Gratitude And Hope Over Fear- It’s Your Choice
As each day passes, we struggle with the stress, anxiety and fear associated with COVID-19. Not only that, we are grieving the loss our daily routine we were accustomed to. Struggling to come to grips with the fact that everything in the imminent future is cancelled including graduations, celebrations even that very necessary hair appointment.
When it seems like your life has been turned upside down, it’s all too easy for despair to settle in. An attitude of gratitude prevents despair from taking root throughout your soul. When we have gratitude, it opens the door for hope even in the midst of despair because it shifts our focus. If we fixate on fear, it will eat us up. If we focus on gratitude, it grounds us so we can be fully present, mindful and not obsessed with the past or future. It’s a choice what we elect to focus on. Choose gratitude!
“Enjoy the little things. For one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” –
Change The Thought Process
One thing I have learned is that distress has never gotten me anywhere. I have fought with anxiety my entire life. I was reminded of this when I came across my childhood diary; I poured my heart into when I was 12 years old. As I sat on the floor and read the diary, my eyes swelled with tears as I looked at the doodles of my broken family and words describing my fears. Fears about what may happen to our family on my first airline trip to Oklahoma to see our relatives. “Dear GOD, please don’t let the plane crash” I wrote.
As I read those words, it confirmed what I already knew, that I have spent most of my life being riddled with anxiety and fear. A worry wart. It wasn’t until I recognized that I needed to take control of my life, fixate on my faith and gratitude so I could live a happier and healthier life full of hope. Over time, I began to discover that the things that once would have sent me down an anxious spiral no longer had the same effect. This doesn’t happen overnight, it takes commitment to change our thought process.
My daily habits such as meditation, mindfulness, prayer, giving back and gratitude have changed my life. I don’t start the day without taking time to pray and meditate. It doesn’t take long, but it puts me in the right frame of mind, full of gratitude and hope as I start the day. What type of daily habit can you do that will generate positive vibes of gratitude and hope?
Gratitude Allows Us To Feel Good
Gratitude provides a perspective from which we can view life in its entirety and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances. Having gratitude helps us look at the big picture in life, not just what is happening at this time. When we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel ‘good’. They enhance our mood instantly, making us feel happy from the inside.
By consciously practicing gratitude every day, we can encourage these neural pathways to strengthen themselves and ultimately establish a permanent grateful and positive nature within ourselves.
Worrying Spins Our Wheels
Worrying doesn’t get us anywhere. Have you ever noticed that when you worry, it’s a powerless feeling? It’s like sitting on a stationary bike and spinning your wheels and not being able to get anywhere. Worrying is a waste of time. I am not suggesting not worry, that would be silly. Just control your thoughts and attitude as you focus more on gratitude and hope.
Trust me, it’s a daily if not hourly challenge for me. It takes work and practice to turn off my anxious thoughts. It’s human nature to worry and have fear. Fear can overwhelm us with a dark cloud, controlling our every thoughts and actions. We fear for our children’s future, we fear for our families, we fear for our financial future, we fear for our safety. The list goes on and on if we let it.
Yet reality reveals that so much we spend our time worrying about never comes to fruition. Have you ever noticed that the worries that keep you up in the middle of the night are never as bad the next day? Everything is always is worse when we worry at night.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
Choose Gratitude And Hope Not Fear- It’s Time To Be Bold
What if we all elect to lean into gratitude, and hope, not fear? Gratitude impacts our mental and physical well-being. Positive psychology and mental health researchers in the past few decades have established an overwhelming connection between gratitude and good health.
Research shows that when times are good, people tend to take prosperity for granted. I think you would all agree that its human nature. In times of uncertainty like we have right now, we realize we are not indestructible and don’t have control of our circumstances. When we see loss and despair, it makes us feel grateful for what we do have. We need to hang on to gratefulness.
This Crises May Cultivate A Grateful & Hopeful Attitude And Heart
In other words, this crisis we are all in, hopefully will make us all more grateful, kind and better prepared to cope with life. It’s a choice to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and hope. Research says that gratitude builds up a psychological immune system that can cushion us when we fall. There is scientific evidence that grateful people are more resilient to stress.
According to Positive Psychology thanking others, thanking ourselves, mother nature, or the Almighty–gratitude in any form can enlighten the mind and make us feel happier. It has a healing effect on us. (Russell and Fosha, 2008). The benefits of gratitude are endless.
What’s your attitude on gratitude? Do you spend more time worrying or looking for the silver lining? Life is not designed to be easy. No matter what you believe in, be strong and courageous during this difficult time. Focus on being grateful, have hope and do what you can for others. It’s a mindset we can all adapt if we try.
Are You A Doer Or A Talker?
There are two types of people in the world ; those who talk about accomplishing something and those that actually do something. It’s the difference between sitting around and waiting for something to happen as opposed to making it happen. What if we all make a conscience attempt to share this message with our kids, family and friends? Let’s spread hope and gratitude, not fear. Let’s make gratefulness, compassion, love and hope contagious.
The world needs people who are bold and confident right now. Our world is not hungry for mediocrity! We need better. We all have our gifts, figure out what your gift is and share it. Confidence propels us to be be bold, honest, open and authentic. It enables us to to be our best self.
Arm yourself, be bold and soldier on. We will be okay, give it time
How To Cope With Fear- Control The Controllables
Let’s face it the media headlines around the pandemic causes fear, stress and frustration so manage how much time you spend with the news. Try to stay on top of the news, but then turn the channel. Same with social media. Take control.
Spend your time right now being positively productive by getting things done around the house and helping others. When we reach out and help others, our fear transform into something so wonderful. Stay active and get outside. Here are some tips to stay motivated to workout.
Stay in touch with your family and friends. Reach out to your Gal Pals! Share your concerns, fears, hope and gratitude with these special women in your life. Close friends are so good for all of us.
Taking recommended and reasonable steps to protect yourself and your loved ones will give you a sense of control that helps to manage uncertainties. Getting outside in fresh air will help soothe your frazzled nerves. If you have been medically diagnosed with anxiety and depression, make sure you talk to your doctor.
Control what you can control. Thats the best you can do so don’t beat yourself up.
Make A List Of What You Are Thankful And Hopeful For
Despite how bad it is out there, with the loss of life, the fall of the economy and the ripple effect from it all, there is always something we can be grateful for. Your love ones, the roof over your head, the warm shower, your health, community, the chance to slow down, that we are in this together, instead of fighting a war against each other, we are fighting a war together, the frontline workers and on and on.
Here is a simple way to share gratitude and hope with your family and friends that relate to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please stay healthy and safe out there friends!