An attitude of gratitude is more than just a cute little catch phrase. Gratitude is a tool that can help you create the life of your dreams. The concept has been around for thousands and thousands of years, but it’s still misunderstood.
The misconception of gratitude
Even though it’s very healing, we resist leaning into gratitude because there is a misconception that we’re supposed to suck it up buttercup: push down your real feelings, put on a smile and be thankful for what you have. I don’t know about you, but I don’t find that very helpful.
In the video above, Productivity Coach and host of the Positively Living Podcast, Lisa Zawrotny, shares her personal story of how she discovered the healing powers of gratitude. After losing her mother to Alzheimer’s disease, and being in the throes of grief Lisa didn’t want to just “be grateful for what you have.” She was hurting.
Eventually, Lisa came to the understanding that gratitude does not mean you deny the hurt or the struggle. You still need to embrace those important human emotions.
You are always allowed to feel hurt, anger, resentment and sadness. In fact, you need to feel those emotions in order to move through the grief and come out on the other side. Gratitude doesn’t erase those emotions, it simply allows you to heal in a healthy way.
In everything give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Why would you be grateful for the good, the bad and the ugly? Because there is always a message within the mess. What is this situation or chaos telling you?
This is going to sound crazy, but when I have aches and pains in my body I always say, “I hear you. Thank you for reminding me that I need to slow down and take care of myself.” OR “Thank you so much for confirming what I already know…3 margaritas is never a good idea.” Umm…I had that little opportunity for gratitude last week. haha.
I also try very hard to say, “Thank you for this beautifully messy house” instead of immediately jumping up to do dishes or laundry. Why would I be grateful for a messy house? Because it means my family are loving life. They are playing, creating and relaxing and that reminds me to do the same. The dishes can wait!
Gratitude crowds out the bad
Gratitude helps you clear up clutter to create more space for what you really love. When you take the time to focus on the good, you push out the bad. This is especially helpful when dealing with mental clutter. When you journal, speak or think about positive aspects of your life, the negative thoughts begin to get crowded out.
What Does Your World Look Like?
You attract what you focus on. When you have negative thoughts all the time, you tend to find negative people and situations all around you because that’s what you’re looking for.
One negative thought will always lead to another. It snowballs into a huge mess of negative stories you tell yourself; scenarios, accidents, fights and natural disasters that only happen in your mind. Talk about unnecessary stress!
Luckily, the same is true with positive thoughts. When you are grateful for one thing, you’ll notice something else to be grateful for. Happy, positive people will be attracted to you, and you’ll always notice all the cool things going on in the world because that’s what you’re looking for!
Use this powerful habit of gratitude to crowd out the negative and create more space for what you love.