Shift Your Mood...with Gratitude
Those words uttered by my girl, vulnerability researcher Brene Brown, cut through my foggy-head like a lighthouse as I sipped on my coffee to wake me up.
Brene and Oprah sat casually across from each other with their cute heeled shoes chatting simply about joy and gratitude and I was having a “moment.”
It wasn’t the coffee that woke me up.
It was Brene’s words…
I then realized that that was how I was living my life; always waiting for the other shoe to drop, never being able to truly be in the moment or appreciate the now.
Gratitude became a struggle for me and...
...Foreboding Joy became my Inner Critic’s sneak attack on me.
A sucker punch to keep me in line with Fear.
I needed to take a look at those limiting beliefs, those negative thoughts that were keeping me from experiencing Joy, which is different from happiness.
Happiness is the result from circumstance, while Joy is a spiritual practice that reflects your gratitude.
We hear this so often, but how do we attain this?
Gratitude becomes alive in our minds, hearts, and our behaviors when we make it a practice.
Gratitude cannot grow without acknowledgement.
I’ll say it again, channeling my inner Brene Brown:
Gratitude is a practice.
And, it’s not easy…Especially when your Inner Critic (aka, Foreboding Joy) keeps sucker punching you.
For someone like me who tends to feel the warm fuzzies of recognition of the Inner Critic bulldozing my thoughts, I didn’t believe that my Gratitude-Batgirl could defeat my Inner Critic/Foreboding Joy-Joker.
This was one of the hardest things for me to defeat (and, I still have to work on this), but I found that my mood and my thoughts began to change for the better even with the smallest, and most ordinary, praises of gratitude that I would express at the end of the day. And, an acknowledgement and appreciation of what I already have…
I’m grateful that gas prices went down.
I’m grateful that the sun was out.
I’m grateful for my soft, flannel sheets.
This is what Joy is born from.
The ordinary. The mundane. The regular.
A gratitude practice helps us to attain our joy by acknowledging these moments.
Don’t get me wrong; giving props to the big moments is important, too.
We just have to remember that those moments aren’t the end-all-be-all; they’re just a puzzle piece in your life puzzle.
So, how do we begin this practice?
~ Write down in a journal what you’re grateful for. Everyday. Or, every other day…
~ Create a Gratitude Jar and write down those things you are grateful for. If you’re having a bad day, reach into the jar and pull out one of your gratitude notes.
~ Create artwork about gratitude.
~ Talk to a loved one about what you are grateful for. Ask them what they are grateful for. Make this a habit.
~ Tell someone why you are grateful for them.
These are just some ideas that have helped me, my clients, and my family and friends throughout the years…
Because I have made gratitude a practice, “Foreboding Joy” isn’t as prevalent as it once was.
And when it does make its presence known, listing out what I am grateful for seems to be the antidote against my Inner Critic/Foreboding Joy-Joker.