with my friends outside, I went to school and I had, still have, a loving home.
There are so many things we take for granted each day because we’re too focused on what we don’t have. We don’t have our dream job. We’re not living in our dream house. We’re commuting instead of driving our own car. We’re still in the same place we’re in for years. If you’re feeling frustrated right now, take it from Jim Rohn,“Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.”
My relationships got better
This is perhaps one of the hardest things to write about in one of the exercises in the book. You have to write what you’re grateful for in a person. You can also do this with people who have hurt you or those whose relationship with you is not at its best.
Even though some relationships cannot be mended and you’re better off without them, it helped me feel more at peace. I believe it’s because you focus on the great things they’ve brought in your life rather than focusing on the things they did that you dislike or have hurt you.
Some couples grow apart because they fail to appreciate each other. And it’s not just couples but even family members and friends. When you are truly grateful for a person, you see the best in them. You accept their flaws and love them for who they are.
Find More Gratitude in your Life
Gratitude can change your life.
Start counting your blessings instead of your worries. And embrace humility. Especially when life is hard.
According to Being Minimalist, “Humility is an essential ingredient in gratitude. A humble heart finds satisfaction in the gifts it already possesses and demands less from others and life. Remember that no matter what your accomplishments, your life contains no more inherent value than the person sitting next to you… no matter where you may be sitting. It is easy to be grateful when things are going well. It can be more difficult during the trials of life: death, disease, rejection, or failure. The truth is that no one is exempt from the trials of life, but good can always be found in even the worst of times. And embracing gratitude during those trials may be the one thing that gets you through them.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it! 🙂