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4 Lessons Learned by Writing 1,024 Gratitude Lists

Author and blogger Chris Winfield shares his thoughts on gratitude:

“Why did this have to happen to me?” It didn’t matter if it was something big (my dog gets cancer, good friend dies) or something little (flight is delayed, spilled something on my shirt). I was in a constant state of “poor me.” This all started to change once I began writing a gratitude list every single day for the past 34+ months and it has changed my life profoundly. Here are the 4 most important things I’ve learned on my gratitude journey:

1. It’s Hard at First: My mentor told me to text him three things that I am grateful for every day. Sounds pretty easy right? Well, it wasn’t. When you’ve lived most of your life not focusing on gratitude, it’s not so simple to change that.

2. There Is Always Something to Be Grateful For: No matter what was going on in my life (business problems, I was sick, someone cut me off in traffic) there was always something that I could find to be grateful for (my health, my daughter’s smile, etc.).

3. Gratitude Grows the More You Use It: My gratitude lists started off very basic and I struggled to find things to be grateful for (especially on the really tough days). But once I consistently took action, it became easier and easier.

4. It Can Help Stop Negative Thought Patterns: According to the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, the average person has about 70,000 thoughts each day! There’s one big problem with this — the vast majority of these thoughts are negative. Gratitude can work to stop these negative thought patterns by replacing it with something positive.

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