Deal With Stress

The Best Kept Secret to Stress Relief: Gratitude

gratitude“It’s not happy people who are thankful, it’s thankful people who are happy.” ~ Author unknown

Over the past several years, because of my desire to find answers for things I had going on in my life and because I was pursuing professional coaching certifications, I spent a lot of time studying personal development, human potential, and the art of stress-free living.

First, I discovered that stress-free living does not have to be an art. It can be a simple and precious part of daily living.

And, what I found most engaging and powerful is that it’s really not about avoiding outside circumstances and the world around us that keeps us stress-free.

Instead, a major part of it is having a deep understanding of the power of gratitude and sincerely expressing it in our everyday lives.

Let me give you an example.

Have you ever noticed how often times when you’re complaining about some little thing going on in your life you cross paths with someone that is surely in a much worse situation than you and you immediately recognize it?

Did you answer that question yes and perhaps have a flashback to one of those experiences that happened to you?

When you saw that person, was it like a slap in the face to wake up? Did your thoughts immediately change to noticing that what you’re complaining about or stressing about is nothing compared to what that person is dealing with?

Did you suddenly feel foolish for complaining and also feel a deep and immediate sense of gratitude for how very fortunate you are in every area of your life?

And did your stress diminish almost immediately and did you vow to remember how very fortunate you are and to stop stressing about and also complaining about every little thing?

I had this happen not too long ago when out walking one morning. I was contemplating (with some negativity) something that had come up for me.

As I rounded a corner and looked ahead, my eyes were instantly fixed on what I saw directly across the street.

It was a man missing all but the upper part of his body lying face down on what appeared to be a small and motorized gurney waiting for the light to turn green so he could cross the street.

And cross he did using hand controls on the gurney as he made his way to wherever he was going.

This was one of those moments for me. I stood momentarily and thought about the courage it took for him to do what he was doing, and then the thoughts of how very fortunate I am flooded over me.

As I slowly walked absent-mindedly up the street absorbed in thought about what I had just witnessed, I expressed sincere gratitude for everything in my life large and small.

I vowed to let that be a reminder to let all the worthless stress go and instead show daily gratitude for everything in and about my life.

As I picked up my pace and started coming back to enjoying my walk, that little thing I let stress me that day disappeared immediately, and gratitude, appreciation, and a sense of a valuable lesson learned were soon the order of the day.

“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch


Author Bio: Peggy Nelson is a professional Life and Personal Development Coach, owner and founder of Life Your Way Coaching, a published author, and a professional blogger. Her mission is to help people access that part of themselves that allows them to shift their thinking, release fear at every level, experience personal growth and empowerment, and ultimately create fulfilling, happy, and successful personal and professional lives they love. To learn more about the benefits of coaching with Peggy, follow her blog, or to schedule a free consultation with her, please visit her website at

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