It may seem a little cliché this time of year but maybe the season will give that extra push to really give gratitude a try. I know I’m never disappointed when I make a point to focus on gratitude.
I’ve found gratitude to be one of the most powerful tools out there. Finding the gratitude in every moment INSTANTLY changes my energy. Of course, it’s easy to find gratitude when everyone’s happy, healthy and the sun is shining but what’s even more amazing is finding gratitude when things don’t seem so shiny. I have found that no matter what is happening, I can stop and find things to be grateful for and when I do my energy is changed, that instant and going forward.
So let’s say everyone is screaming, I’m dead tired and I just want it to stop. I can match that intense energy and drain myself more or I can sit back, SMILE, BREATH and find 3 things to be grateful for – the bed that is waiting, the painting on the wall, my girls – even if they are screaming!
When my energy changes things shift. I can meet the intense energy with calm and let it wash over me and it dissipates. That calm energy is infectious. You can see it spread out across a room, visibly calming those around me.
Sometimes, it takes a physical act like walking to pour a glass of water. Drinking the water helps flush out any adrenaline and is a centering act on its own. It’s a break from whatever is swirling around me and physically helps me move the difficult energy.
A lot of times it’s really just about finding joy in each moment and breathing. I love Thich Nhat Hahn’s thoughts on smiling. He believes that it changes the chemistry in the brain. Studies have shown that smiling releases serotonin and dopamine. It’s just the act of using those muscles. Try it. Put on a big smile and FEEL it, really feel how it lifts you. Amazing!
Using tools like gratitude, breathing, a glass of water and smiling are all things that I use to bring myself back to the moment to really live there and in that I find the joy.
I saw a quote recently: “When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past.” The Author was unknown but it really struck a chord with me. I completely agree and would just add that in the present is where I find JOY and PEACE. They are always waiting for me to get out of my head and get back into the moment.