Gratitude Changed My life – How to Cultivate a Habit of Gratitude

be-thankful

If you feel overwhelmed by feelings of negativity that you can’t seem to shake off, maybe you should try to cultivate a habit of gratitude. I have found that being grateful helps you to be more positive and increases your productivity. I took the gratitude challenge at a time when I was struggling with different fears that made it very difficult for me to be productive at all. My fears were paralyzing me from being able to accomplish what I needed to and as a result, I was very upset with myself. I was in a place of frustrations and I wasn’t really moving forward.

Over time, I have made it a habit to listen to inspirational speeches for at least 15 minutes in the morning as I start my day. One morning as I was listening to Tony Robbins, he said something that made me stop in my tracks, “Gratitude is the antidote to the two things that stop us: fear and anger. Fear is why we don’t take action and anger is why we get stuck. You can’t be grateful and angry simultaneously. You can’t be fearful and be grateful simultaneously. So it’s really the reset button.” Wow!

Gratitude is the antidote to the two things that stop us: fear and anger.Click To Tweet

I could not stop thinking about that statement as I went through the day, I knew I had to act on it. I needed to hit that reset button. To do this, I started what I called the gratitude challenge and believe you me, my life has not been the same. Cultivating a habit of gratitude has made all the difference in my life.

How to cultivate a habit of gratitude

A few months ago, I did not think I could write a complete article, leave alone share it for the world to see. But here I am, typing this with confidence, not second-guessing myself and knowing that I can finally use my story to inspire someone else to grow in their own journey.

gratitude changed my life

What are you grateful for?

One of the first things I decided to do immediately was to list down what I was grateful for. Many times we are so overwhelmed by what is going on around us that we don’t feel like there is anything to be thankful for. However, taking some time specifically to ask yourself this question will force you to really think about good things that have happened in your life.

Before asking myself this question, I did not think I was grateful for anything- but now I had to be grateful for something. I started thinking about the last few days and wrote the basic things like food, air to breath, my family, someone who had been kind to me. I was actually surprised that there was something to be grateful for and I suddenly began to “feel” grateful. See until this point, I had not been ‘feeling’ grateful I was just writing things I was grateful for.

List down what you are grateful for

In the process of listing what I was grateful for, something inside me was changing. The things we are grateful for are positive things, being grateful forces you to think about positive things. For example, when I say I am grateful for my husband, I ask myself why? This takes me back to the good moments that we have had together, it forces me to reflect on something good he did. Thinking about good times makes me smile and if I was feeling angry with him for any reason, that anger melts away at that moment.

It is amazing how you can transition from being a miserable frustrated person in one moment to someone full of gratitude and happiness in just a few minutes. That simple question, “What are you grateful for?” can make all the difference in your life. To cultivate a habit of gratitude you have to start by learning to say thank you for what you have.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

After doing this a couple of times and realizing the power of being grateful. I decided to keep a gratitude journal. Technically, it is just a portion of my journal that I set aside for gratitude but you can also get yourself a gratitude journal which is specifically meant for that.


I take about 5 minutes every morning to write at least 3 things that I am grateful for. This range from simple things like being able to wake up, food, family to more serious things like answered prayers and accomplished goals. Basically, anything that I don’t think I should take for granted goes into my gratitude corner in my journal.

Keeping a journal is really awesome because I can just look back and see how much good I have experienced in my life and be charged up for the future. Especially on those days that you are just not feeling it, reading through your gratitude journal can be very refreshing.

Tell other people what you are grateful for

Don’t just keep it to yourself, tell other people what you are grateful for. Especially when what you are grateful for is them. Gratitude does improve your relationships, it is actually scientifically proven. Sharing with others and listening to what they are grateful for creates a nurturing environment for relationships. Knowing that someone is grateful for you will definitely make you want to be around them more because you are celebrated.

