“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie
Be grateful… Gratitude is often an over used term that to be honest, gets on people’s nerves. In the hippy dippy world we some times live in, words like gratitude, motivation, grinding, are nothing more than that, words. Being grateful takes practice and a tad bit of mindful awareness. In the times we are living in, the job, stress, mental health, life problems and just being pissed off sometimes; we lose focus. We tend to forget about the have’s and focus on the have not’s, the past more than the present, and blindly lose perspective. A lot of the tools out there that provide us with infinite potential and freedom are free. Gratitude can free us from the prison that has no doors.
Instituting a daily gratitude practice is a great way to begin a radical transformation process. We can find gratitude every where we look, if we are awake to see it. By starting your day with a quick gratitude practice, you are setting your mind up in a positive mind set rather than awakening in the typical negative, stressed and anxious minds that we often do. The negative feed back loop is way stronger in our heads than the positive. Hence, why the majority of people are more negative than positive. Even I struggle with this a lot. We have the ability to change habits, so change we shall. Now, we do not have to start each day like Stuart Smalley, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and dog gonet people like me.” If you don’t have a clue to the last reference, GTS!
When you wake up in the am just figure out a few things you are grateful for. Running water to brush your teeth, socks on your feet or what ever you feel. First, if you have ever ran out of water or your power goes out, you are really grateful when it comes back on. The old adage, you don’t know what you had until you lost it. We take a lot for granted these days, gratitude is what brings us back into awareness. I wasn’t grateful for being healthy until the doc told me I was headed to the cath lab. Or when we get head cold we just can’t wait to feel well again. We need to be grateful and appreciate things before they are lost. The list could go on and on of examples, but we just need to practice a little more.
Our perspective is the key to gratitude and being humble. Perspective is one of the most powerful tools we have. With all of the death, destruction and pain we see on a daily basis, perspective is the breath of fresh air that gives us relief. Perspective makes sense of this roller coaster of a life we live in emergency services. Take this guy I know. Years ago he was in a horrific car crash where he rear ended a parked 18-wheeler. The car caught fire and he was literally being burned alive. He had fractures from his toes to his neck. A passerby stopped and pulled him from the wreckage. When he was being evaluated at the er they found a brain tumor. So in essence, was the car wreck really bad? That is perspective. Let us expand on that a little deeper. So the car crash that we plug our perspective into is deemed a horrific terrible accident, right? That is just an opinion. The car crash led to the doctors finding a brain tumor that led to a surgery that gave his family an unknown amount of time with him. Come to find out years later, the crash was a suicide attempt due to of physical and emotional abuse. Terrible right? Wrong, that is just our perspective. If the abuse led to the crash that led to finding the tumor and the surgery, were any of the seemingly horrible things truly bad? That is perspective.
We have the power of gratitude and perspective inside of us. How we cognitively build the event in our heads are how they will be. This goes for anything in our lives. The event is only bad if you build it that way, or the opposite for good. Harnessing the power of perspective and gratitude can greatly reduce our mental health issues, stress and anxiety. Practicing these daily will have a profound affect on your life and the lives of those around you. I have to remind myself of this often, so you’re not alone.
Wage War, Daniel.
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