Submitted by Nellie J
I was in a turbulent period of my life before I started to use the Gratitude app from a mental/physical health, career, and relationship perspective. I had gone through a divorce after more than a decade of marriage and was navigating how to live a different kind of life where I was on my own. All in one day in late 2019, I went through a biopsy and was told my position at work was no longer going to continue through the end of the year. I felt very much alone and didn't really understand why these things were happening, My initial reaction to all that had happened was an out-of-body experience as I did not want to physically deal with the challenges ahead of me. I was quite anxious about the future already and then a couple of months later like most people around the world, we went into lockdown during the height of COVID.
I always knew about gratitude and the benefits of daily practice but it would never stick. I would start and then give up when I felt I was too busy or I would do it because it was something I needed to do for the sake of doing it. I also thought I'll do gratitude in my head and thought "That's fine" but I found that it wasn't a good way of feeling thankful.
One day, I decided to make gratitude a daily habit- I wanted to start writing or typing things down because I had to find meaning in all the challenges I was facing. If I could practice several times a day with lots of feeling behind it, I hoped I would be able to find the good in all that was happening. Otherwise, I would continue to feel bad about myself and the world around me. I did a quick search through gratitude apps and found this one. Immediately, I liked the look of it as well as functionality and put in a reminder for every few hours to take a moment to feel gratitude so that for the day I would have at least 5 things to be grateful for. Every morning, I wake up and do my meditations and then reach for the gratitude app to start the first gratitude. I don't just write what I'm grateful for but why I'm grateful and how it has affected my life. I used to put just one or few words but now I try to go on a rampage of why this person, place, thing, event has benefited me or has affected my life for the better.
This practice has enabled me to get into a different mindset, control the thoughts of lack and expectations of how things should be. With daily practice, I became happier and noticed that the questions of why things were happening were morphing into realizations that everything that has happened was the perfect thing to happen for a specific reason unbeknownst to me. It's only when we give events some space that we can come to better conclusions or realizations, which the app helped a great deal. My life after the divorce made me realize what a strong person I am on my own, the health scare (biopsy was negative for cancer) enabled me to take more control over my health and fitness and the layoff enabled me to get into the next role where I am more fulfilled work-wise and around like-minded people. It's always difficult facing a new challenge but I would always like to remember that I got through the other side of a lot of life changes. Everything is perfect, the difficult things are perfect, the best times are perfect, even we are perfect despite what we might think at times. We are always developing into better versions of ourselves when we can see the good in our lives and I intend to continue this practice. I hope this inspires someone to do the same.