– William Arthur Ward
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S and it can be a wonderful time of celebrating with family and friends. It can also be a lonely and depressed time, which can intensify when it looks like everyone else, has so much to be thankful for.
For those who are in a time of personal struggle, it can feel ridiculous to think that gratitude or joy is a choice, but it is.
The truth is, no matter what your situation, you always have a choice in how you choose to perceive your reality.
Dig deep within your heart and soul, you’ll find your inner champion who wants to fiercely kick into gear! That inner champion is the part of you that doesn’t want to feel bad; it wants you to win at life.
On any given day, you can make the decision to let your inner champion win, or you can allow defeat to be a reality.
It doesn’t matter what your age is. It doesn’t matter what you decided in the past. On any day, even today, you can make a choice to wake up your inner champion and kick defeat.
“Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself….”
– John Wooden
The Real Life Value of Gratitude
When a person connects with a deep feeling of gratitude, things change. I have experienced this and experimented with it countless times enough to know how profoundly it works.
Connecting to gratitude can transform relationships, it can give you energy and strength, it can give you the creative ideas that you need to change your situation, it can relieve stress and pressure, it can actually change your life.
There are deliberate actions you can take to fuel your inner champion and awaken a real sense of gratitude regardless of what you’re experiencing
How to Trigger Gratitude
1. Physical activity – It’s incredible how much physical activity frees our thoughts and emotions. We can get mentally unstuck. Typically we feel better when we move our bodies so take a walk, swim, get on a bike, jump rope, dance around – just get your body into motion
2. Breathe deeply – Take a long slow inhale as much as you can and breathe in the words “so grateful” and on a long slow exhale breathe out the words “peace.” The more resistant you are to this (meaning you’re really stressed out or deeply hurting), the longer you’ll need to do it before it works. If this feels wildly far away from reality, then do this for 10 minutes (it’s a long time I know)! If you’re feeling just a little ungrateful you may only need 3 minutes.
3. Watch your words! – When we feel stuck and frustrated or down, we tend to use strong words that reinforce our negative emotions. These strong words also reinforce how we perceive our reality. It’s imperative that you rephrase your words. Example: “ I hate Thanksgiving, I have nothing and no one” Rephrase your words, “Maybe I’ll see if there’s a place or food shelter, I can volunteer this Thanksgiving. I’d like to make this year’s Holiday special” Don’t use phrases such as “I never had…” “I’ll never have…” Words are powerful, they affect how we feel, and how we feel affects how we see reality, that affects whether or not we’ll have inspired creative solution ideas, and that affects whether or not our lives will change.
4. Watch your emotions – When we’re anything other than happy, joyous or peaceful, we’re more likely to be in a negative emotion of fear, stress, and emotional pain. New empowering ideas typically come out of a positive emotion. If you can’t get happy, at least fight for reaching neutral.
5. Write – Write down everything that you can feel grateful for, take a close look around you and give some deep quality attention, really take it in.
6. Contemplate – Think of any and all of your past successes, think of things you’ve done well, think of things you can be proud of – feel the gratitude
7. Choose – Make the deliberate choice to feel grateful
Take a different look at your challenges
Because of difficult times – you have the opportunity to use your strength, your courage, your mind to explore solutions and experience your potential
Because of your mistakes – you’ve learned valuable lessons, and you may now be even closer to success
Because of your challenges – you can grow and evolve into more than you were. This deepens your life experience and awakens that champion within you. If you knew you were born for more, then now you get to create it for yourself.
If your fears got the best of you in the past – you now have the opportunity to be courageous and brave. Your window of opportunity may feel like fear, but each time you get a chance to win
If you’re disappointed in how life seems to have turned out – it’s not over until you’re dead. You’ve got the gift of time. You’ve got the gift of mind and intelligence. You’ve got more gifts than you realize, and they will show themselves as you push yourself forward.
If your heart is broken by a lover, a friend, life in general – you can grieve the loss, but don’t take too long before you take a fresh new look. There are opportunities even if you can’t see them yet, they are there. You’ve been released. It will feel good to pick yourself up and travel on a new road.
If you’re exhausted – it means you dug in deep, found your grit and made real effort. You left no stone unturned. You didn’t fail to fight. You make your inner champion proud.
If you’re financially hurting – pay your bills with love. I know this may sound crazy but it works. “I am so, so grateful I have enough money to pay this bill, and write this check. I love and bless this check; I send it with love and gratitude.”
If you can’t see joy or find gratitude look a little deeper
Mind – Ideas start in the mind before we can take action and implement them. Your mind can create new opportunities, and it can be used to empower you to new heights.
Time – Although it often feels there’s never enough, time is a blessing. We get 24 hours each and every day.
Sky – Reminds us of the infinite, life is so much bigger than us.
Sun – Gives such beautiful light to our day
Sunrise – Hold the promise of a new day, a new chance to begin again
Sunset – Gives us an invitation to reflect on the day, and reshape our actions and attitude
Moon – Glistens in the sky, reminding us that world has incredible beauty, and life is cyclical.
If you have a job, there’s much to be grateful for!
If you have a home, a place to live, there’s much to be grateful for!
If you have family and friends who love you, there’s much to be grateful for!
To be alive, means you have the chance to experience wonderment. All things are possible, and your open heart, open mind, and your gratitude will guide you.
Regardless of your situation, there are always ways to tap into gratitude. Being thankful, feeling a deep appreciation can create miracles. It can open doors, create new thoughts, and guide us to amazing life experience.
Adversity can make us incredibly compassionate people; it can transform us, so we may be of real help to others.
Please share, what are you grateful for? What do you do when you wan to feel grateful?