Over the years, I’ve done plenty of research and written plenty of articles on the benefits of gratitude. Because I have written so much about gratitude – and I know the power of it – I practice it in my life. I’ve never written a post on how gratitude had changed my life, though, so I thought I would do that on this review blog. I hope it inspires you to make gratitude a part of your daily life too.
5 Ways Gratitude Has Changed My Life
1. It’s Helped Me Get Over Things Faster
I can’t tell you how many months or maybe even years… yeah, probably years – I’ve spent ruminating about certain things.
Being dumped, losing jobs, knowing people didn’t like me, being treated poorly, having something bad happen in the world – all of these things would sit in my mind and I had a hard time getting over them.
For example, when my mean and grumpy neighbor took off the fence between our yards without telling us, knowing we had three dogs, it took me two years to get over that. Every time I would come out into our yard, I would look over at her yard and seethe in anger. Even though she had put the fence back on the same day, albeit the ugly side of the fence, I couldn’t get over it.
Gratitude helps me see the bright side of things and realize that bad situations usually have a good impact on my life somehow.
For instance, my neighbor has taught me patience. She’s also taught me what I don’t want to be like. I’m grateful that I’m not like her. But, despite her crazy qualities, there are also some things to really be grateful for when it comes to her.
For instance, she:
- Is relatively quiet.
- Doesn’t party in any way, shape, or form.
- Takes really good care of her yard.
- Has no dogs, so we don’t have to worry about our dogs going out and starting a loud conversation with the neighbors dogs.
- Has no kids.
- Doesn’t like people parking in front of her house, which means they park in front of our house and it always looks like someone is home, so we don’t have to worry about theft when we are out.
You see, when I start to think about all the things that I’m grateful for when it comes to our neighbor, I don’t feel so upset about what’s she’s done. I can let go of it knowing that it could be worse. And, I can appreciate her, which reduces all the negativity towards her.
And this works for everything. I can always see the bright side and the things to be grateful for, and then let it go.
2. It’s Motivated Me To Live A Better Life
Life can be hard and frustrating. Even though I’ve created my Level 10 Life and expanded on it with The Lifebook Quest, I still wake up some days and think, “Why bother?” You would think that when you get your life vision and purpose in order, you would be thrilled to wake up every day and get to it, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. And that’s when gratitude steps in and takes over.
Practicing gratitude on days like this helps remind me that I have an amazing life and many reasons to get up and do what I need to do. It helps me see the ‘why’, which gets me in the right frame of mind to really go for it.
I also always try to practice gratitude when I have any success, small or big. Which, by the way, is daily now. Why? When you look for success you see it everywhere in your life.
When I feel grateful for a success I have, I’m more motivated to work hard and experience another success that makes me feel grateful.
So, gratitude is really a good motivator for me. The biggest motivator, in fact. It’s what keeps me doing what I need to do, and it helps me reach new heights each day.
3. It’s Improved My Relationships
Nitpicking and complaining is easy when you don’t find things to be grateful for in your relationships. But I found that once I started focusing on what I was grateful for, I stopped focusing on things to nitpick and complain about. And that changed my relationships and how they impacted my life immensely.
When gratitude is a part of your daily process, relationships naturally get added into your gratitude list. You start to take note of the small things that people do for you. And, you start to appreciate them for who they are and not who you want them to be.
That is life-changing when it comes to relationships. I can guarantee that when you start to practice gratitude towards the people in your life, it will improve your relationships.
4. It’s Made Me More Productive
For years, I did nothing. I had a lot of good ideas, and I wanted to try a few things, but, instead, I worked at a really easy job and then sat on the couch and watched TV.
I didn’t appreciate my early twenties and the youth that I had. Gratitude for my talents and my life wasn’t there, so I just went along day by day doing whatever the heck I wanted, which wasn’t much of anything.
When I started practicing gratitude, I started to differentiate between what was making me happy and what wasn’t, and I realized that sitting around wasting my life away wasn’t making me happy. That’s when I quit my job and started doing freelance writing and blogging. That’s when I took my life into my own hands.
Now, I am acutely aware of what I do and how it either adds value into my life or doesn’t. That awareness doesn’t allow me to sit around and do nothing all day. I want to feel good and grateful for my day, and the only way to do that is to get things done that count in life.
5. It’s Helped Me Grow As A Person
I’ve changed a lot in twenty years. I know for a fact that old me would make fun of the new me out of sheer ignorance.
Sometimes I go on Facebook and look up old friends, and they are doing exactly what they were doing twenty years ago. They have the same mentality and habits, and it blows my mind.
Being grateful opened up my awareness. I’ve found that when you are not so closed-minded, you are willing to take in more information and, sometimes, tweak your beliefs, adopt new habits, and make changes in your life that benefit you.
Let’s just say that I used to think it was cool to do a lot of dumb things, and I used to roll my eyes at people who didn’t do those dumb things. But, once I started to open up my awareness and see how beneficial good things are for your life, I became the person I use to roll my eyes at.
Not only have I changed my lifestyle and my thinking, but I’ve learned so much over the years thanks to being more open. That’s helped me become a better writer on subjects related to personal growth, and it helped me retain clients and earn an income that changed my life around.
I know that expressing gratitude has been the catalyst for many great things in my life. If you are not practicing it daily, then I strongly suggest you try.
Click here for the gratitude list template that I use. It’s a PDF, and you can download it and print it out for yourself. I’ve included a bright side column because I find that I like to note the bright side of negative situations that happen through my day. Sometimes it helps me find things to be grateful for.