By Dara Teller, LCSW
There are so many things to be grateful for, but often times we allow our stress and anxiety to consume us. We fail to live in the present moment. And, miss the good that surrounds us, including the qualities within us.
We effortlessly forget the simple gifts life gives us, such as:
- being alive,
- the nature and beauty which surrounds us,
- overall health,
- the opportunities and abilities to change things we are not satisfied with; and
- the power of choice.
Maybe someone is grateful for YOU!
Your presence in
- a loved one’s life,
- a friend,
- a co-worker, or
- a stranger you did a simple kind gesture for, such as holding a door.
Gratitude is not measurable, the value depends on us, our culture, and our perspective.
Many of us take for granted the simple pleasure of having restaurants at our disposal, with large portions and free clean water. While others are starving and do not have clean water.
Some people may have disabilities, while others are physically healthy and can function without limitations.
At times, some of us may forget how blessed we are.
Incorporating Gratitude Lists into our everyday routine reminds us of our blessings.
How can you become more self-aware and grateful?
Every night before bedtime, think back on your day.
What are you grateful for?
Here are some prompts to help you:
- You felt confident today and loved your hair or outfit;
- Something good happened to you;
- You felt you achieved a goal;
- Someone gave you a compliment at work and praised you for your efforts;
- You self-reflect on your hard work;
- You saw a loved one and felt happy seeing them;
- You went to the beach in December and realized you can’t enjoy a beach in many places in December;
- You are grateful for having a safe home and a warm bed to sleep in every night;
- You are creative and have a gift for creating art, playing an instrument, or having the opportunity to cultivate that gift.
Whatever small or large thing comes to mind, write it!
Every day throughout your day, think of moments where you find gratitude. PAUSE and remind yourself of the present moment that just presented itself to you.
It’s a natural response to overthink the past or worry about the future when you have lived in survival mode and/or trauma.
To bring awareness to yourself and the present moment; try using the word “PAUSE.”
This “PAUSE” will allow you to take a moment and redirect your thoughts to the present and practice coping skills to relax your nervous system.
Then when you feel back in the present, find gratitude.
In the same way, your subconscious mind responds to a STOP sign, re-program your mind to respond to the word PAUSE, and think gratitude.
You can say it quietly or out loud to yourself. You may want to share this technique with those close to you so they can help you in those moments of anxiety, overthinking, and mental chaos.
Take a moment to…..
PAUSE your anxiety
PAUSE your overthinking
PAUSE your dwelling
PAUSE your negative self-talk
PAUSE your anger
PAUSE your depression
PAUSE your inner chaos
Say this mantra
“I inhale positive energy and exhale fear.
What I cannot change, I will not control myself.
What I can change, I will focus on.
I will be present and aware of all the positive opportunities that I can make happen!”
As you reflect, remind yourself of all the positive things both internally and in your surroundings.
We have so much to be grateful for.
QUOTE FOR THE WEEK
“When gratitude becomes an essential foundation in our lives, miracles start to appear everywhere.”