Not too long ago, I went through a terrible breakup and was struggling to put the pieces of my life back together. My friend, seeing my struggle, introduced me to a curious concept – a gratitude rock, a physical token she carried around to remind herself of the importance of staying humble, being grateful, and living life to the fullest. I gave it a try, and I really connected with it. I found my gratitude rock — an orange amethyst stone — at a local flea market, but friends of mine have just picked up a rock from the garden, too.
Below are five examples of how carrying around a small rock everywhere I go has changed my life.
1. I was constantly reminded to stay positive
One of the great things about having a gratitude rock is that it goes everywhere with you — to school, work, dinner dates, and so forth. The simple act of reaching into my pockets looking for spare change and finding my gratitude rock instantly reminded me to stop stressing out and to take a moment to remember why I’m thankful to be living in such a beautiful world. I remember struggling to stay positive after a bad date, but once I got in my Uber and reached for my gratitude rock – I found myself reminiscing on all the good in my life. Thinking about my amazing family and the mere fact that I was lucky enough to go on a date cheered me up quickly!
2. I began to start living in the present
After the worst breakup of my life, I felt alone and had lost my lust for life. However, after carrying around a gratitude rock, I began to see things differently. I noticed how I started to become grateful for the memories we shared, and the growth opportunity of being in a relationship. I was thankful for the experience and was reminded that there will be other opportunities. I began to feel happier and more content with myself during a difficult time.
3. I started to give back
Whenever I touched my gratitude rock, I gave thanks for something good in my life at that very moment. After using the rock for awhile, I decided to take my spiritual journey to the next level and give back to the people and places I was grateful for. The act of giving a small, meaningful gift to a loved one and seeing their face light up with joy further confirmed what I was doing was good for my soul. Something as simple as writing a note to your relatives who live across the country can bring joy to both you and the receiver!
4. My health became a number one priority
After reminding myself about all the things I was thankful for in my life, I began to work on the areas that needed more attention – for example, working on my body and appropriately nourishing it. I’m thankful for the body I have and the opportunity to access fresh, healthy food to sustain its needs. And working out in the morning with my gratitude rock in my hand pushed me further. I was happy to be working out and was thankful for the ability to do so!
5. I felt more successful in my career.
It’s a little-known fact that gratitude makes you a more effective manager. After becoming familiar with giving daily thanks, I felt like difficult decisions became easier, and my productivity doubled. I began to ask for help at work instead of sitting back and hoping I was doing things right. As a result, I began to achieve my career goals – as well as contributing to a happy and enjoyable workplace.
Carrying a gratitude rock in your pocket or purse is a healthy reminder to practice thankful living. Using this technique has helped me move on from my breakup and become a happier, more gracious person. With so many distractions in life, it’s helpful to have a little nudge, like a gratitude rock, to remind you to give thanks and recall how precious life really is.
Originally published on November 17, 2017.