When In a Funk, This WorksNov 25, 2022
My spiritual guide said to me, “Lee, you need to write a gratitude list.” And my eyes would roll so far back in my head!
You see, by the time you NEED to write a gratitude list is the time you DON’T want to!
But I had learned many times over that the practice of first will to discipline myself, then simply noticing a couple of things I could feel grateful about, like Rosie, and my warm home and my new warm wool leggings.
Gratitude is the way out. And changes everything.
What I mean by “the way out” is to get out of my magic magnifying mind that inevitably takes me down to places of perfectionism and a ridiculous lack of self-care.
Do you know what I mean? ARGH…not a good look.
It’s anxiety producing to:
Look at year end goals like that still need to be met,
Closing out clients,
And now it’s the holiday season where we want to have fun, right? But it's THE most compressed seeming time of the year.
Then it becomes too much as you dream of the "chestnuts roasting on an open fire". (Or whatever your version is of an ideal holiday time.)
It becomes a HUGE set up of unavoidable stressors and quandaries. Those intrusive little annoyances like kids and dinner and a million other things to do.
Then the guilt sets in. Time for a massive reframe! Better yet - reframe now, don't wait to go down into apathy and defeatism!
These are the times my friend when we must choose to consciously take care of ourselves.
This could mean staying at home at the holiday by yourself with your dog because you wanted and needed the space. This is not a dress rehearsal - this is your life. Just.say.no.
When you've got to bring your vibe and attitude up, here's a quick fix. Practiced intentionally, meaning with heart and presence, you will feel uplifted.
Try the Little Gratitude List
Research shows that being grateful can lift our spirits and make us happier - IF used consistently.
In this National Library of Medicine study, they found that “Gratitude can boost neurotransmitter serotonin and activate the brain stem to produce dopamine. Dopamine is our brain's pleasure chemical. The more we think positive, grateful thoughts, the healthier and happier we feel.”
Just like your brand messaging, when gratitude is used consistently, the message gets through to our brain and we get traction.
So if you find yourself in a pessimistic funk that you just can’t seem to break free from, try adding a little gratitude to your life.
Just Notice. That's All & the Magic Happens
Notice that first yummy sip of your morning coffee and say ‘thank you’.
Notice the unexpected break in a very busy day and say ‘thank you’.
Really look into the eyes of your child or your dog and appreciate their love for you.
Keep doing this, moving through your day acknowledging the little things that you are grateful for, you will become more in tune and more easily and magically bring in the bigger things.
At first, It may even feel awkward and forced.
But the simple act of inviting gratitude into your life will start the cascade of emotions and actions which will get you smiling. Eventually.
Ways to Cultivate Gratitude
Keep a gratitude journal.
Each morning or night, list 5-10 things you are grateful for. It takes a few minutes and sets you up for a good night's sleep. (yes, it really works!)
Nature gives back so much when you engage with her.
Walk in nature and notice. See the bounty and feel the abundance. The leaves, the life scurrying and flying about. Nature does it for me every time - even if I’m looking out the window.
Try Grounding. Put your bare feet on the ground for 20 minutes a day. Or you can get grounding shoes from various companies.
Cultivate Appreciation Consciousness.
Mindfulness meditation is great to amplify your gratitude.
Get quiet for 5 minutes and bring to mind what you appreciate in your life. Better yet, cultivate an attitude of gratitude to fill your day.
Let's Sum It Up
Feeling grateful is a choice.
And it truly is the way out of anxiety, loneliness, and despair.
Find one thing to be grateful for. It works every time.
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