But the most beautiful things in life are not things. They're memories made, places traveled, pictures taken. They're people. They're feelings and moments, smiles and laughter shared together.
What's the point in doing anything in life if we were the only ones here? If it were just you in this world, what you create; who would see it, hear it, or be able to feel it? There would be no pleasure or happiness in your life if no one was around to share it with. It is our contact and experiences with people that truly give our life a meaning and happiness. Because of this fact, the relationships we have with people affect our life more than anything else.
It is vital that you understand how your relationships affect your life and how they are the most important aspect of your life to focus your gratitude in order to achieve the life you desire to have.
In fact, over the last two decades studies have consistently found that people who practice gratitude report fewer symptoms of illness, including depression, more optimism and happiness, have stronger relationships (https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/resources/studies). The most interesting statistic is that for every one complaint you make about another person, whether you think it or say it out-loud, you need to have 10 blessings/things you're grateful for that person for in order for the relationship to flourish. Any less than 10 blessings for one complaint and the relationship has shown to deteriorate. This includes marriages and even friendships.
The point is that having gratitude for your relationships with people makes those relationships flourish. As you increase your gratitude with any relationship you will start to receive an abundance of happiness and good things will happen. Gratitude for your relationships also changes YOU. It gives you more compassion, kindness, patience and understanding. You'll start to see a trend that when you practice gratitude for the people in your life, you will forget about criticizing or complaining about them because you're too focused on thinking about why you're grateful for them. Our words are so powerful that when we complain or criticize someone else, it is actually doing harm to us because we're creating a negative energy and by the law of attraction, whatever we think or say about someone else will come back to us.
So today's challenge you will focus on being grateful for people just as they are. If you did yesterday's challenge exercise, you probably already thought about the 3 people in your life you are closest to. If not, right now think about the 3 people in your life who you are closest to. Make sure you can find a picture of each person to look at.
Once you've decided on your 3 people and have a picture of each of them, sit down and think about the things you are most grateful for about each person. What do you love most about them? Once you've thought about it for a little while, start by looking at a the picture of your first person and write down the 3 things you're most grateful for about them. Begin each sentence with "Thank you" and address them by their name. Here's an example of something you might write if you picked your mom as one of your people: "Thank you Mom for always supporting my dreams even when I didn't believe in myself."
Do the same thing for each person you've picked. I've created a worksheet you can use to write down your 3 Thank yous for each person here.
When you've finished with your lists, keep the photos with you for a day; somewhere you can see them throughout your day. When you look at their pictures say "thank you" or "I'm grateful you're in my life".
Although we only selected 3 people for our challenge exercise tonight, I wanted to share this concept with you so you can practice it with every relationship in your life. I've gotten to the point where I don't need a picture any more. Before I go to bed every night I visualize each person and say a few things I'm grateful for about them. This is something you can eventually do too, once you form a habit.
The more you're grateful for the good things in your relationships, the more good will come to you in those relationship, and the faster every relationship in your life will change.
Remember, in addition to this relationship gratitude exercise, do the following today:
1. Make a list of the 10 things you're grateful for and why: Gratitude Worksheet
2. Before you go to sleep tonight, pick up and hold your gratitude object and think about the good things that happened during your day today, and pick the best thing that happened and say THANK YOU!