I Changed My Life for the Better by Practicing Gratitude
If you’ve been reading my columns, many of you already know that gratitude is near and dear to me. It is a major part of my life, and I practice it every day. For me, it’s not a mindset, but rather a lifestyle one chooses to live.
Because November is National Gratitude Month, I thought I’d share with you this week some of the lessons I’ve learned about practicing it.
Gratitude is a lifestyle
It wasn’t easy to practice gratitude every day. After I was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease in 2015 and had transsphenoidal and gamma knife procedures to remove a pituitary tumor, I assumed everything would be OK, and that I’d go back to being normal. My assumption was wrong, and I began to notice that I’d become a bitter person because things weren’t going back to how they used to be.
I was carrying extra weight, which wasn’t normal for me. I had ongoing aches and pains, and readjusting to a new life was difficult for me to accept. I didn’t understand that I should’ve been grateful for a sound mind and the unrestricted use of my limbs.
One day, while walking my dogs, I was listening to a discussion about gratitude by Dr. Tony Evans. It challenged me and forced me to take a long, hard, honest look at myself. I needed to remember some of the values instilled in me when I was young. I have a supportive spouse and parents, yet I’d heard the stories of other people’s struggles with Cushing’s disease. Some had no one to support them, their spouses had left them, and they didn’t have family to turn to. I didn’t face any of these problems, yet I couldn’t see past my own selfishness.
What gratitude taught me
Once I decided to start practicing gratitude daily, my perspective began to change. My mood improved, and I began to approach situations differently. Instead of viewing situations negatively, I started to see them as opportunities.
This led me to practicing the concept of sowing and reaping, which I learned, along with my brother, from my parents. They didn’t just talk the talk, but rather they demonstrated this concept to us. But it wasn’t until I was older and had my own experiences that I understood what it meant.
Let me explain. When I was consumed by my own pity, my harvest in life was rotten, because everything I was sowing was negative. Instead, I started to dedicate my time to helping others. Since I started doing this, so many different doors of opportunity have opened up for me, both in my career and my personal life.
The challenge I present to you now is to start practicing gratitude until it becomes a part of your daily activities. Take note of the difference it will make in your life.
Have you made an intentional effort to practice gratitude? Please share in the comments below.
Note: Cushing’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cushing’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Cushing’s.