Living a Life of Gratitude Will Transform Your Life

Lately I have begun a practice at the end of the day, where I sit quietly, with no distractions, and think about what I’m grateful for and the people I’m grateful to have in my life.

This new approach has really changed how I view my life, and, at the end of the day, how I live it.

And why is that really? Why should the simple act of pondering about who and what I’m grateful for make such a big difference in my life?

Because gratitude can take any negative and turn it into a positive.

And often by finding a way to be thankful for our troubles, they can become blessings for us.

Not convinced?

Perhaps I am having problems with my job. Well, on the flip side, I can actually be grateful that I have a job at all. I can be grateful that I have challenges because I can learn from these challenges. I can be thankful because even if I’m not fully aware of it, they’re helping to make me a stronger person. Perhaps even a more virtuous person.

Gratitude also helps to remind us what is truly important. Doesn’t it seem perhaps a bit trite to complain about little things, especially when we’re alive and cared for, when so many people are dying and helpless? Should I really be so stressed out about money, realizing that I actually have a roof over my head and food to eat?

And have you ever noticed that when you decide to focus on the good with a heart full of gratitude that it helps to make you happier, even when life is tough and challenging?

What do I Have Gratitude For?

For me personally, I have so much to be grateful for.

I am grateful for all the readers of this site, for the encouragement you have given me, for the emails you send to me, and most importantly, the prayers you have bestowed upon me and my family.

I am grateful that even though my mother is dying, I have two amazing friends that are helping me to care for her, so she can remain at home.

I am grateful that even though I’m currently unable to have a full-time job, that I am able to sufficiently pay my bills, and not be employed in a work environment that is negative, worldly or toxic.

I am grateful for all of my friends and family, and for all that they do for me.

I am grateful for complete strangers that have shown me little acts of kindness.

And last but not least, I am grateful to God, for the life He’s given me.

How to Live a Life of Gratitude

When you think about it, simple acts of gratitude cost you nothing, but the effects of gratitude in your life make such a huge difference.

God has given each of us so much, if we only choose to take the time to recognize it. And we owe it to God to recognize these gifts and to be grateful.

An ungrateful person will never use or understand God’s gifts as well as he should and he will complain often – missing all the blessings that God is giving to him. And it’s only when we keep our eyes on God and all that He has given to us, that we will make the best use of His gifts.

And this gratitude shouldn’t end with only what “feels” good to us. Let your gratitude extend to all things in life, even to the less pleasant and even the more difficult things, which God allows us to experience. Because He has planned each of our lives with His wisdom and love. Nothing is by accident. And everything we receive in life is meant to help us to grow closer to God.

If I began to count the all of the things that I owe to God, I would never finish counting, because each added moment of life is another gift.

Gratitude keeps our hearts humble, it helps us to see everything as a gift from God and helps us to focus our lives on others – versus always thinking of ourselves.

Always keep gratitude in your heart – never let it fade away. It will change everything.

Alan Scott

By

Alan Scott is a writer and graphic designer residing in Virginia. A former Agnostic, he converted to the Catholic faith in 2004. In 2014 he started his blog GrowInVirtue.com, and is the author of The Quest for Virtue, both which focus on growing in holiness, by attempting to live a life more simple and virtuous, a life that is lived for God. When he’s not writing or designing, you’ll find him, hands dirty, in his garden. You can find him on Facebook, too.

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  • Viki63

    Thank you for this reminder. My favorite verse: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” It really does make a difference, as you point out.

  • Barbara West

    Wow! I can’t believe I found this site! I don’t know anything about social media so I don’t know where I am – BUT I bookmarked it so I can get back. This piece on gratitude is just what I needed. Just back from a counselor who is trying to help me out of depression and negative thinking. I’ve been looking for ways through Catholicism. Not much there or I’m just not finding it. This is great! I’ll be back. (I don’t know what the up and down arrows are. If pointing up is for good – then that’s the one I want).

  • Michael J. Lichens

    The up arrow is good, indeed. And thank you so much for your comment! As a fellow Catholic who is also working through depression, I really try to give the resources that I wanted when I first started out. It warms my heart that we succeed, every once in a while. Best of luck and know of my prayers for you, Barbara!

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