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  • Writer's pictureMaria A. Mansfield

Gratitude Will Change You

When I think of all the Holidays, one of my favorites is Thanksgiving! I love how we gather to celebrate and be grateful for the blessings we've received. Gratitude gives us hope, energy, joy to face the day, and a general sense of satisfaction with our life. As a Life Coach, what would your answers be if I asked you about gratitude in your life? I wrote mine. I hope they inspire and encourage someone today.

-What does Thanksgiving and being grateful mean to you?

For me being grateful is about remembering all the ways God's blessed us. It's being aware and thankful for our life, the ones we love, and the opportunities that life gives us to love, serve, succeed, and learn. Gratitude gives me a more objective perspective on my life circumstances. It helps me release worry and see the best in each day.

-Why is being grateful so important? Gratitude changes you for the better.

Gratitude brings out the best in us. It improves how we show up to life by developing a positive attitude toward ourselves that tends to elevate everything we do. Being grateful makes us happier, less stressed, and more optimistic. It makes us focus on what's right in our life and extends grace to the areas we're still improving.

Gratitude helps us be at peace with our past and be more present now. It also helps us accept what is and what we cannot change. Gratitude produces resilience when we face challenges. Being grateful helps us live in hope and not fear. Thankfulness attracts good things into our life. It opens doors to better opportunities. Being thankful focuses on the glass half full. It changes our negative mindset and view on things. You can’t be grateful and complain at the same time. They don’t inhabit the same emotional space.

-How do you express gratitude?

Most of us express gratitude differently. We write in a gratitude journal or write thank you notes. We give a gift or validation to someone kind. We might prefer a prayer under our breath or a meditation. Every way we express gratitude is valid if sincere. I personally practice these on different occasions. Which other ones do you tend to do?

-What are ways to feel grateful?

-Being grateful for my husband and our sons. The boys are the best part of us!

-By thinking how blessed I am for our extended family, friends, and our dog Wilson.

-Being grateful even for the ones we've lost. For all the years we shared together.

-Remembering to not give anything or anyone for granted.

-Understanding that the most essential things in life are not things.

-Thankful for life experiences, lessons learned, and ways to help and inspire others.

-Feeling appreciative of all we have -and loving it all over again.

-Being aware we have more to be grateful for than what's missing.

-Recognizing someone who did something kind for me -and telling them.

-Being humble about what I've achieved and thankful for all the help along the way.

-Being grateful for life, health, the years we've lived, and the time we still have left.

-Having the awareness that less is more! Because more is always more work, extra expenses, more maintenance, extra space, and worse yet, -more stress!

-But how do we stay grateful in adversity?

It's easier to feel gratitude when things are going well. When we face difficulties, although uncomfortable, these experiences forge values in us that can only be learned in the School of Life. How would we develop principles like resilience, grit, patience, flexibility, creativity, self-discipline, commitment, to name a few? These values are the ones we're grateful for above all. Not for what happened to us, but what happened in us, the transformation that took place to make us better versions of ourselves.

-Gratitude also keeps us humble.

It reminds us of the times someone gave us grace for our mistakes. When they overlooked the offense. When they didn't even mention it anymore. Or the time we were granted another chance, a fresh start, a brand new opportunity. -Maybe the next time someone offends us, we can be humble enough to extend them that same grace.

-Being thankful reminds us that every good gift is from above.

When I stop and take stock of all my blessings, I try not to miss how God's helped me throughout life. When looking at everything we've been able to be, do, see, have, accomplish and overcome, let's not miss how God provided for us. I know sometimes they look like they are on our efforts, sheer luck or coincidences. But are they? Could’ve we orchestrated every detail in our life for the "coincidences" to happen? Did we honestly learn everything on our own? We may forget how much help we had from others who invested time in teaching us many of the concepts and abilities we have.

So this Thanksgiving, what will you be grateful for?

Gratitude doesn't need to be something we do once a year. It can be a lifestyle. Thinking about what you're grateful for often changes you for the better. I know because it changed me..

All my best, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Maria A. Mansfield

Author and Certified Life Coach

”Life Is Worth Getting Better”

”Honoring Your Recovery”

”Tu Vida Merece que Te Mejores”


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