11 Jan It All Comes Back to Gratitude
I have had a little bit of a rough start to the new year. As much as I love championing all things joy, I am human and I have the same stresses as everybody else: work, kids, bills, family. Most of the time I balance it pretty well and genuinely enjoy the process of it all, but occasionally I get tripped up. The way I know I am off track is by my thoughts and feelings – most especially my self talk. You know the inner tape that plays in your mind? Well when that tape starts sounding grumpy it’s a signal to me something is off.
It’s subtle at first. Maybe a grumpy thought while I am tidying up the house and feeling a little resentful. Then it will escalate and soon I am having a one sided argument in my head. I’m blaming and finding examples to support my case about why I am feeling the way I’m feeling be it tired, stressed, unappreciated, unloved – whatever it is that day. The tough part is once I go down this rabbit hole of negative thoughts I’m perpetuating the negative feelings and the cycle feeds itself.
I caught myself in this situation this week. The more I focused on what I wasn’t getting or how my needs weren’t being met the more examples I found to support my case. The more examples I found the more upset I got and the worse I felt. It’s crazy. Why would I continue to to make myself feel bad? Also, if I’m wildly successful at finding examples of what’s wrong could I be just as successful at finding examples of what’s right? What if I just changed the case I was arguing? What if instead of defending my position that I am stressed and unappreciated I decide to defend my position that I am deeply loved, incredibly blessed and most definitely appreciated? I have just as many, if not more examples to support those arguments and I feel a heck of a lot better when I think about them.
Friends, this is what gratitude is all about. If you are feeling sad, lonely, disappointed, unappreciated or unloved it is because you are focusing on all of the examples you have that make it true. The easiest way to change those feelings is focus on what you are grateful for. When you consciously focus on everything you do have, the ways you are appreciated and how much love is in your life you feel so much better.
That’s exactly what I did. In an instant I reminded myself how fortunate I am. There are so many things I take for granted on a daily basis – my health, the health of my children, the love of my husband, parents and friends. The list is endless. And this force of gratitude is there for me any time I need to tap in. When I am at my best and the joy is flowing it’s because I am tapped in on a regular basis. When I am feeling low and the joy is not flowing I know it is my own fault. I’m choosing not to be connected to this force that makes me feel good.
Gratitude is my reset button. It’s where I go when I get off track to get back to my best self. The more you practice gratitude the easier it is to tap in. If there is one thing you change in your life this year that will give you the biggest results it’s practicing gratitude on a regular basis. It is the secret to having more joy and couldn’t we all use more of that?