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Can Gratitude Change Your Life?

November 21, 2018

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”  Meister Eckhart

It’s amazing how one simple, easy, positive action can change so much in a person’s life. Can it change your life? Thea answer is YES. The simple act of gratitude on a regular basis will change anyone’s life, positively and immediately. 

How can you incorporate gratitude into your life, and how it will change your life. Here’s a few examples and practices to start having more gratitude today. 

  •  Have a morning gratitude session. Take one minute in the morning (make it a daily ritual) to think of the people who have done something nice for you, to think of all the things in your life you’re grateful for. You won’t get to everything in one minute, but it’s enough. And it will instantly make your day better, and help you start your day off right.
  • Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.
  • Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.
  • When you face a major challenge, be grateful for it. Many people will see something difficult as a bad thing. If something goes wrong, it’s a reason to complain, it’s a time of self-pity. That won’t get you anywhere. Instead, learn to be grateful for the challenge — it’s an opportunity to grow, to learn, to get better at something. This will transform you from a complainer into a positive person who only continues to improve. People will like you better and you’ll improve your career. Not too shabby.
  • Instead of looking at what you don’t have, look at what you do have. Have you ever looked around you and thought how little you have? How the place you live isn’t your dream house, or the car you drive isn’t as nice as you’d like, or everyone around you has have cooler stuff and better jobs? If so, that’s an opportunity to be grateful for what you already have. It’s easy to forget that there are billions of people worse off than you — who don’t have much in the way of shelter or clothes, who don’t own a car and never will, who don’t have a job at all. Compare your life to these people’s lives, and be grateful for the life you have.

“Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” – Dalai Lama

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