How to Appreciate Your Life Without Feeling Guilty

Jennifer Campbell - Doula In Reno
4 min readNov 14, 2022

Of all the ways there are to increase your personal power, gratitude tops them all. Being appreciative for everything you have and having the desire to help others to feel the same level of appreciation.

Increasing your sense of empathy is one way to gauge that you are on the right path. Having empathy and compassion for others, and a positive mindset opens you up to even more gratitude in your own life and an outward focus to help others.

Visualize the look on others people’s faces when you do something to make someone feel good for no reason other than to help someone else. Smiling is contagious — do it often! Saying thank you to strangers for being positive makes a difference.

3 Ways to Feel Grateful Without Feeling Guilty

  • Pay it back

When you feel compassion for others — especially if they have less than you — the best way to give is to be of service.

You can give away happiness, and that’s just by giving people something you know they will appreciate. Your time. If you feel guilty about not having the time to be of service, an online search for a local charity is where to donate because there are voluntary organizations that need the cash to help those in need. You can donate to registered charities in under ten minutes.

  • Stop Comparing

Comparisons are the pathway to negative emotions that eat away at your positive power. The instant you start comparing yourself, your feelings, attitude, and what you have in comparison to others, you are opening yourself up to negative emotions such as guilt for having more or inadequacy for not having as much.

From a young age, we are taught that we should be grateful for everything we get because others are worse off. Guilt is ingrained in us. It’s possible to be grateful without bringing comparison into it. Learn to love where you’re at and what you have, and then make decisions to change the things you might be less enthusiastic about. Set goals, and reach higher while continuing to practice gratitude for what you have, and helping those around you — even with a smile.

  • Use Your Gratitude to Serve Those Dear to You Better

Being grateful for the people you have in your life — as support, mentors, friends, and shoulders to lean on, as well as family and friends — is vital in your feelings of gratitude.

How can I feel grateful for my family when I act like work’s my main priority? I have felt this so much while raising my kids. I needed to work to support my family because I love them so much, and then it seemed like I’m prioritizing work over my family. It’s a constant balancing act to provide for them and show your love. There’s no magic answer except to remain aware of your family’s needs vs. income.

When I was working 2 jobs, and considering letting go of one of them because my kids told me they wanted me home more, I had a dinner discussion with them about finances and time, etc… They actually encouraged me to quit — they wanted me around more — and we made decisions to cut cable TV and other non-essentials so I could let go of that second job. It was scary and challenging, and sharing it with them made the decision easier. By the end of our discussion, I had no guilt about changing our lifestyle a little to give them more of my time. The great news is — it worked. We made the cuts necessary as a family, I quit that job and we did have more quality time together.

Decide to make changes and spend quality time with those you’re grateful to have in your life. Do a home visit, a video call, or phone the person. Go beyond sending messages on social media and engage directly with people that matter to you. I have a weekly bible study that I’m so grateful for and almost nothing gets in the way of me spending time with the people who make me feel the best about myself. We pray together and for each other, and it means the world to me.

Find those things that build you up and where you have the opportunity to build up others, and your outlook on life will become more appreciative of not only what you have, but what you’re working towards.

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Jennifer Campbell - Doula In Reno

Certified Birth Doula, Bereavement Doula®, Adoption & Surrogacy Doula, Certified Breastfeeding Educator Reno, NV, Mom Of 18, Blogger, Podcaster