Posted by : Amanda Stein Sunday, May 25, 2014

One of the hardest lessons I have ever learned is to foster the ability to show gratitude even in the worst of times. No, it's not always easy. Somewhere along the line, you have to make the decision to pick yourself up of the ground, shake the dust off and show gratitude for not being in a worse circumstance than the one you're in. I've learned throughout the years that gratitude is a way of life. A way of living in which every day, every moment is a beautiful gift. With this attitude of gratitude, every blue sky looks brighter and every moment I spend in the company of friends is happier.

Remember before when I said it wasn't easy? 

That's right, showing gratitude is not an easy task. There are times when even those with the happiest of hearts find themselves in the midst of absolute despair and there is nothing wrong with that. Whether it be grief from the loss of a job, the loss of someone you love or a change in circumstance, everyone goes through moments of grief. Grieving is a natural process. A process which needs to run its course. Don't try to rush the process. Grieve and understand that you will feel better soon enough.

While being in these dark moments is the perfect time to teach yourself to appreciate all of the things you have been blessed with in life. If you have a hard time remembering the things you should be grateful for, grab a pen and paper and make a list each morning when you wake up and each night before you go to bed. Pretty soon, you'll find yourself incorporating thankfulness into every moment of the day.

Why is gratitude so important? 

I have met a lot of people in my life. Some good, some not so much, but despite their downfalls, I appreciate each and everyone. Why? Many have brought me tears, but I stand tall as the person I am today based upon the impact each one has had on my life. For that, I am truly grateful. This is the perspective of gratitude. While we may not be happy with every situation or every decision made, being thankful allows a person to let go of the anger, the sadness and the feelings of unhappiness. Replacing those feelings with a feeling of peace.

What is a person like without gratitude?

People who lack a spirit of gratitude live a life of unfulfillment, always searching for the something to fulfill their longing. No possession, no amount of money, no location will every 'complete' a person or make them fill full. Being happy takes peace and for peace, gratitude. No, I may not always make the right decisions, no I may never live in a mansion or drive a fast car, but I have made the decision to be thankful for my life.

How will my gratitude affect others? 

Living a life full of gratitude changes the way you treat the people around you. In part, due to finding a true appreaciation for the life you have and the person you are. Life if good, so why not share your joy with others?

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