Today I’m talking about The G Force! That’s right, the incredible force of Gratitude.
One of the single, most valuable choices I ever made, was to make Gratitude a part of my daily ritual. Making it a daily habit builds up a kind of emotional muscle where your mind becomes attuned to looking for things in your life to be grateful for. And you want that muscle to be strong for when you really need it.
“A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.”
There is a phenomenal transformation that occurs when you shift your focus from the negative – what is lacking etc – to the positive – what you are truly grateful for.
I take gratitude in two steps depending on how far into the negative zone I am.
If I am sitting in bed at night writing out my daily gratitude list then that’s usually pretty easy; I’m relaxed and have the benefit of reflecting upon whatever happened in my day with the knowledge that I overcame it.
If however, it’s more of an ’emergency’ situation i.e. I feel like I am stuck in a negative rut and really need my rocket to lift me up and out, then my approach is a little different.
There is so much to be grateful for, just open your eyes.
Take today for example, I have been feeling a bit lower than usual and hating on a lot of things in my life. I know this is not my ‘usual’ self so I begin searching for ‘why’ I am feeling this way.
In the meantime, while I play Sherlock Holmes on my own emotions, I need to deal with this low feeling state.
Our brains have this survival mechanism where it will disproportionately focus on the negative aspects, the ‘threats’ in our lives, versus the positive, joyful aspects.
Okay, what am I grateful for?
It begins with the small things like, the warm weather and the nice barista who served my coffee. I even fake a smile for good measure. It’s a start.
I’m not really feeling a big difference yet but the key is this; my focus has shifted. Momentum begins to build. I begin to list out all of the things in my life that I am truly grateful for. Slowly I begin to feel my mood improve, and the heaviness of earlier begins to lighten. It is still there but it lightens enough to help me see through the clouds and realise that everything really is okay. The miracle has happened in that moment. I have chosen to see things differently.
The struggle ends when gratitude begins.
I accept that I will have days where I feel a weight on my shoulders, like everything is that bit harder. The things that usually make me smile just don’t today. This is when my daily practice really pays off and I am grateful for the emotional muscle I have built. It’s these days that I definitely need it most.
“Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more” – Oprah Winfrey