This last year or so has been somewhat of a life overhaul for me. I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself and kind of rediscovering who I am. I have always been a big fan of personal development but the stuff I have been doing is by far some of the most amazing and focused work I have done. I’m a work in progress but I’m seeing big results already.

Watching “The Secret” is really what kicked it all off for me. One of the key messages I took from it was about being grateful for what you have. Remember the old adage, “you will never get what you want unless you are thankful for what you have”?

It is said that people who are grateful tend to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled. I’m not going to go into all the scientific stuff about it but research has proven that gratitude is important to how good we feel. It can increase our positive emotions and decrease the negative ones. Our overall satisfaction with life changes when we have a positive outlook. There has also been proof of the reduction in health complaints with lower stress levels. And it can increase our ability to achieve our goals.

With such amazing results, why do we not do more of it!?! It’s because we tend to instead focus on what is going wrong in our lives, even the smallest things we blow them way out of proportion. Case in point….I used to spend a lot of time making complaints about service or product failures. Do you know how much time and energy that takes? Time I could be spending with Ruby or doing something for me. So I decided that this year I wasn’t going to do it any more. I would just let stuff go over my head. Or better still, as my friend Daniel would say, look within yourself and find the benefits or advantages of what has happened (that’s a whole new blog!).

We rarely spend time thinking about the good things. Being grateful isn’t always our automatic response and we often take the good things in our lives for granted. We have to consciously learn to get into the habit of being grateful.

So how can you get some of this magic happening? It honestly doesn’t take much. Here’s what works for me.

Each night as I lay down to sleep I do what I call ‘my gratitudes’. I think back over my day and remember some of the good things that happened, things that I am in appreciation for. What went well? Did someone give me a hand? Sometimes I even say I am grateful for the roof over my head and the fill of food in my tummy. It can take less than 5 minutes but the change it can bring to your life when done on a daily basis is amazing. Who knows, you may find yourself starting to appreciate the good things more as they happen!

What is something you are grateful for today? Write it down in the comments right now.

Now I challenge you to post 5 days of gratitude on Facebook. Be sure to tag thisdreamlife so we can follow along and be inspired by what you are grateful for.

Go forward and be grateful!

Have fun!

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