Anxiety issues, Life Lessons

Flexing your Gratitude Muscle

Do you have things in your life that frustrate you like crazy? It could be people, situations, family, work or even the state of our world.

Most people do and I know from experience that it is SUPER easy to get into twist over something and let it just EAT away at our sanity.

Over the years I’ve tried very hard to keep things in perspective and remember most things are beyond my control so why waste energy on dwelling on it. “It is, what it is” was a classic saying from my departed and beloved Mother-in-Law. And how true that can be.

I also have learned to detached from things are truly NOT my problem. “Not my circus, not my monkeys” has been a catchy reminder to myself to prevent myself from getting pulled into OPD (Other People’s Drama)

Great meme from coaching guru Kim Garst

Love this printable from Tried & True (and it’s a Adult Coloring Page too!)

Another way to put a positive spin on something to shift our mindsets from “WTF” to focusing on the bright side. Gratitude is a biggy too. Your house may currently smell of litter box and smelly little kids, but at least you have a roof over your head when many do not. Get my drify?

But, how often do you show your gratitude to someone?

Showing your gratitude means being thankful and appreciative of something or someone. You may be annoyed that your husband rarely helps with the dishes at night, but you love the way he always puts the kids to bed. Which one do you focus on the most? Instead of badgering him about helping with the dishes, express how grateful you are that he takes over the bedtime routines.

If you aren’t happy with your life, learning to be grateful for what you do have, can improve it. Maybe you need a new car then be thankful that you still have one that is running. If you wish you had more money in the bank, be grateful for what you have managed to save so far.

In other words you want to stop focusing on those things you don’t have and concentrate on what you do have. If you have a loving partner or kids that are doing fantastic in school, show them how grateful and thankful you are. Is your family healthy and happy? Wonderful, so many families have a member that is sick and this can pull down every member.

Any relationship can be improved by displaying your gratitude for each other. It is important to focus on what you already have. When you do you will notice that it is easy to find additional things that you are grateful for. Plus what person doesn’t like to be appreciated? When was the last time someone thanked you for something unexpected?

It’s not that you suddenly have to get all gushy with someone. Just thank your spouse for supporting you, thank your children for being who they are and enjoy the time with your family.

Quite honestly when was the last time you displayed any type of appreciation or gratitude. Here’s a few things you could try today:

  • Write down two things that you are grateful for.
  • Thank your child for watching TV with you.
  • Tell one family member that you appreciate being in their life.
  • Demonstrate your appreciation in some way. Buy someone a cup of coffee or send a quick thank you note, text message or email.

If you are having trouble displaying your gratitude then simply write down all the things you are grateful for. Think about what others do for you, what qualities someone you appreciate has and more. Once you have identified these you will find it easier to find more things to be appreciative of.

P.S I have this Gratitude Journal from Sarah Ban Breathnach and I used it. Every night before I went to bed I wrote down what I was grateful for. And you know what? It helped. In a big way. During the times when I was tempted to wallow in how crappy my day was it helped shift my perspective to show me just (despite bumps in the road) how blessed I am truly am.

(click the image of the book cover to examine it further on Amazon and read the reviews)

So that everyone can experience the transformational rewards of being grateful, Ban Breathnach designed a day-by-day journal for counting one’s blessing. Years of disciplined gratitude have taught Ban Breathnach that “if you give thanks for five gifts every day, in two months you may not look at your life in the same way as you might now.”

How do you find gratitude?