Have you ever had a year that you were soo ready to bid adieu to? This past year was like that for me. After major surgery (with complications) in the spring and becoming re-infected with Lyme disease this past fall, I was ready to turn a page to a new calendar year. But I’ve learned how gratitude improves your life, even in the midst of darkness and hard times.
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How Gratitude Improves Your Life
Some might think New Years is just another day, but to me, it’s a fresh start and a new beginning.
And, did I need one after 2015! Maybe you know what I mean?
Have you ever had a year like that?
In the fall I had to resign from my teaching job (that I loved) because I was so sick with untreated Lyme and related illnesses. I’ve been fortunate to teach with awesome educators at our school, which serves children with special needs. I’m grateful for the friends I made there and the opportunity I had to work with great people and amazing kids.
After transitioning from teaching for so many years to being at home, it’s given me the opportunity to be more proactive about improving my health issues. It’s also helped me save my limited energy to enjoy more valuable moments with David and our four kids.
I’m studying and learning so much and doing something I’m passionate about – learning, educating and supporting others who are dealing with similar health crises and/or striving to be the healthiest they can possibly be.
Gratitude For The Gift Of Life
Recently I’ve been reflecting on how grateful I am to be alive…something we were quite concerned about a few short months ago. Chronic Lyme is brutal and there isn’t a cure. So, yes, I’m thankful to be alive.
I’ve also reflected on some of the fun times from the past year, like when David and I wore our I Love My Awesome Husband/I Love My Awesome Wife shirts on our family vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Our kids loved that! ha
(And, yes, I’m aware of the weird side braid in the picture, but we had so much fun with the shirts, and my awesome hubby is so handsome, I just had to share.)
Also, in 2015 our oldest son, Drew graduated from high school in the spring. He started his college career in the fall.
Our son, Cooper, started his Senior year in high school in the fall and plans to graduate this spring. Talk about a busy year!
As you can probably tell, I’m one proud mama. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for them both! Fortunately, having gone through this Senior stuff once should help me know more what to expect the second time around.
The Power Of Gratitude
Through everything that’s happened this past year, I’m grateful for the happy times and celebrations shared with family and friends. Even though there have been many tough times and struggles, focusing on who and what I’m grateful for has been powerful to improve my outlook on life.
I’m thankful to have married such a great guy who loves his family. We celebrated our 22nd anniversary on January 1, so it’s a special day for me for many reasons. We also share this wedding date with my grandparents, who I affectionately called Nanny and Papaw.
I always dreamed of having a big family. My heart overflows with thankfulness and love for my man and our 4 amazing kids. God is good!
God has always provided for us. And He will do the same for you.
Want to start a daily gratitude practice? Check out our Gratitude Wellness Journal by clicking below.
Summary – Embracing Gratitude For A Better Life
Even though 2015 was my toughest year to date, He was there every step of the way. He’s taking care of our family and giving me the strength to get through some of the most difficult times in my life, even when I was stubborn and didn’t cooperate!
In the coming years, with God’s direction, I hope to grow stronger and healthier and plan on doing everything I can to help make that dream a reality.
So I’m starting this year with a heart full of love, joy, and excitement for what is to come, for you and me. I’m hoping that this year will be the best one yet – for both of us!
Benefits Of Gratitude
Practicing gratitude rewires your brain. Being grateful also has some impressive physical and mental benefits – all scientifically proven:
- improves your heart health
- boosts your physical activity
- reduces stress
- promotes a better night’s sleep
- improves your mental health
- reduces aggression
- improves your energy
- improves satisfaction in romantic relationships
- reduces envy
- strengthens your social relationships
More on this in 10 Proven Benefits Of Gratitude.
And here are 20 Easy Ways To Express Gratitude if you need some ideas to get started.
What are some things that have helped you deal with chronic illness, loss, or other difficult times in your life?
Share your thoughts below.
If you enjoyed reading about how gratitude improves your life, you’ll want to check out:
- 10 Tips For Keeping A Gratitude Journal
- 25 Best Thanksgiving Quotes To Inspire Gratitude
- Make The Journey Beautiful: Love And Gratitude
- How To Reduce Holiday Stress Naturally
- 10 Wellness Habits For A Better Life
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