The power of gratitude is simply AMAZING! We have definitely experienced gratitude’s power first hand many times throughout our lives. In fact, we believe in gratitude so much, we even created a whole blog category on our photography website dedicated to gratitude. Recently, it was the unexpected gratitude of a reader of our site AMAZING LifeTogether that truly blew us away.
Before we share that story, we need to give a little bit of the back-story of AMAZING Life Together first. My wife Liz and I have been wedding photographers for 5+ years now. Having photographed 100+ weddings, we’ve had the amazing opportunity to celebrate and document one of life’s most amazing moments, getting married, with some really amazing couples.
However, we’ve also seen a lot of the hype and materialism the wedding industry has placed on a single day. Each of our couples is truly special to us and we wanted to help them not only have an amazing wedding but also an amazing marriage and life together.
To do so we started the AMAZING Life Together site. Our goal was simply to inspire couples to do more of the things that made them fall in love with each, create an open line of communication about what marriage is like, and to show that even if things do get tough it’s still possible and worth it to work through those challenges to create an AMAZING Life Together.
As we put more and more time and more and more effort into the development of our site, we began to wonder if we were really making a difference in people’s lives. Or if anyone was even reading and watching what we were creating.
A few months back we were letting the fear and doubt monsters really get to us. They made us wonder if our efforts were worth continuing. And then we received this email that rocked our world with gratitude:
“You are saving my marriage. Literally. He wouldn't go to marriage counseling & I was on my way out. But he has been doing this challenge with me and it has us communicating again & more importantly, connecting. You have no idea what this means to us. You guys are doing amazing work & I am so grateful to have found you.” –Wife, Atlanta, GA
That simple email of gratitude, just 62 words, erased any doubts and fears we had. We knew in that moment that if we were able to help save one couple’s marriage, then no matter what, AMAZING Life Together was more successful than we ever could have dreamed it to be. Simple messages like that have continually given us the energy and passion to continue our AMAZING Life Together mission.
Our own experience isn’t unique. In fact there are numerous studies that have shown how powerful just being and feeling grateful can be.
According to a Wall Street Journal Article Published in 2010:
Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They're also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections.
One of our favorite studies was an experiment in which participants keep gratitude journals.
Those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week – Gratitude: A Key to Happiness
In Nate’s original introduction to the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge he suggested starting and keeping your own gratitude journal. It turns out he was really onto something! J If you haven’t started your own journal, start today, it’s never to late.
The last thing we want to leave you with is something we think about often when we start feeling down or if we are failing to see as Nate says “the good in life.”
We all have one life, and no matter what, in this moment we have a choice that we can make. We can choose to be grateful and happy. Or we can choose not to be.
We choose gratitude and happiness.
What will you choose?
[jbox title="About the author:" border="5" radius="15"] Liz and Ryan are millennials, story tellers, wedding photographers, dream believers and AMAZING life inspirers. They are high school sweethearts, married for 7 years, and business partners for 5. Their dream is to inspire all couples to live a more AMAZING Life Together. Click here to learn more.