3 Simple Benefits of Gratitude That Can Change Your Life
About 4 minutes to read
I would like to share with you an experience that occurred a few months ago, and how it led me to think once again about gratitude, its importance and why I choose to practice gratitude often. I find that when I practice gratitude, it affords me three simple benefits that change my life.
Gratitude Brings Balance and Clarity
When I practice gratitude, it helps to bring things into balance and helps me to remember that regardless of the circumstances that I am experiencing; there is always something for which to be grateful.
A while back, things were not that great in our lives. My partner’s dad received a diagnosed of stomach cancer and this caused us much stress. It came as quite a shock for the whole family. He was eighty years old and had good health throughout his life. It was very stressful to come to terms with this news, to deal with it and to see him processing the meaning and consequences, understand the diagnosis, endure endless tests, and discuss with doctors what treatment options were available.
Personally, I have very strong feelings about this disease because on my mom’s side most of my family have died of cancer. Immediately after you receive a diagnosis like this, you think the very worst. Your mind takes you to places that are very dark as there is much fear associated with cancer. However, by practicing gratitude I am able to view with clarity the many paths I have walked in my life, I am able to be grateful for how far I have come and this keeps my life in balance. The drama of the moment does not suck me in, but somehow gratitude allows me to maintain my balance, even though it feels like I am walking a tight rope.
Gratitude Allows Us to Make Positive Choices
What I constantly reminded myself of was that regardless of what happened, regardless of what the outcome would be I would choose to give thanks. For my life, this is a very positive choice, as it then enables me to make other powerful, positive choices.
We had just left the hospital where he had a whole barrage of tests lasting last two days. I saw how depressed he was trying to deal with the news. As I was driving back home I began thinking of the many things I had to be grateful for in the situation. I was grateful that according to the doctors they have found this cancer early, he was in stage 2B. I was grateful that we have good medical care here in Germany. I was grateful that we have a strong family unit and that everyone rallies around and helps. I was grateful that we would learn new lessons through the situation and that life would continue to unfold and teach us many things.
I was grateful for the role that he has played in my life and all the lessons I’ve learned from him. I was grateful that he drives me crazy and makes me think about things in new and different ways. I was grateful that I have experience with this disease, that I know what it’s about and that I could be there for my partner as support.
By reviewing all the things that I was grateful for in this horrible situation, I was then able to make positive choices. I could then decide how I would respond to the disease. Would I allow it to overwhelm me with fear or would I know its strength and face it regardless? I was able to choose to be an encouragement to him (yes this is a choice!), I was able to choose hope and not develop a doomsday mentality. These are the positive choices that practicing gratitude allowed me to make.
Gratitude Brings New Opportunities
I am grateful that every day we have the opportunity simply to be grateful, regardless of what our life circumstances are. I know that we all have different life situations and challenges that we need to face and I can tell you so many stories of the many times I have been in difficult, dark places, where I thought there was no hope or no escape route. Yet every single time I have practiced gratitude, it has taken me out of those black holes and lifted me onto higher ground.
You see I think gratitude has traveling companions. With it come hope, resilience, and strength, to name a few. When we practice gratitude these powerful traveling companions work together for our benefit, especially in difficult circumstances. It is as if they conspire together to create miracles that appear wondrous to us; ways in which to deal with the hardship, strength when we thought we had none, the ability to get back up when we are knocked down. When we do not practice gratitude these precious opportunities are not available to us, and our torment seems to endure that much longer.
Think of the times when your life has seemed so smooth. You are rocking your world and wonderful things are happening for you. It’s almost as if you’re on a streak of good luck, everything works. It is likely that you are incredibly grateful and thankful and your positive energy constantly attracts more of the same to you. This is what gratitude does. It knows no better, it has to attract like with like.
For these simple reasons and benefits, I know that gratitude works for me and therefore I will continue to practice gratitude with a grateful heart.
Take a moment to think how gratitude has brought balance and clarity to your life, how you have been able to make powerful positive choices, and of all the wonderful opportunities, gratitude has afforded you.
I am grateful to you the reader, for following my Facebook page, reading my blog posts, interacting, and leaving comments, and giving me feedback. Please share your gratitude stories with me in the comments below, I would love to know how gratitude works for you.