Stress is often created by a sense of fear. You might be afraid that you have an illness or that your lifestyle is creating an illness. Your fear might be that you are unloveable, will never be loved. If you are a single woman of a certain age, you might be scared that you will end up ‘under the bridge’, outliving your financial resources.
F.E.A.R. can be false evidence appearing real. Perhaps there is some merit in the trepidation you are experiencing. Either way, you can alleviate the stress, calm the racing thoughts of doom, through a practice of gratitude.
Gratitude is a beautiful thing and can reduce the level of stress in your body. Gratitude is just optimism, a positive attitude even when things aren’t perfect. Cultivating a sense of gratitude can help maintain a more positive mood and create greater emotional well-being. Gratitude can be grown, just like a beautiful plant in your outdoor garden. When you plant a flower, you prepare the bed, pick the weeds, and water for nourishment. You watch over the plant, see to its needs, make sure the environment is a healthy one. This is a daily job.
Your mind is your internal garden. Your thoughts are the beautiful plants you put in a fertile soil, created by good food, good sleep, and plenty of water and movement. You pull the weeds which are the thoughts that create stress. You nourish with a picture of the things for which you are grateful. Our reality is created by the images we hold in our mind’s eye. Our thoughts create emotions, feelings we act upon, either for our joy and vitality or some pretty serious gloom and doom.
Ways to acknowledge things for which you are grateful:
1. Every morning before you leap out of bed, make a mental list of the things for which you give thanks.
2. Every evening before you go to sleep, do the same thing. The list might be a reflection of the day you have just lived or it might be a broader view of your condition.
3. When a specific challenge arises, resist going into a tailspin by thinking of 3 to 5 things about that challenge that you can put on a gratitude list.
I don’t care what is going on in your life, there is always something for which to rejoice and give thanks. Take inventory of all the good you have going on so you have a go-to list of things when you need them. Do you have a roof over your head, food in the fridge, a job? Do you have a pet who adores you, a good friend you can talk to? Is Spring on your doorstep? Can you take a walk outdoors, sit on a park bench and revel in the day? Do you reflect on all that you have accomplished and created so far?