In many research studies, gratitude was found to be directly correlated with happiness. If you practice gratitude, you will become happier. How does that happen for people around the world with no similar backgrounds? Here are some real-life examples from the users of the Gratitude mobile app who have improved their life and become more joyful by practicing gratefulness.
“I am doing gratitude practice for the last 2 years now. Before my gratitude practice, I had a habit of constantly thinking about the negative outcomes of the situations, and also if something didn't happen how I thought it should be then I used to get dissatisfied and disappointed easily. I read the book 'The Secret' and 'The Magic' by Rhonda Byrne and decided to compete for those gratitude challenges because I wanted my life to change completely in a good way. Trust me it happened. At first, it was difficult to give gratitude but then it became my habit. My life now is completely changed, I have started my own business as well. Being grateful inspired me to be thankful for what I have and it attracted positivity and miracles in my life.”
-Swathi (Read her full story ‘Gratitude: The Way of Life’ here)
Swathi is right. Gratitude is not some get-rich-quick scheme. There are no tricks here. Gratitude takes effort. We have to work regularly and give time to ourselves to see the changes that practicing gratitude will, most certainly, bring to our lives.
Let’s hear from Claudia now,
“My story with Gratitude is not something extraordinary. But I believe that even ordinary stories like mine can help others to feel accompanied in their process of self-improvement. 2020 was a difficult year for everyone. I was overwhelmed to the extreme. I didn't know what to do to feel better. Until a moment came when I decided to change something, however minor, in an attempt to get ahead. It was then that I opened my mind to different possibilities and started looking for tools to help me. And there, in that search process, I found this wonderful application: Gratitude. Gratitude meant a before and after in 2020, and in my life. Not only did it make me happier, but it also helped me with my self-esteem. It takes a bit of effort but trust the process.” Read Claudia’s full story.
Claudia raises a great point here. Gratitude is not meant for a specific set of people. It’s for anyone and everyone. Your story doesn’t have to turn heads. There is no pride in gratitude. Gratefulness is that soft, warm sensation, like the embrace of a cozy blanket in a warm-lit room, the feeling of being happy right where you are. You can be at any point in your life to practice gratitude. You can be anyone. The only requirement is for you to have the willingness to put in the effort to become happier with your life.
Here’s JK Hairston story with gratitude (full story here):
“I really thought my life was okay and that I was generally a positive person before making gratitude an almost daily habit. I was wrong. I started using the Gratitude app because I wanted to become more intentional about expressing gratitude. My life is becoming more and more joyful as I focus my mind on joyful moments each and every day. As a psychiatrist, I have been astonished about how joyful I can be reflecting upon simple moments of gratitude. I also noticed that when I am not experiencing the joy that practicing gratitude will buoy my spirits within moments.”
Another important point! Gratitude is not merely saying a word of thanks to someone who helped you out. I used to think so too. If someone opened the door for me, and I expressed thanks, I took that to mean that I am a grateful person. I realized that it was just politeness. Before, I didn’t feel truly thankful in my heart. They were just words.
Another learning: when a happy person practices gratitude, the results are much quicker. It is easier for the brain to think positively. So, whenever you practice gratitude, be intentional, and observe how you feel. Try to be true as you express the feeling of gratefulness. Sometimes, it’ll be challenging, but if you can manage it most times, you’re on the right track.
Lastly, here’s Celia’s story ‘Grieving with Gratitude’. It fills my heart with emotion.
“Jerry passed in the spring of 2015 and I was overcome by a sense of loss and anger. I kept reading Jesus Calling and the recurring message of trust and gratitude and came to the realization that I needed to change my thinking if I was ever to experience joy again. In December of 2018, I found the Gratitude app and made a commitment to myself to use it every day to write at least one thing I was grateful for in my life. After a few weeks, I began to feel like life was worth living because I had so much to be grateful for. I still struggle with the loss of my spouse of 43 years, but I start my day writing about the good things in my life and it has helped me feel surrounded by love and peace.”
Read the full story here.
There are times in our lives when gratitude feels forced and unnatural. Stories like Celia’s gleam as an inspiration then. Patience and willingness pay off. If it’s hard now, doesn’t mean it’ll be so forever. Give yourself time. Give gratitude time.
In the end, there is no doubt that gratitude does make one a happier person. It is a practice, a skill to be developed, with time and effort. Gratitude is the magic that we can cultivate in our lives and reap the benefits of for years to come.
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