I’m certain if you are anything like me, when you slept through the bells ringing in celebration 🎉 for the New Year, or celebrated with loved ones- that you never could have imagined that in the course of only a few weeks our world would be marked by so much change.
Huge rights of passage gone uncelebrated or celebrated in ways we would have never imagined. Weddings postponed. Birthdays at home. Jobs lost for thousands. Shelves empty at grocery stores as panic and hysteria ruled our communities. Fear for loved ones. Fear for ourselves.
We are going into week 9 of the US stay at home order, and are beginning to see some return to a “new normal” as permissions are being granted for reopening and gatherings. Much will be forever altered by the negative consequences of shutting down our businesses & schools. Many don’t have work, and many on unemployment don’t have a clue what will happen as they look to the future.
It’s important during these times to remember that the greatest POSITIVE human emotion is #gratitude. And if you can force yourself, even for just a moment to find something, anything to be grateful for, your brain 🧠 cannot in that moment also feel fear. Or helplessness. Or anxiety. Or anger. Or loss.
Harness the power of gratitude. Not to negate or downplay the reality of changes that have no doubt had a negative impact, but to keep your light shining during a time when much can feel dark, confusing, uncertain and maddening.
We often hear the common phrase that the one thing we can control is our attitudes. Our reactions. Our behavior. But how?
There are many tools- however in my opinion the greatest is creating a process for daily gratitude.
It is a great place to start.
This will clean your mental slate so to speak. Breathe deeply as you think of your personal gratitude list. Even if it’s just being grateful to take this moment to breathe deeply.
Writing down a few things you are grateful for is extremely effective. Even if you go back to your list and notice you might be repeating the same things. That’s great! How often were your expressing gratitude for them before your practice? Probably not often.
Next think of how you can reframe your situation. Could it be worse? Is there an opportunity? #Reframing is extremely helpful. Some people do it naturally. They are likely the super annoying person you know seemingly un phased by what others would consider “set backs”. Instead of thinking about how they always seem to get so lucky, have you considered that perhaps they “get lucky” because they have a different mindset? Instead of being moody and sulking, their cheerful disposition encourages interaction and openness. Which invites dialogue and opportunities.
Now these people are rarities or have trained themselves over time. That said, just like a muscle you can build your mind muscle to be more resilient to set backs by reframing, gaining confidence, and being grateful.
If you feel these changes have dimmed your spirit, my wish for you is that you can use these tools to help you be an instrument of positive change.