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Thankful and Grateful — the Awesome Benefits of Gratitude

Today, I’m thankful and grateful for so much in my life.

From my own lived experience, being a person who has struggled with drug addiction for half of his life, I can say that gratitude is one of the single most important things that helps keep me sober.

Being grateful can literally completely retune your frequency in a matter of seconds. Everything is energy, and we attract the vibrations that we put out. Gratitude is the most efficient way to get your frequency vibing at the level known to man as “abundance.”

Here is what gratitude is, what the difference is between being thankful and grateful, and why you should probably start implementing it in your life immediately — and if you already are, then I hope you’ll read this and decide to double down on your efforts.

What’s the Difference Between Thankful and Grateful? And What Is Gratitude Exactly?

Thankful and grateful can often be confusing to differentiate.

Webster’s definition of gratitude is as follows: “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”

The easiest way I could possibly differentiate the two words is that being thankful is a feeling and being grateful is an action.

Still kinda confusing, I know, but basically, they’re synonyms.

You would be surprised if I spent the next few pages explaining ALL of the health benefits that come directly from practicing gratitude on a daily basis. It has impressed scholars, spiritual leaders, and scientists throughout the centuries of human existence with how powerful it can truly be.

I really couldn’t stay sober until gratitude was something that I fully had a grasp on. When I was actually seeking a grateful heart in times where sometimes it was just literally one breath or one second at a time, things started to get better.

Gratitude served as an anchor for me in the early days of my sobriety. It kept me sane and kept my mind free and heart rid of spiritual sickness.

Alcoholism is a disease that requires a spiritual solution, which is why the rooms of AA are so good at keeping people sober who have truly hit bottom. There is a big difference between getting and staying sober.

I’m not a scientist, but I can tell you that I have been thrown all kinds of medications for “mental health,” and nothing could remotely compare to the impact gratitude has had on my brain. 

That’s my personal take on gratitude — it just makes a person happier. 

Putting Gratitude to the Test and Its Inevitable Benefits

In treatment, often therapists want you to practice being thankful and grateful. They will have people begin to write in a gratitude journal every night before bedtime. Write down 5 things that you are grateful for and why. Doing this will ensure these results listed here that I found from positivepsycology.com.

Starting us off, we have what I’ve touched on:

  • Increased happiness and positive mood
  • More satisfaction with life
  • Becoming less materialistic
  • Being less likely to experience burnout
  • Having better physical health
  • Getting better sleep
  • Having less fatigue
  • Having lower levels of cellular inflammation
  • Having greater resiliency
  • Developing patience, humility, and wisdom

I developed an unappreciative attitude towards life due to negativity that I have the tendency to bring upon myself without meaning to.

When all you’re thinking about is how you’re going to score the next hit, you are robbed from getting to bask in all of the beauty that God brings us every day, which is a concept that I was taught as a kid but would unfortunately start to take for granted.

I took for granted the fact that I always seemed to survive near-fatal instances that have happened enough times I can count on two hands. I reached a mindset out of ignorance and naivety where I believed I was invincible. 

Thank God I was humbled by the consequences that come along with losing everything and was reminded of the essence of being thankful and grateful. 

Being more satisfied with life means that you’re waking up in the morning feeling refreshed and inspired.

You’re maintaining positive relationships with other people who are healthy and constantly working to improve themselves.

You have a much more successful relationship. It dramatically lessens the chances of promiscuity between couples who have been brave in making a lifetime commitment.

How I Learned to Be Thankful and Grateful

I would like to give a personal testimony of something that has been very helpful in my life. From the multiple times I went to treatment, there were various tools that you learn, and a lot of them are the same stuff that you would learn at a treatment center.

I have been to treatment 6 times. Of the 6, 4 different treatment centers implemented this same practice in their program. 

Every night, each person would get out a gratitude journal. We would write down in the journal 5 specific things that we were grateful for and why we were grateful for those things. 

I can promise you that if you start doing this every night before you go to bed, you will wake up feeling so much more positive and at peace, especially if you deal with chronic anxiety and/or depression. 

There is a reason why so many different treatment centers have their clients practice this and how much it helps a person maintain recovery, assuming they continue to practice the tools that were learned in treatment. 

Treatment is definitely not a one-time fix-all kind of thing. If you are struggling with addiction, I definitely recommend going to treatment and getting separated from whatever your drug of choice is and start to learn why you use and what the way out looks like.

Treatment is a huge first step in the right direction and must be continued for the rest of that person’s life if they want to have a life of abundance instead of being a slave to a substance of behavior.

I have said that gratitude is one of the most efficient ways to align yourself with the vibration of abundance. I feel like this is the frequency in which God operates, and once you get a taste of God’s power, it’s hard to continue to be tricked by the things of this world. 

There is always a reason to complain, especially with how the world is right now.

However, that is not how God wants us to live. We are called to be the Light of the World. We still have so many things to be grateful for, and God will always pave a way as long as we keep our hearts and minds focused on righteousness instead of being self-serving and worldly. 

Gratitude Is My Anchor

Even in these crazy times, it is amazing all of the little miracles I get to notice from day to day, things that I would be simply cut off from or blind to if I was still living my life the way I was before I finally hit my knees and surrendered.

Gratitude has continued to be my anchor through thick and thin.

It’s always humbling to be able to share my experience with someone, and I really just encourage you to give gratitude a try and get a journal and start writing every night.

Have you found that being thankful and grateful has helped you have a better life? If so, let me know in the comments.

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Ryan Henderson

Ryan Henderson is a magician and mental health advocate.

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