4 ways to use Gratitude to change your life

4 ways to use Gratitude
to change your life!

gratitude, fall, self help,

Last Sunday I taught a lesson 
in Relief Society at church on Gratitude.
I loved researching for this lesson.
I found so many great things that I want to share!!

At this time of year
we are inundated
with all things Gratitude.

It can be an overused word or phrase.
But I think the reason we hear so much about it
is because Gratitude is VERY powerful.

Life is not easy!
Sometimes in life we don't like the cards we are dealt.
Some haven't been dealt the children cards.
Some haven't been dealt the marriage cards.
Some have been dealt illness cards.
And some are even dealt death cards.

It can be so easy to compare our cards
with the cards in another's hand.
Especially when it seems they have all
of the 'good' cards.  
Often, we fail to see the good cards
we are holding.
And no matter what is in our hands right now,
we can choose to be grateful.
Because cards change.  
What we have now, may not be what
we will have in 2 months, 2 years or in 10.

So how can we be happy now
even if our life circumstances aren't perfect?
It's a simple (but not easy) mindset

Gratitude can have a significant positive
influence on our physical and mental health, 
but like other healthy habits, 
even though we know it's good for us, 
we often struggle to practice it consistently.
-Sharon Martin LCSW

So can we have more Gratitude?

1.  Stop Looking for What's Wrong

It's easier to focus on our imperfections, our problems
and what we don't have,
especially in the world we live now.  
On the news there's no shortage of stories 
of violence, political divisiveness
and all sorts of issues.
Add in the stress of finances, difficult relationships,
busy schedules and that's a recipe for a negative mind!

It is possible to find the good, but until it's a habit,
we have to work extra hard to find it
in ourselves and in the people around us.

You can train your mind to see the good!
Remember that there is always something in your life that's right.
Be Grateful for it!

2.  Stop Comparing

We are inundated with information.
There's so many beautiful things to see on social media,
tv, movies, magazines, etc.

Don't forget that most people talk or post about the
highlights of their life.
They aren't posting about their late bills,
their child that is having trouble at school,
or the big fight they got in with their husband last night.
We only see the pretty and polished stuff.

We have a tendency to compare
our behind the scenes
to someone else's highlight reel.

We compare that we aren't as skinny as that person,
or as rich as that person.
We wish we had it as easy as someone else.
If we let it, those thoughts can lead to feelings of inadequacy.

We don't take into consideration that EVERYONE
has struggles.
We are looking at 'their good cards' instead of 
being Grateful for the hand we have!

3.  Write Down Positives

Having a gratitude mindset isn't easy.
Especially if you've gotten into a bad habit
of noticing and complaining about everything that's wrong in your life.

Gratitude is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to be
like and celebrating it for what it is.

You will have to retrain your brain.
The best way to do that is to write down DAILY
the things you are grateful for.
Even if you've had a bad day.
Even if you are exhausted.
Even if you're sick.

Keep a journal by your bed and at the end of each day
(or whenever you're thinking of it)
write down 3 things you're grateful for!
It can be as simple as having a bed to sleep in,
or having a warm husband to stick your cold feet on,
or the beautiful fall scenery outside.

I love this saying-
"You'll never change your life
until you change something you do daily.
The secret of your success is found in your daily routine."

Write down what you are grateful for every day!

4.  You are Responsible for your Happiness

You will never be happy if
you're always waiting for something to happen.
"I will be happy when we don't have any debt."
"I can be happy once I heal from this illness."
"I will be happy if my kids just act the way I ask them to."

You are putting your happiness power outside of yourself.
Life is never going to be 100% perfect.

There are ways to be happy right now
in the circumstances you are in.
And that is being grateful!

Gratitude doesn't mean we pretend we don't
have trials.  And we can't "be grateful" our way
out of serious mental or physical illness.
But we can focus on gratitude to think outside 
of ourselves and the situations we are in.

be grateful, cards, cookies, RS handout, relief society
These are the handouts I made for my Relief Society lesson.

Earlier this year I made a serious effort to have
more gratitude!
I was spiraling down in a negative way.
I was having a hard time seeing all the good in my life.
I was angry, grumpy, sad, frustrated and unhappy.

After deciding I wasn't going to live like that anymore,
I set a goal to write down things I was grateful for
to help me stop concentrating on everything I didn't have.

While I'm not 100% happy all of the time now- no one is.
I am overall a much happier person.
I still get down, angry, grumpy, sad and frustrated.
But I know I have the power to make those feelings temporary.
I have the power to be happy!
Changing my attitude about gratitude,
truly changed my life.


Always remember to be grateful
for the cards in your hand!
It will change your life too!