How Gratitude will change your life.
This week, I made a game-changing discovery: Gratitude neutralises negative emotions. It's so stupidly simple, that I almost didn't believe that it would work. Let alone work so completely. Usually, I'm either dwelling on negative feelings OR I'm repressing negative feelings - and it seemed like there was no way to win. Worrying is a big one for me, but I'm sure everyone has a different crap emotion that they struggle with. Feeling lousy all the time sucks, but repressing shit usually comes back to bite you sooner or later. It can feel rather hopeless!
But - there is hope! I'm pleased to report that after a few days of testing my new miracle cure, the results are promising! Here's how it happened. Last week, I was worrying myself into a bit of a hole. For some reason my brain just kept pulling out all these awful scenarios. Plausible scenarios - but things that worrying about won't help at all. And I just had this awful feeling in my gut permanently. Major ick!
After talking it out with the soul mate - we decided to consult our favourite self-help guru on the matter. If you're not familiar with Eben Pagan, and you're interested in being happy and healthier and more successful, look him up. Because there's a damn good reason we're naming our firstborn after him. Anyway, here's the podcast that gave me what I desperately needed: https://audioboom.com/posts/2703947-130-gratitude-the-enlightened-emotion?t=0
Basically, he explains it like this. Imagine that at the beginning of your life, you are a pure white circle. Glowing, perfect, blemishless. As you grow up, you have negative experiences. Each time something bad happens, a tiny black spot appears on your white circle. And they accumulate, so there's a few black spots here and there. And even though the white circle is still mostly white - we start to focus on the black dots. Until all we notice are the tiny little teeny weeny black spots. And we forget about the big glowing gorgeous white circle.
Whether or not we realise it, we're probably focused on those black dots right now. And not even actual black dots - we could be focused on possible blacks dots. After hearing this, I had the huge realisation that this is what I was doing. Even though I consider myself a positive and optimistic person, somehow my focus had shifted. And worrying was consuming me.
Then came the solution - when you have unpleasant emotions, such as stress, anxiousness, sadness, jealousy, worry, rage - don't repress them. And don't get caught up in them either. The key is to experience it first. Say to yourself, "I am worried." Then, once you've acknowledged the emotion and experienced it inside you - it's time to neutralise it. This is where gratitude comes in. Eben Pagan calls it the 'enlightened emotion'. So, I'm worried. How do I neutralise this with gratitude? Well, get out your pen and paper. Or open up a note on your phone. Heck, email yourself if you have to. And start out writing like this...
"I am grateful to _______________ for______________ because ______________."
Some examples that I've written down this week:
"I am grateful to Mum for making me fruit salad because it was healthy and delicious."
"I am grateful to my asthma medication for keeping me alive during the thunderstorm."
"I am grateful to Clayton for writing me a beautiful message because I felt loved."
Get the picture? It seems stupidly simple, I know. I didn't fully grasp how powerful this was until I started doing it. Now, few tips here. You can't just feel grateful or think grateful thoughts - you must write it down. Gratitude is a practise - and it needs to be physical and external. Also, be as specific as humanly possible. Avoid ambiguous statements such as "I'm grateful for today" or " I'm grateful to sunshine". Also, don't get too big like "I am grateful for life". Get specific. Be grateful for exactly what they did, or what you have. The more specific you are, the more grateful and connected you will feel.
For me, writing a few gratitudes in the morning and a few at night has worked wonders. Although, admittedly, whenever a worry crept up on me during the day - I quickly found a pen and paper and jotted down an extra one. Bam! Worry alleviated. And importantly for me, it doesn't feel like I'm just pushing the worry down further - waiting to bubble up again later. It genuinely feels acknowledged and replaced.
So there you have it! If you're having any troubles in your life right now with negative thoughts, I strongly recommend you give this a go. Please - even if you think it's stupid! Totally worth a try, and I guarantee you won't regret it. If you're not 100% happy, I'll give you your money back ;)
Thanks for reading guys, let me know if you give this a try!