We are trying to make it a habit in our family to tell each other what we are grateful for so that we can cultivate a habit of gratitude. in our home. On that note, my son just learned to say ‘Thank you’ and I am elated. Whenever we spend time together we ask each other what we are grateful for and then take time to talk about it. Sometimes it brings up wonderful memories that one of us may have forgotten and those moments are really priceless. This is definitely a habit that we hope to build on and pass down to our child(ren).

Instead of saying sorry, say thank you

I learned this sometime back and I was really wowed by the impact it has. When a friend helps you with a problem, instead of saying “I am sorry for the inconvenience”, say “I am grateful for your help”. It may look very simple or trivial but the impact it has on your perspective is astounding. Learning to say thank you is not only good for the other person, it is also helpful to you.

Saying thank you sets a tone of gratitude. It makes the other person feel appreciated for what they did. It creates a positive environment where relationships can be developed. Next time you are late for a date, instead of apologizing for being late, say “Thank you for your patience.”

In conclusion

Gratitude really has changed my life and I would love for it to change yours. I have become a more positive person than I used to be. I count my blessings and focus less on how other people could be doing better than me – it helped me overcome comparison. My relationships have improved, how I take care of myself has improved. Great things have happened to be because of the power of gratitude.

As you finish reading this, I hope you will quickly take action and purpose to be more grateful. Grab a notebook and a pen and ask yourself, What am I grateful for today?

Leave me a comment below and let me know how gratitude has impacted your life. Are you trying the gratitude challenge? Let me know how it goes.

With Love and Light,

Debbie

debbie@streaksoflight.com

Debbie

I am passionate about personal growth and helping people discover their highest potential. At Streaks of Light, my goal is to help you overcome self-doubt, conquer your fears, become confident and achieve your goals. You can have the life you desire, if only you believe and take action. Join me on this journey and LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE NOW.

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16 Responses

  1. Julister says:

    Wow! This is one of the best articles that I have read on gratitude. Good work! Keep it up. …….rushing to get my gratitude journal

  2. Showing gratitude is the key to a content heart. You have shared wonderful practical applications.

  3. Alicia says:

    Love this! I have seen huge changes in my perspective after starting a gratitude journal. Thanks for sharing.

    • Debbie says:

      That is wonderful Alicia, gratitude is truly a powerful habit. Keep writing your gratitude journal and before long gratitude is going to become your default response to life. Life is definitely better when we are grateful.

  4. Karen says:

    Wow! I love that- say thank you instead of sorry. Great idea!

    • Debbie says:

      Try it, Karen. It works.
      Next time you wrong someone close to you start by saying “Thank you for always being so patient with me…”

  5. I have been actively working on being more grateful and grounded this year. So far its only been about a month, but I can already feel the difference! I still have yet to start an actual journal, I kind of just meditate on the thoughts while I’m doing my nightly yoga sequence. I love the idea of being able to reflect back upon that which you are grateful of (especially for those dark and emotional kind of days). I really enjoyed this post Debbie!

  6. Great article. I loved the Tony Robbins quote. That is an awesome one! I also loved the tip about changing “sorry” to “thank you” my husband and I started doing that a few weeks ago as well and it has really helped!!

    • Debbie says:

      I love it too, it is what set me into motion on this gratitude journey and I am so thankful I did. I am happy you are changing sorry to thank you, it honestly does wonders for relationships. I just hope more people actually realize how powerful gratitude is and start implementing it in their own relationships for success. Thank you for affirming that, Emily.

  7. Kathryn says:

    Gratitude changed my life and my overall perspective. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we’re chasing and wanting more that we don’t appreciate what’s in front of us and notice the gifts we have to feel good about. I write in a gratitude journal and It really helps me to focus on the positives. I think Oprah said “Be thankful for what you have you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have you will never ever have enough” …. give thanks! Great article!

  8. True, we strengthen our relationships with others when we are thankful for what they did to us.

    • Debbie says:

      Very true Isaac. My relationships have definitely become much better since I started cultivating a habit of gratitude.

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