Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

4 Reasons to Feel Gratitude

Remember: The only thing you can count on is change. Why not for the better?

Source: mimagephotography/Shutterstock

This has been a difficult year for many people, myself included. I’m getting through it because I sought good counsel, have supportive friends, and continue to count my blessings. I love the holiday season because it reminds us of all that makes us grateful, despite the temporary setbacks life can hand us all.

If you have your health, be happy. Millions don’t, and those of us who still do need to treasure it and do all we can to maintain it. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that this really is the most important thing in life. Without it, the struggle to move forward is amplified, but even those with major health issues can find reasons to be grateful—a loving family, caring doctors and nurses, and hope for the future are just a few.

If you have a family or friends who love you, feel the joy. There are many who have no one. That kind of loneliness is depressing, and at this time of year, the sadness can get worse as you compare your life with the that of others around you. This is where you have to take care of yourself by breaking out of your shell and reaching out to others. A great way to do this is by volunteering in your community. You will not only make a difference to people who need your help, but you will also meet others who are caring and perhaps in need of some company as well.

If you feel you have lost everything, it’s time to reevaluate. You can lose your job, your spouse, even your dog. Any of those losses can make you feel that life is not worth living, but that is wrong. The real truth is that no matter how little you think you have, there are millions of others with less. Look at what you’ve got and try to appreciate it. If you think what you are going through is the worst, imagine being in a refugee camp. Imagine living in the dirt, and standing in line all day for water and a little rice. Now, really, how bad do you have it? If you are reading this, your life is better than most of the people on the planet.

If you hate your life right now, trust that things will change. In fact, the only thing you can count on is change—it’s the only constant in the universe. Hate your commute? Well, what if you didn’t have a job to go to, a car to get there with, and money to put gas in the tank? You have to keep things in perspective and be grateful for what you have. All of us have paid our dues and worked with people we didn’t like. It is just part of life, and I promise you that things will change again in short order. If you have it in your head that you need to do something different, you have begun the process of change.

I have a beautiful sign above my chair that only my clients can see. It spells out the word GRATITUDE in pictures of letters from old neon signs. Everyone says something about it. Mostly they are grateful for the reminder. It’s easy to forget that we have so much for which to be thankful.