10/01/2011 at 01:00 PM EDT
Stacy Keibler might not have been looking for a boyfriend
when she met George Clooney
, but that doesn't mean she's taking anything – or anyone – for granted.
"I'm so grateful for … every person that's come into my life," the former wrestler, 31, told PEOPLE Friday at the official launch party for RAGE video game in Los Angeles. "I've had such a wonderful year. I wake up every day and I say thank you."
Keibler also provided some insight into how she approaches relationships.
"It's so important to just love yourself before anyone else," she said. "One of the biggest things that women should give to themselves is the gift of loving themselves [because] confidence comes from loving yourself."
And how is she handling the increased media speculation surrounding her and Clooney?
Says Keibler: "I sort of grew up in [the entertainment business], so that kind of stuff is easy for me to let roll off of my shoulders."