12/28/2014 04:11 pm ET Updated Feb 27, 2015

How 'Thank You' Changed My Life


I am excited for the new year to begin. Yes, for the first time in many years I am actually welcoming this coming year of 2015 with open arms. I am excited for the endless possibilities, the great memories and the "aha moments" I will have.

The reason why this is such a shocking confession is because I feel like I have been a person who has had a pessimistic view of the world. Growing up I always loved to be alone -- my solitude was my best friend. Together we talked about many things. We talked about our inner fears and insecurities, the fact that we were just not pretty enough or a good student. My soul and I were just two ordinary peas in a pod that was stuck in the unattractive body that I was given. I never believed that I was worthy of great things. I was a mediocre person, and that's how I would stay for the rest of my life.

I always hated the end of the year. It made me reflect on the things I hadn't achieved. I was so blinded by my pessimistic eyes, that I couldn't see the good things that were happening around me.

Then life decided that I needed a few jolts, to realize the importance of being happy and pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. This happened when I turned 41. All of a sudden I realized that my kids were growing and I was spreading my negativity to them. That is the time I decided to follow my dreams. I started chasing after them and surprisingly they weren't some big dragon sitting in a cave breathing fire. My dreams were achievable and began to come to me with open arms.

I was scared of my bouts of pessimism but I told myself that I would just say a simple "thank you" every time I felt like the demons of pessimism were filling up my soul. I started to do the exercise, and in the beginning I felt absolutely dumb. But I wanted to live my dreams so badly that I had to do something, and saying thank you was the easiest thing to do. It was shocking that it actually worked!!! The word 'thank you" changed my whole outlook on life.

"Thank you" was a small thing to say but it had a huge impact on my brain. Every time I said the magical words, it was like someone had erased the memories of the horrible things happening in life. I was on a new "thank you" high, I started to say it to the people around me. I saw people and events with a new set of eyes. I know it sounds ridiculous and unbelievable, but in a matter of months, I feel like it changed the chemistry of my brain. When something unpleasant or unexpected happened I wouldn't automatically jump to the negative aspect, instead I would try to see how I could be thankful or what the lesson was that I had to learn from this.

And so today after becoming a "thank you" machine, I am happier. I am thrilled about the new year and what it will bring for me. I am happier and more content. I am not scared about the demons that might or might not creep into my mind as I have the power of "thank you!"