If you know me at all, you know I'm the biggest worrier there ever was. I plan plan plan (everything) and then rethink and then plan some more because I hate not feeling in control. But of course, rarely do my plans actually go off without any problems. Usually my plans are on the brink of not even happening. And this throws me into a panic. And when this happens, I put on a stony face and breathe deeply to remain collected while my brain is going crazy trying to find some solution for the problem I'm facing. But I started to become so stressed out about everything that I cracked. I couldn't handle even the slightest of worries without feeling completely overwhelmed to the point where I became physically ill. It was debilitating. I wasn't sleeping, I was breaking down in class and I felt completely lost.
Then someone said something that changed my life. I can't recall the words exactly nor was it anything that would sound like an earth shattering revelation. All I can remember is something along these lines: when you're grateful, your problems don't seem so bad.
Here I was, the biggest stress bomb of the century, dreading every future second but all I had to do was be grateful. I had nothing to lose so I went for it. I started to look at my problems and say okay what about this am I grateful for. And gradually I felt relieved. No those problems didn't go away and they weren't magically solved. But I was seeing my blessings and that made it easier to face my trials, however small or big they were.
It was like a scale: for every brick of a burden I had on one side, I could put a dozen bars of gold on the other side.
Digging my car out of the snow wasn't bad because at least I had a car. A couple thousand of my own dollars was do-able when people across the world didn't even have the chance to go to school. And my extremely small feet just meant I spend less on shoes.
Learning to be grateful changed my life. No, I'm not some perfectly happy and calm human being who never utters a word of complaint. I still complain and have moments of anxiety. I still have a good cry once in a while because "my life sucks". But then I pull myself together and think about what I'm grateful. And the World starts spinning again and things don't seem so bad.