There’s a lot about gratitude that feels so good to me right now. I was feeling so down around the time of our move. Actually, I was REALLY stressed for about a month and a half. For that period of time, I was in a hopeless state of mind. I couldn’t see past all the stresses of my move, being in a new place and not knowing anyone, the difficulties of meeting new people due to COVID, and the stresses of my body, healing from shingles and extreme muscle tightness, and just a general feeling of stuckness.
I committed to a 30 day practice of gratitude (I’m so thankful for friends checking in with wonderful and uplifting ideas!) and now I am practicing gratitude more often, without thinking about it. Literally. And I’m only on day 16.
I journal every morning about at least three things I’m grateful for, and if I can, I keep going with anything I can think of.
It’s an instant mood booster… if you can really feel into what you’re grateful for and WHY. Just naming random things you’re grateful for, just to get it over with and say you’ve done your gratitude practice, well… it doesn’t really work too well. But, when you really feel gratitude, you will change your thought trajectory, and maybe even change your state.
Here, let me give you some examples.
I am REALLY grateful for my body. My legs allow me to walk around, to explore parks and to workout, giving myself an endorphin boost, allowing me to feel SO GOOD.
My hands: I get to play a piano, make music with my fingers, I get to communicate with others via typing and handwritten letters, which feels so special to me. I get to use my hands to nourish my body, by preparing food that I choose to provide energy for my body, to move throughout my day and care for my child.
My Belly is able to expand and contract, to allow deep belly breaths, which provides my body with calm and relaxation.
And I could keep going.
We all have a body, that’s how we’re alive. What a beautiful thing to tap into gratitude for.
Now for the tricky part about gratitude. Sometimes we want to feel self-pity, sometimes we want to be angry at someone. The voice in the head will justify why it deserves to be angry, defend your position, and keep you protected.
You do have a choice here. Think of that voice as the stubborn ego, or a strong-willed child. They REALLY want their own way, they want to be right, they don’t want to wave a white flag and let go of what they’re mad about.
I know. Trust me, I know how it goes.
And, at the same time, you can choose to step away from defending your position, from that defense lawyer state, relax your jaw, and ask yourself, “What am I grateful for in this moment?”
If you don’t find something right away, just keep asking yourself that question. Your brain wants to solve problems, so if you keep presenting a question, eventually you will come up with something. It can be so simple, like “the Sun.” Then, keep going. What else can you find to be grateful for?
Pretty soon you may find yourself feeling grateful without even trying, just as second nature. And, what a wonderful state this is to create for yourself.