Continuing with my list of ideas from the Frenzied Mind, today’s post is about Gratitude. I come and go from formal gratitude practices but always try to be graciously grateful. The term gratitude seems to be in mainstream speak quite often these days so I googled for sites, articles, etc. and searched on Amazon for books to see what was available. The results were staggering. There are hundreds if not thousands of books, posts, programs, projects, etc. about gratitude. I wonder how many of us have accepted the challenge on Facebook where you list one or three things you are grateful for daily. Gratitude acknowledgements with sharing by peer pressure, the Facebook way. I’m not sure if that works well for fellow introverts.
Most of the studies of gratitude show that people that express gratitude create positive effects in their lives. People who are grateful and express gratitude tend to have more relationships, are physically and psychologically healthier, have higher self esteem, sleep better and are more resilient. Expressing gratitude can be in the form of thank you notes, keeping a gratitude journal, making a list of what you’re grateful for and countless others ways based on the way you are moved to express your gratitude. When you’re in a frenzied state and just starting gratitude work, start small. Maybe commit to keeping a journal for thirty days where you list three gratitudes each day. I had one friend that wrote her “gratefuls” each day on a post it note and put it on her dining room wall. Six months in and her wall was covered with brightly colored grateful messages and she was happier and healthier. Can you imagine if she was having a bad day and went into that room? She would be flooded with good feelings. I understand that gratitudes and gratefuls are technically not words but those are the terms that my friend and I used to made this practice our own.
If you’ve done gratitude work in the past, maybe we can take this a step further. I wonder, have we trained our mind to be grateful or can we train our mind to be grateful. I started thinking about the gratitude work that I have done in the past and the mindset that I felt as a result of that work. I wondered if I could recall that place that I go to with gratitude when I was experiencing a frenzied mind. So I tried it. It’s certainly not hard in these turbulent times to find an anxious moment. To start, it helps to also do some deep breathing and get quiet first then feel yourself being grateful. I felt a calm emerging and a deep sense of love. The feeling of everything is okay gave me enough space to help with feeling frenzied or anxious. I’m not sure if I can do it all of the time but I do find that it works.
So, maybe start a gratitude practice. I can tell you from my research there didn’t seem to be any downside to having an attitude of gratitude. I would love to hear from you. Peace, out…
This post is one in a collection of posts arising from the Frenzied Mind.