Giving thanks opens up the energy channels, cleans us out and prevents us from simmering in stress, resentment and strife. By it’s nature, Gratitude allows us to unload the burdens of our angst and open our hearts for a steady, healthy stream of healing energy. It’s lightness is palpable if we persevere in practice.
For an awesome December bump up your practice of gratitude. If you’re without stress, it’ll make things that much better, but it can make a huge difference in your holiday experience if you are wading through a mire of stress and feel there’s no end in sight.
At times, my practice of gratitude is minute-by-minute, else heavy stressors I’m managing can indeed, overtake me. I say from experience, deliberate, purposeful practice not only carries you through intense transitional periods, it simultaneously contributes to miraculous events unfolding. Like when my car died (new car purchases are stressful!), almost at the same time I had to move, and with no idea where I’d land. Minute by minute gratitude, as well as recalling all the past blessings I had experienced, gave me soundness of mind to navigate successfully, drawing into my sphere the perfect vehicle (at a great price) and a lovely new living space in a beautiful location. The outcomes were better than I’d imagined. Such is often the case with the magical aspects of gratitude; we never really know the details of how good it can become, but when we stay in gratitude, such becoming-ness is inevitable.
Our resistance to using the simple technique of gratitude can prevent us from cashing in on it’s benefits. I find the most common of these are;
- Our infatuation with the “magical pill”. We are convinced that if something or someone else were different, we wouldn’t be having this conflict.
- Our need to be “right” in our perspectives. Being declared “right” we mistakenly believe will resolve the stress. It rarely does.
- It’s a ton easier to complain and wallow in stress energy. The brain’s neurology is hard-wired when it comes to thought patterns.
So, how do we overcome the inner resistance to practicing gratitude?
Practice means we’re developing a new habit, and new habits need time to evolve to skillful mastery. The first step is awareness. From Andrew Newberg’s, Words Can Change Your Brain, research shows, it takes three to five positive thoughts to overcome the neurological habituation of one negative thought. Awareness increases your chances of remembering that a stressful thought is robbing you of joy and inner peace. Practicing gratitude can lead you easily to choosing three to five positive thoughts to counteract the negative impact of stress on the brain and body. With each attempt you creatively position yourself for the magical rewards of a Gratitude Practice.