When I was diagnosed with a pituitary brain tumor little did I know that I would be sharing how a gratitude journal changed my life.
I had been experiencing some health issues – a quick 60 pound weight gain in less than a month; headaches that were sort of like a stabbing pain near my ear, and feeling exhausted all the time.
Over the next couple of months I visited 12 doctors and nothing changed.
Then, I was on the phone with my best friend, who was an optometrist, and at the same time, putting on some makeup.
As I looked more closely in the mirror, I suddenly noticed that one of my pupils was larger than the other. So I asked my friend, “What does it mean when one of your pupils is larger than the other?”
She laughingly replied that it could mean a brain tumor.
Hmmm…. I wondered if that could be what is causing all these health challenges?
After we ended our call, the more I thought about a possible brain tumor, the more sense it made. It was one of those “know thyself” instinctual moments. So I called up the doctor and rather insistently asked him to schedule an MRI. He agreed.
As it turned out, I did have a pituitary tumor – but thank goodness not a cancerous type.
OK – now what?
It’s a pretty big wake up call for sure. All sorts of questions flooded my mind! Feeling scared does not quite convey how this kind of news really feels.
What can I do to heal this? Will I die? What will happen to my kids if I do? Is there something in my life I could do better to heal more quickly? Did I live the best life I could? The questions went on and on.
Finally, after getting almost no sleep that night, I suddenly got a flash of insight. More on that in a moment.
My doctor told me he wanted to schedule surgery rather quickly. And of course, he was obliged to tell me about the risks.
Without going into any more detail about that, I decided that since my kids were still at home, there must be another way to heal and I opted out of the surgery against all the doctor’s advice.
Bold maybe – but not wanting anyone in my head is more like it. Plus, having kids at home was a huge factor. If anything went wrong in that surgery…
Back to my insight. I wondered about my life – and decided to make some changes. Be more grateful for everything and everyone – not just sometimes, but all the time!
For me it was more about focusing on all the good in my life and doing it consciously. So, I decided to keep a gratitude journal.
That one decision changed everything! My mind became like a puppy chasing a ball. In every situation, I looked for the good. No complaining about how I felt, no irritation that things were difficult. I just kept asking myself, what do I have to be thankful for?
As I wrote each day, I noticed that looking for the good in every situation became more pervasive. I did not just do it in the morning – it followed me through the day and evening. Love it – gratitude going viral! This is truly about how a gratitude journal changed my life.
I had hands to do everything, I could see, the weather was beautiful, I had a lovely place to live, my kids were amazing, food tasted better, I had clean water to drink, friends and family who loved me, and so much more.
The more I did this – and of course ate really well, and did several other things to speed my healing, the better I felt. I wondered, is this how a gratitude journal changed my life?
The year went on and I began losing all the weight and feeling better.
Almost one year to the day, I went back to the doctor, and the tumor was gone! He actually did not believe it the first time, so I repeated the MRI. Yup – gone! This is how a gratitude journal changed my life.
Did I keep up my gratitude journal you ask? Yes I did. Was I perfect about writing something every single day? No I wasn’t.
But for me, the feeling of being grateful for the good in any situation – as difficult as it might be, became a way of life.
As it turns out, I created a gratitude journal for others too. And I want to create even more of them. It’s in my soul now and as an author, I can’t help myself from picking up that pen!
The first gratitude journal is called The One-Minute Gratitude Journal: For the Moments That Matter.
It takes just a moment a day to write something you are grateful for. And in that moment – you turned your ordinary moments into blessings for your whole life! Give it a try! Use my story of how a gratitude journal changed my life as a starting point!
You may feel perfectly well, but some other things in your life are not as awesome as you know they can be. Maybe you want a better relationship, just to feel less stressed. A gratitude journal can do that for you.
Do you have a story about how a gratitude journal changed your life? I’d love to hear about. Just email me here.
I’m grateful you took a few moments to read this and I hope you like the gratitude journal too. If you do, thanks for leaving a nice review on Amazon.
Imagine what the world would be like if more of us were looking for things to be grateful for during the morning commute? How about in our jobs, our relationships and our families.
Turns out there are more than 26 studies on the benefits of gratitude. Take a look at this cool infographic!
Want more about the studies and some videos on how gratitude changed people’s lives. Click here for more.
Related articles on how a gratitude journal changed my life