How to transform your life through gratitude
With my birthday yesterday, I’ve been feeling very blessed and reflecting on how much my life has changed these past few years. I wasn’t always a grateful person but when I started to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, I noticed a huge shift in my mental and emotional state, and in my life situation. I’m sharing in the hope that you might see how you too can utilise this wonderful tool of gratitude to completely transform your life.
I love my life. I truly do. I have all the things I ever wanted, and I wake up filled with joy for every day. But it wasn’t always that way. I used to wake up at 5am filled with anxiety and a feeling of foreboding. I used to put off going to bed on Sunday night because I knew when I woke up it would be Monday and the thought of going to work filled me with dread, and I would spend the whole walk to the office trying to talk myself down. I couldn’t stand how I was spending the majority of my time and I spent every minute wishing the day away. It was one of the lowest points of my life and whilst I can appreciate now how it was essential to my growth, I never want to go back to that place.
So how did I get from there to here? I can say with total conviction that it was gratitude which pulled me out of that hole. When I would wake up in the morning before I had even opened my eyes, I would mentally list off all the things I was grateful for, then think through my whole day, giving thanks for each thing I would do “Thank you for a really enjoyable walk to work”, “Thank you for the really productive meeting I’m going to have”, “Thank you for the good news I’m going to receive today”.
As I went about my morning routine, I would give thanks for everything I came across; for the running water which allowed me to brush my teeth, for the heating which kept me warm, for the clothes I had to wear, for the fact I had a job. As I walked to work I would give thanks for the blue sky, for the beautiful trees, for the fresh air I was breathing, for the warm coat I had on. When the day was getting too much I would look around for anything I could find to be grateful for. I even started writing a list of all the things I was thankful for about my job. And within a matter of months my whole life turned around.
I got a new job. I moved into a better house. I got engaged. I started practicing yoga. Everything just started to work out. I landed on my feet, always. I felt thankful. And the more thankful I felt, the more I was given to be thankful for. Gratitude never let me down. There were many little games I used to play to keep the good vibes going and you can make up your own, but here are some things you can try to bring some more gratitude into your own life:
List all the things you love one after the other without stopping. Mentally reel off every single thing you love and are grateful for and I guarantee you by the end you will have the biggest smile on your face. Mine might go something like “I love my dog (obviously dog comes first), I love my husband, I love my family, I love my home, I love my job, I love food, I love summer, I love chocolate, I love yoga, I love starry skies, I love the mountains, I love laughing with friends, I love cake…” Don’t stop until you feel amazing.
For those situations/people which test you, write a list of all the things about them you are grateful for. I used to work in sales and had to deal with some very strong characters. At first, I played the victim, but when I made the decision to take control of my attitude, I told myself these people had been brought into my life to aid me in my growth and I made a list of everything I could think of that I was grateful for about them, and the situation I was in.
Give thanks for your day in advance. As I wrote earlier, I would go through my whole day in my head, imagining the best possible outcome for each task and giving thanks for my day in advance. I would always end by feeling thankful for the wonderful news coming to me that day.
Feel grateful for those things you wish to receive, as if you have already received them. This is the Law of Attraction in action. Here, you act as if. At the end of every day when I would journal about all the things I was thankful for, I would also write down how grateful I was for things which hadn’t appeared in my reality yet. I said thank you for my new job. I said thank you for my new house. I said thank you for my husband. I gave thanks for the life of my dreams as if it were already mine. Because it was.
Every day find 10 things to be grateful for. This might sound like a lot but once you get going, it’s easy. It can be something as simple as giving thanks for sunshine. Give thanks for your home. Give thanks for your health. Every single thing you love, have, do. Give thanks.
For an easy-to-follow process to get more gratitude into your life, I highly recommend The Magic by Rhonda Byrne (The Power, also by Rhonda Byrne, is another great book which works roughly on the same principle). When I started out I used The Secret Gratitude Journal to write everything down but now I use a document on my computer (the same place where I keep my life designs).
Ultimately though, there isn’t a wrong way to do this. Nor can you do this too much. And you will find the more you give thanks, the more you will have to be thankful for. When you have a grateful heart, you will see the beauty in every moment, in every person and every situation. You will see the good in everything. You will appreciate every trial, every success and every situation you are presented with on this wonderful journey. And once you experience the magic of gratitude first-hand, your life will never be the same again.