Life Coaching Tip: Gratitude is one of the easiest and most effective ways to shift your mindset. It’s the fastest track to happiness, and it’s always available to you no matter the circumstances...
“How do I stop my brain from spinning? Once I get on a roll telling myself ‘Everyone and everything is against me’ stories, I feel pissed-off, resentful, and hopeless. It’s exhausting. I’m on-edge, and I’m snapping at everyone around me. I want to fix this once and for all.”
This is what a client said to me a few months back, hoping that I would have the end-all “cure” for her mind drama. She’s an accomplished woman who is used to getting quick results thanks to her determination and steadfast commitment to her goals. She wasn’t messing around!
“Well,” I answered with a smile, “although I admire your ambition, it doesn’t quite work like that. I mean, if I had a ‘once and done’ antidote for a spinning, fretting brain, I would be a very wealthy woman.”
I explained that mindset management is an on-going process, not something you implement a few times and ta-da, resolved. It’s like going to the gym to get in shape. You don’t stop once you’ve reached your fitness goals. Instead, you must keep going regularly to maintain and improve your health.
I reassured her though that although I have no permanent “fix” for a mindset that has gone rogue, disempowering thoughts and feelings are never perpetual either. Although, it sometimes feels like it.
Of course, I understood why she wanted to have more control over her mindset and lighten the intensity of her emotions that felt so consuming.
And I could definitely help her with that!
After I shared some tips with her on how to reign in her runaway brain, she reported back at our next session an overall feeling of relief. She said just understanding that it’s natural to paddle down the river of misery at times, helped her to take it all down a notch.
Then, by using the tools I offered her, she felt empowered to make the necessary thought shifts and go on with her day with a better sense of ease and confidence.
And since she is a no-nonsense woman who likes to get things done quickly, it’s no wonder that her favorite tool to turn to was gratitude.
Gratitude is a game changer.
Gratitude is one of the easiest and most effective ways to shift out of a bad mood. It’s the fastest track to happiness, and it’s always available to you no matter the circumstances.
The truth is, you can’t feel worried, angry, jealous, resentful, discouraged, irritated or sad AND grateful at the same time.
It’s all a matter of perspective…
Like with a magnifying glass, what you focus on gets bigger and what you turn your attention away from gets smaller.
Your focus shapes your “stories” (beliefs).
If you zero in on what you don’t like about a situation or a person, this will shape your story about them, and your emotions will absolutely follow suit. Your problems will feel bigger than they actually are when you concentrate on the negative.
But if you intentionally shift your brain’s focus to gratitude and appreciate the positive aspects of a situation or a person, then this is the story you will create. Once again, these thoughts will spark emotions, and these will be the kind that warm your heart.
As I’ve written about before, when you tell your brain a story, your subconscious mind will look for “proof” to back it up and ignore evidence to the contrary. This is called confirmation bias.
And so, it makes sense then to tell your brain the story of: “The World is a Beautiful Place filled with a Zillion Things to Appreciate” rather than “My Life Sucks and Everything Else Sucks Too.” (obv.)
Alright, so now that I’ve made my case, you may be wondering how to get started?
Well, the easiest thing to do is to begin writing daily in a gratitude journal. This means just a basic notebook where you list ten things you are grateful for at the end of each day (or whenever your mind starts to run amok).
You also may be wondering how to shift your focus to gratitude when life throws you a rotten tomato kind of day?
I like this idea I read about in one of Jen Sincero’s books…
Ask yourself, “how is this good?”
This will help you find gratitude in all you’ve manifested, even during the more challenging times.
Stuck at a train crossing?
“This is good because it gives me time to check my email before arriving at the office.”
Pile of dirty laundry?
“This is good because I own a washer and dryer that will do the bulk of the work for me.”
Lose a long-time customer?
“This is good because it spotlights where I need to make improvements in my business.”
Short handed at work?
“This is good because I get to develop new skills by doing things outside of my usual role.”
You get the idea.
As we head into the holiday season that can add stress to an already busy schedule, making gratitude a daily practice can make all the difference in your experience.
For reals, gratitude is a game changer!
PS – As I’m writing about gratitude today, I want to tell you my friend that I appreciate you taking the time each week to read my blog stories. You’re the best. Thank you!
PSS – Want to learn more about how to shift your mindset? I can help! Check out my private coaching page here.