Feeling grateful improves your life

Practice gratitude no matter how much you’re hurting

Have you noticed that almost every prayer begins with thanks? Even in the worst of times humans have always been grateful. This past year has brought so much tragedy to so many millions of lives all over the planet, and yet you can see the rebirth of spring all around you. Nature can inspire you to be grateful. Animals, people who are courageous and serve others no matter how perilous to themselves can fill you with appreciation.

When you practice gratitude something magical happens in your brain

There is plenty of research to show that when you are bitter and angry your receive bitterness and resentment in return, but when gratitude and serenity are part of your daily practice, you get love and kindness in return. Well, maybe not from everybody.

Gratitude grieving also has its place right now when we have all lost so much


Feeling gratitude when you’re mourning a loss is especially challenging. Gratitude grieving is counter-intuitive, yet honors the ones who are gone. Two years ago, my parents died nine weeks apart. The amount of healing it takes to work through this level of grief can at times be overwhelming. During holidays it’s even more painful because of the joy I used to feel with my parents and now see others celebrating. Grieving and gratitude come together for me when I appreciate what is here for me right now.

What Is Gratitude Grieving

Struggling to stay present and aware of what’s here for me right now often trades places with feeling lost and alone. My tough exterior belies the weakness and lack of security that can isolate me from others, if I’m not careful. It’s a balancing act, and one that I’m  tired of trying to equalize. It’s hard to be grateful when you’re sad as these two emotions are on opposite sides of the spectrum, yet gratitude grieving keeps you positive when you feel sad.


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Haley Laferney
Haley Laferney is the Graphic Designer at Reach Out Recovery and a graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design. She is also a gold and silver ADDY award winner.

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