Well we all knew it was coming. It is November. It is Thanksgiving. So why not have a challenge of gratitude. Surprisingly, this is a challenge I can get behind. I’m a big fan of gratitude. I do the whole Law of Attraction thing. Gratitude is a huge component of that. When I wake up, I think about what I’m grateful for. And when I go to bed, I think about what I’m grateful for.
Gratitude’s one of the ways that helps me keep a positive attitude. If you have depression or anxiety you find that you try to use whatever you can to stay up. Some people use medication. Some people are able to use the techniques I’ve talked about in this book. Some of what I’ve talked about here has worked for for me. Others, not so much.
I don’t have a gratitude journal that I write in everyday. I just make mental notes of what I’m grateful for. And I do that throughout the day. If I get a nice caller on the phone, I thank the Universe. When someone posts pictures of corgis or sloths or Disney World or something about books on my Facebook wall, I will say thank you for that. If my kids do their chores without me having to hound them about it, then I say thank you for that.
And I don’t just say thank you. That’s where a lot of people get confused because we do hear “thank you” a lot. But there’s a difference in saying it and meaning it. It’s like I love you. I don’t know if it’s lost its meaning for some people. I hear both phrases thrown around a lot and I don’t think for some people they means the same thing. When I say thank you, I mean it. I am actively acknowledging some extension of kindness towards me. And I appreciate it, value it, and I want you to know that. I’m not only grateful for that act of kindness or generosity but also for that person who showed me that kindness.
And I know there’s a lot of people out there that are like, “well I’ll be grateful when I’ve got something to be grateful for. I’ll be grateful for my money when there’s more money. I’ll be grateful for my husband when he starts doing what I tell him to do, I’ll be grateful for this job when I don’t have to work here anymore.” That’s not how this gratitude thing works.
I’ve never been a big fan of the whole someone out there’s got it worse than you trope. Everyone’s situation is different. But there is a little truth in making the most out of your situation. A thing I say a lot is, “If this is the worst thing that happens to me I’m doing okay.” I usually say that in response to something going wrong or someone apologizing to me. If I have water spilled on me if my chair breaks at work I have to think, “If this is the worst thing that happens to me I’m doing pretty okay.”
Another phrase I’m really fond of is, “Lots to think about; nothing to worry about.”If worrying was an Olympic sport I would take home the gold medal. That’s all part of my anxiety. The good thing is there is something to combat that. Gratitude. Gratitude can help you realize that things are not that bad. Yes, there’s a lot on your plate. You’ve got a lot to contemplate. You’ve got a lot to think about – a lot to do. But it’s not worth worrying about. You can think about it, you can make a plan of attack, a to-do list. But worrying about it isn’t that. It’s literally sitting and wondering what could go wrong next. What else could could go wrong? How bad can it get? So as part of my anti-anxiety mission, I’ve added gratitude to my daily routine. And anytime I start getting anxious, I flip the switch and start thinking about what I’m grateful for. I use a technique of grounding by looking around and asking: what do I see that I’m grateful for? What do I smell that I’m grateful for? What do I Hear that I’m grateful for? I go through these questions. I go through the senses to give myseld a better sense of what is reality at that moment and what is my brain ferret going crazy, trying to make me think things that aren’t even possible.
Gratitude also helps me keep my mood up. I have found more and more often when I watch situations that I want myself to have I feel better. So I watch other people going to Disney World, my own Disney vacations, people getting surprised with corgis, people getting to touch a sloth, and i put myself in those situations. I become grateful for things I haven’t even experienced yet. For the record, yes, I watch a ridiculous amount of the Lottery Changed my Life and anything with people getting surprised with corgis. That’s all part of the law of attraction. If you can put yourself into already having that which you desire, receiving it, being grateful for it, then you’re sending out that vibration to the universe. I know. It sounds like Wackadoo hippy dippy trippy stuff. I get it. But it helps me. I mean even if it is just a placebo effect at this point, I’m smiling and thinking I’m going to get a corgi.
I’m a big fan of gratitude. I’m also a fan of letting people know that I appreciate them. That’s why I give things like hugs at work and neck massages. That that’s why I bring food. That’s why I make a hundred dozen cookies every year. I don’t want to just tell them I love and appreciate them. I want to show it. I want them to know it. And I can’t think of a better way to show the most important people in my life how much I appreciate them than talking about them.
I love my husband grateful for him because of the ridiculous amount of nonsense he deals with from me. I mean, let’s face, it can’t be easy being married to a train wreck. But he loves me for the glorious train wreck that I am. He tells me. He shows it. And he lets me know it. And for that I’m grateful.
I am grateful for each one of my children in their own special way. I am grateful for bunny for teaching me patience and helping me to appreciate what I put my mother through when I was fifteen. I am grateful for my T-rex and his Boundless Energy and Imagination. I am grateful for Danny and her unconventional sense of humor. I’m grateful for hayhay. I think she has taught me the most parenting. She has taught me the most about patience, understanding, and seeing things from a different perspective. Having her in my life has made me be a better person and a better mother. I don’t think she’ll ever know how grateful I am for her. I don’t think she’s ever noticed how I tear up when she says thank you or I love you. And if you know our relationship you know how huge those two things are. I am exceedingly thankful for the opportunities I’ve had in parenting these kids.
I am grateful for my mother-in-law because she doesn’t give me a disapproving look when she walks into my house and it looks like I’ve been dealing with a two-week battle in the Haunting.
I am grateful For my parents for giving me the room to move and grow.
I am grateful for my coworkers for dealing with me. They cheer me on, encourage me, and that means a lot. Hell, some of them actually bought my last book and read it and reviewed it. That’s nuts and I love them for it.
So I’ve got a lot to be grateful for and maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start writing this stuff down. If I write it down, I Can go back and review the things that made me happy. Especially anything to do with my kids when they forget to turn in their homework assignments or I get a call from the principal. again. Those are the times that I really need to remind myself that I am grateful for my children and won’t sell them on Etsy. Why Etsy Instead of eBay? Because I made them.
So I will dig out my old notebooks or journals and I will start to write what I’m grateful for. I’ll start by just writing three things I’m grateful for in the morning and evening. I will still say these things to myself when I wake up and when I go to sleep but it’s not bad to have that tangible evidence to go back over. I will sit in gratitude for what I have, I have had, I will have. And I will share the gratitude that I have for others and I will let them know that I am grateful for them. And I will start right now. For you picking up this book and reading it this far, I am grateful for you.
Today I will start a gratitude Journal.