Time heals all wounds. This old saying might sound hopeful, but it is not true. What heals our wounds are the things we DO while the said time passes.
In the same manner, positive thinking doesn’t magically create abundance. It is again, what we do, how we act, how we interpret occurrences in our lives, that makes us manifest more abundance.
However, one thing is certain – abundance and gratitude are closely related. Abundant man doesn’t have to be grateful for what he possesses, but the man who is grateful is always abundant.
Gratitude has the power to improve our lives tremendously, almost miraculously. Robert Emmons, psychology professor, and leading gratitude researcher conducted numerous studies with his team. During their efforts to define gratitude and determine the effects it could have on people’s lives, they found that it opens the door to new relationships and life opportunities and improves not just our physical but also psychological health (decreasing the number of pains, aches and depression, increasing happiness, empathy and self-esteem, improving sleep, helps overcoming stress and trauma). (1)
With that in mind, taking the first step in 2019 with a bag full of thanks on your shoulder seems like a good idea. When you turn around and take a good look at 2018, you will probably find a lot of things to be grateful for. However, let’s explain that relationship between counting blessings and manifesting abundance once more.
Gratitude = Abundance?
Let’s do a quick exercise.
Close your eyes. Relax. Take a few deep breaths.
Imagine yourself at the start of 2018. Start rolling the time through the year. Try to remember as many events as possible. Even though we talked about counting your blessings, for the purpose of this exercise take a good look at everything that happened in last 365 days. Both positive and negative. Gains and losses. Happiness, enjoyment, fear, sadness, anger. Everything. Go slowly, month by month.
When you reach the end of the year, stop. Breathe in. Breathe out and open your eyes.
Now, you have a choice. You can choose to be thankful for all of the things you gained throughout this year, or you can focus on the things that are lacking and magnify the problems.
People who know how to express gratitude are the ones who choose to embrace the things they have in the present, instead of dwelling on what they don’t have, what they could have or what they lost. They are thankful for all of their experiences, as they learn something valuable from every one of them. For that reason, they are at peace with who they are, and that is how they manifest abundance.
Gratitude helps us clarify our values and intentions and therefore gives us an opportunity to calculate our resources and invest them in what really matters to us. Once you count your blessings, meaning becomes clear.
Of course, abundance isn’t just about material wealth, but it includes it as well. People who express gratitude know what makes them happy, what fulfills their dreams and where they should invest their energy, time and money. This gives them the opportunity to increase their self-worth and net-worth at the same time. Also, as gratitude promotes social relationships, they have no problem connecting and collaborating with like-minded individuals. They don’t see them as competitors but assets to their personal and mutual success.
At last, what makes grateful people abundant at every moment is the fact that they don’t wait for huge, significant success to celebrate it. They appreciate and celebrate each step of their journey. (2)
How to count your blessings?
Did you take participation in our 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge Course this year? If you did, it might be a good idea to revisit your journal. It might sparkle some memories you forgot about during the past few months. However, even if you didn’t do a challenge, you shouldn’t worry, now is the perfect time to count your blessings. Take a few papers and a pen; you will be doing some writing.
Be grateful for the little things
Write down at least five little things that made this year better for you. Focus on simple enjoyments, like the sun on your skin or a sneaker full of rain on a warm summer day, the scent of a fresh bagel early in the morning, really anything that made everyday life during 2018 better. Once you list them out, write down how each of these things improved your life, what changed because of it. (3)
Remember a huge success
Now, focus on the most significant and most meaningful success you had this year. It can be work-related, love related, health-related, whatever you want. Write it down and describe in few short sentences how it happened. How did you feel before, during and after it? How would you feel if it didn’t happen? How did it change your life? Were you alone in this situation? If not, who was with you? Did they share your happiness? What did you do to celebrate it? Evoke all of the positive emotions and enjoy them once again.
Remember a painful failure
Let’s change the perspective. Try and remember the most painful loss or crash that happened to you this year. Again, it doesn’t matter in which aspect of life it occurred, it is only essential that it was significant. Write it down and describe it. If the same emotions come back, let them. Why was this loss so significant to you in particular? Was someone with you to share your sorrow? What did you learn from it – about yourself, life and other people? What did you do to overcome it? In which ways did it make you a better person today? (4)
Be grateful for close people
Now, list out the people you felt the closest to in 2017. Who are they? What kind of relationship do you have with them? How did you meet? In which ways do they make your life better? What do you love the most about them? Which memories from 2017 with them do you cherish the most? Once you are done writing, do something nice for those people. Tell them what they mean to you, write them thank you letter, hug them, find a way to express your appreciation.
Be grateful for kindness
Try and remember a few random acts of kindness you received from complete strangers during this year. Write them down. Write how did you feel in each situation? Why did it surprise you? Would you do the same for someone you don’t personally know? Did it change the outlook you have at world and humanity? Give back. Do something nice for a stranger, without expecting anything in return. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, something simple but heartwarming will be enough.
Be grateful for coincidence
Many great things happen by coincidence. Some people believe it was destiny; some think it was the will of God or any other Higher Power. Whatever it was, it happened completely out of your control, and it was in some way meaningful. Write down those situations that occurred during 2017. What was special about them? What did they change in that day or perhaps your entire life? Were they pleasant or unpleasant? Did you tell anyone about them? How did they make you feel? How are they the source of your gratitude?
2019 Abundance flows…
If you have any other ideas on events, you should add to your blessing count, don’t hesitate to do it, the more grateful you are, the more abundant you will be. Life is full of fortunes if we are lucky enough to recognize them, and those who wear gratitude glasses, have the power to see them everywhere they go. To kick 2019 off with real gratitude for this life you have right now, join us for the 30 Days of Healthy Challenge! Our Co-Founder Matt Prindle is spending 30 days in the Blue Zone of Costa Rica where some of the world’s longest living people share their simple recipes for living healthy every day.