Diffuse stress and tense moments with gratitude
Have you ever experienced a tense moment during a family gathering? Maybe you find someone in your entourage to be a tad abrasive, rude, judgmental or self-centered. Anyone come to mind? Now silently send them love… Or maybe we’ve been that person too when we weren’t at our best...
Gratitude Changes Everything!
That's the message you see prominently displayed on the homepage of my new friend Kevin Monroe’s website. He is a gratitude coach and consultant. His messages are human, practical, easy to apply and transforms the way we live and work in a positive way.
We don’t have to resonate with everyone. I prefer to spend more time with those who inspire me to be better, people I learn from, family and friends who I trust and who I enjoy stimulating conversation with or simply by being in their uplifting energy.
No one is immune to feeling a little stress that comes with preparing for the holidays in some way.
Here's the latest example from Kevin of how “everything changed by gratitude”...
He anonymously shared this story yesterday with permission.
“How many of you are dreading those awkward conversations that come as an unordered side dish with your Thanksgiving meal?
Here's my paraphrase of what happened...
An adult with aging parents was 'home for the holidays' and the topic of their work came up. Well, actually it's a transition as they lost their job during Covid (as millions have).
This ONE conversation cast a shadow over what's meant to be a joyous occasion and sucked all the JOY out of the room in a nanosecond.
Been there? Done that? I thought so! More times than I care to count.
The weight of disappointment fell heavy on the shoulders (you know the place in our bodies where ‘shoulds’ come to rest -- except there's no rest!).
Their love and concern for you becomes FEAR for your future...and maybe you feel judged for your choices or decisions or path.
The GULF widens by the moment.
Then...you remember YOU HAVE a CHOICE.
This friend is joining us in our 30 Days IN the Power of Gratitude and read our Daily Intention. And realized today is a NEW day. Today I choose GRATITUDE. I will find something to be grateful for -- especially as it relates to this situation with my family.
And a SHIFT occurred.
A Gratitude-Fueled shift...one that changes everything because it changes YOU and YOUR perspective. It might even rescue a holiday visit and meal from souring and ending with guilt, sadness, and remorse.
WHY not serve GRATITUDE as a side-dish? Heck, make it the main course of your holiday meal and see what happens."
𝗚𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲𝘀 𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴!!
So the next time someone makes any sort of judgmental, condescending or disapproving comment, diffuse the negativity by sharing a more positive perspective. Every challenge has a silver lining and offers opportunities to grow – by the way, growth and maturity usually develop when we are outside of our comfort zones!
Criticism is easy, being kind takes work.
Kindness blossoms when our hearts are free of burdens. Gratitude helps do the inner weeding and lets your inner garden grow more beautifully.
In the spirit of gratitude, this inspiration made me smile.
“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things you lack.”
With daily practice, I now know this statement to be true 😀
Kevin reminds us of this powerful practice.
"We begin by closing our eyes, placing our hands over our heart, and giving thanks until we genuinely feel it. The next step is to memorize that feeling so that we can keep some of our attention on it throughout the day. If we can keep our awareness on that feeling of gratitude throughout our day and experiment by being in a state of receiving, let’s see what new opportunities come our way."
Many studies conducted in recent years have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed.
A regular practice of gratitude has the power to unshackle you from toxic emotions (it's impossible to feel gratitude and worry at the same time). Gratitude is a natural antidote to stress.
Consistent practice can create lasting effects on your brain helping you to see what is right and good versus what is wrong or problems.
I remember a time not so long ago, I was feeling overwhelmed with a number of challenges I was dealing with (I don’t use the word “problem” anymore and choose to focus on solutions).
I went to a yoga class to help me move the energy through my body and calm my mind. I lived about a 10 minute walk home from the studio at the time. While walking home, instead of staying mentally preoccupied with the “problems” I was dealing with, which left me feeling anxious and angry, I decided to focus only on what I was grateful for and what I appreciated in my life during the entire walk home from class. I repeated one thing after another without stopping and allowed the feeling of each thought to resonate in my heart.
After a few minutes, I remember the feeling of lightness in my heart and a shift in my mind towards greater clarity along with more positive energy in my body. By the time I got home I had an entirely new outlook on the situation I was dealing with along with solutions and actions I could take to move forward.
We have the inner resources to shift our mindset and energy at any time, the practice of gratitude is a beautiful gateway inward.
What are you grateful for?